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Wide Places

Today’s Reflection

GOD CREATES “wide places,” which is to say, God’s grace works for our benefit, guiding, protecting, and instructing us. God gives us grace in our homes. God provides us places — both in childhood and adulthood — that are happy, safe, and peaceful. God reveals God’s self in the splendor of nature, in the carefree locations of childhood. God touches our lives in difficult places, one time converting us, another time saving us from trouble, another time giving us peace and strength. God gives us places of Christian fellowship that help us grow in grace. God helps us when, on occasion, that fellowship breaks down. Places illustrate ways that God both deals with us and helps us; places are both parable and memory.

– Paul E. Stroble
You Gave Me a Wide Place: Holy Places in Our Lives

From p. 137-138 of You Gave Me a Wide Place: Holy Places in Our Lives by Paul E. Stroble. Copyright (c) 2006 by the author. Used with permission of Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Describe a place or time of grace from your memory. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

John 3:16, NRSV

This Week: Pray for persons who are experiencing new beginnings. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: John of God (March 8).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Jill March 11, 2018, 5:19 am

    As I read this – Julie – my heart breaks a bit for you. Oh that your home would be a place of grace. That you would have people around you who support you gracefully. We certainly do that from a distance here in cyber space. I pray that God would grace you with His Presence, and there would be resolution to your most difficult situation.
    A time of grace for me is the time I am living right now. The peace which exists around me – unimaginable a few years ago. All encompassing now. I wish I could extend it to my mom…this is what tugs at my heart currently.
    So looking forward to church this AM. I miss the singing, the fellowship with my new friends, and especially the Word of God shared. Will sit with my mom this morning while dad is at church, and then be able to get to mine – just a few minutes away from their house.
    So grateful for an impromptu lunch of pasta and meatballs yesterday with a friend. She texted me to stop by – haven’t been able to be spontaneous as of late. Grateful to spend a few hours with her.

  • robert moeller March 11, 2018, 6:17 am

    Knowing that I made the right decision to come and help Erich is an experience of grace for me. It doesn’t mean I have no problems, life on earth is not without problems. God has seen me through many and will see me through the ones I now face. Knowing that is grace too.

    Thankful for the grace Jill has, it is such a blessing in tough times. Wonderful that there is progress for both Jill’s Mom and Dad. Sometimes I’m divided on using names or relationships when talking about others.

    Every day we begin anew, what a blessing that is. Some of us have bigger beginnings than others, but every one is important and equal in God’s eyes.
    Thank You, Lord.

    Blessings to you all dear UR family as we begin the second half of Lent.
    The Lord is with you.

    • Lou March 11, 2018, 7:23 am

      Relationships are very complicated – so true Robert. I am sorry for your losses- I know I would do the same – my children are everything to me- this morning I will attend church with all of my children as my oldest daughter is home in her last spring break- how wonderful that is- God’s true grace that he has blessed me with lovely sweet children who believe in Him. That is true grace and a blessing.
      I pray for all parents and children- especially for those who do not know God and the parents that pray for that.
      I am grateful for what I have despite the difficult times of the past several years. I know I was truly happy in my life and I pray for peace in accepting this new life and these new beginnings.
      Like you Robert – I’ve loved and I’ve lost – I’ve had my happy time and now I just pray for peace. God will see me through as he will see all of us through-
      Prayers today especially for Julie and Marcy- may God send them peace and love. Prayers for all the UR faithful –

      • robert moeller March 13, 2018, 4:24 am

        Thank you, Lou. I am thankful that there is progress there, sometimes it doesn’t seem so, but from afar it is quite evident. May God continue to guide and bless you.

  • Betsy March 11, 2018, 7:28 am

    Have you ever been a place or situation where things “fall into place” or work out to your benefit? That is when I’m reminded of God’s wide places, area of grace where He intervenes on my behalf. We are so blessed when He nudges us forward and Provides what we need.
    Jill, glad to hear you have rwchd a period of grace with your mom’s recuperation. I love your illustration of that area of grace; He is with you in all you do and say.
    Praying for your situation in your home, Julie. We support and love you from this safe place. Your faith is strong and I’ll offer you God’s grace.
    May we find a place of grace as we worship God this day.

  • Julie March 11, 2018, 8:44 am

    I can feel your prayers and your warm support lifting me up. I am so very thankful. I’m sure you realize that it is my nature to help. However, as I have been burnt time and again by this man’s inherently cruel nature, I am torn. I have tried to point out that there have been times when I was in such pain that I have cried in front of him and he completely ignored me and did not acknowledge my existence. When he was crying that he was in pain and needed my help I asked him if things would be different in the future. Would he just go back to treating my daughter and I with contempt when he was feeling better. He refused to answer which is answer enough.
    Jill, your grace is your witness as you are with your mother. Simply live your calm and God assurance, as opposed to self assurance, with her and if she is ready and open she will receive this from you. This is what the Bible teaches us.
    Robert, we give our lives to our children when we bring them into this world. We are their parents always and forever. But, the rewards are priceless and without bounds.
    Lou, I know life seems harder now, but you too are so richly blessed by the love and devotion of your children. Not many adult children choose to spend early Sunday morning with their mother at church.
    Betsy, I have in the very distant past, experienced what you described.
    Blessings and prayers for all of the dear UR family and each of your concerns shared
    Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
    Mark Twain
    (yes, I see how God is talking to me…)

    • robert moeller March 13, 2018, 4:33 am

      Thankful Betsy and Julie for your posts on grace and wide spaces. Thankful you feel, know God’s grace.

      Prayers for God’s guidance Julie, being abused is not what God intended or wants. Prayers for your husband that he will pay attention to God and do what is right.

      I am very thankful you have help from your daughter.

  • Connie March 11, 2018, 9:33 am

    I experienced many times of Grace in a small country church. Back row on the left…..walking out of the door on Easter Sunday, Sunday School, Confirmation, Baptisms, a wedding ……
    From today’s Upper Room Devotional “The Lord of heavenly forces is with us” Psalm 46:11

  • Andrea March 11, 2018, 10:06 am

    There is a savannah nature reserve near our town. It is a protected area that runs near the bluffs of a river. My husband and I enjoy walking there year-round. I feel a deep peace at this wide place, with the oak trees, prairie, bluffs, and beautiful stillness.

    Blessings and prayers.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 11, 2018, 10:09 am

    I experienced God’s grace many times and i will say His grace is sufficient and amazing. For each trial i go through, i know I can trust Him to see me through. Thank you God for your faithfulness and grace!

    The most recent trial that i went through was when my dad was hospitalised for three months. It was very draining for my whole family but now he is at home. Praise God!

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