I’ve been thinking about you lately and praying for you. I know you’re bothered by physical problems these days, trying to recover from surgery. Mom told me about the doctor’s report, and I know that’s hard to face. I also know you’re struggling to cope with a memory that you sense isn’t as good as it once was.
In this morning’s devotions, I read Acts 20:17-38. It’s one of my favorite passages—one of the most moving in the New Testament. Paul is on his way back to Jerusalem at the end of his last missionary journey. While he doesn’t know what will happen, he senses that trouble and possibly the end of his life lie just ahead.
So at the last minute, he decides to sail to Ephesus, one of the cities in which he invested a good portion of his life. He calls the elders of the church to him and there tells them how much he loves them. They are tearful as he says they will never see his face again. He explains that the Holy Spirit has revealed that affliction awaits him in Jerusalem. Then in verse 24 he says:
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus” (para.).
Dad, maybe your situation is similar to Paul’s. You don’t know what lies ahead, but you know you have afflictions to deal with. I pray God will be close to you and help you make Paul’s testimony your own: that you release your life to Him, and all that matters is finishing your life’s work with joy.
I’m discovering for myself that the more constantly I look to the Lord throughout the day, the more strength, guidance, and deep peace He gives me moment by moment. No matter how bad things seem to get, there are no surprises to Him. He’s been there ahead of us, preparing the way, working it out for our good.
I’m reminded of the hymn:
He giveth more grace
when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength
when the labors increase.
To added affliction
He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials,
His multiplied peace.*
Our physical and mental limitations can take many things from us, but we have one privilege that can never, ever be taken away: the privilege of glorifying God. I pray that you can find joy in glorifying God no matter what comes.
I love you, Dad, and appreciate you more than I can say. My thoughts and prayers are with you always.
*From “He Giveth More Grace,” words by Annie Johnson Flint, music by Hubert Mitchell. © 1941, renewed 1969 by Lillenas Publishing Co. Adm. by Music Services.