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From a Distance

Today’s Reflection

THE LIFE OF FAITH looks beautiful and easy from a distance, but it can feel very confining up close. So many rules. So many prohibitions. So many boundaries. But the guardrails God provides are meant to prevent us from experiencing the harshest of consequences during our early learning. Our persistence will pay off if we trust our Shepherd and don’t get to wandering. Mature faith is set free to embrace the beauty that was once in the distance, free of the fear of falling.

—Wendy LeBolt
Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through Our Bodies

From page 25 of Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through Our Bodies by Wendy LeBolt. Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Where do you see beauty in your own life of faith? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
—Psalm 23:4, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Thank you, Magnificent God, for the body that you created uniquely for me.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

Those who pour out their lives daily in service to others need a little refreshment. Join us for a special event in April, Resilience for Activists. Learn more.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

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{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Betsy March 11, 2019, 6:53 am

    As I grow old in this physical body, I also grow in my conviction that God is beside me, guiding my steps. I know whose I am and where I am going when I leave this earthly body. That is good news!
    I see beauty in the early signs of spring; grass greening, longer days, birds chirping. I also see in my fellow human beings who give of themselves in many ways to help others unselfishly. I see God’s unabashed love in my new grandson’s eyes as he looks up at his parents with trust. Thank you, Lord, for allowing such beauty.
    Wishing all who come here to sit and pray awhile, blessings.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 11, 2019, 7:21 am

    I see the beauty of the flowers in my neighborhood each morning as I go for a walk, the students I teach, my parents, my sister, the parks in my neighborhood, the people I interact with when I exercise and dance, the creative writing my students write, the glory of God on this Earth He created for us to enjoy and the UR friends here.

    Blessings to all and may all be well!

  • Julie March 11, 2019, 8:15 am

    As I read the question, I was perplexed. Beauty in my faith is not something I had ever thought of or even heard of. But Ii would say there is beauty in growing as a believer. There is beauty in meeting and conversing with like minded individuals here.
    Prayers for Betsy and Harrison her beautiful grandson.
    Prayers for Mary and her family and students, may she be blessed for foregoing a desired job arranging flowers to continue teaching.
    Prayers for Robert as he support and guides Eric and Anneliese. May Anneliese come to understand whatever Robert has eluded to and which causes him consternation.
    Prayers for safe travel for Andrea.
    Prayers for Lou as she adds faith steps toher routine for Lent.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be healing and feeling relief from pain.
    Prayers for Jill and her family as they sit with Gloria, may God comfort them.
    Prayers for Rusty, may his physical health improve.
    Prayers for Connie and may her garden bloom soon.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs for all of the UR family, those that comment and those that don’t

  • Connie March 11, 2019, 8:35 am

    Birds chirping, green grass under the snow, rain water that filled the bird bath when I couldn’t do it myself, neighbors, and the hope that I can be a better person during the Lenten Season.

  • robert moeller March 11, 2019, 12:12 pm

    Nature, grandchildren, and my children all show beauty. Actually it doesn’t take a lot of effort to see it. God doesn’t tuck it away and make it hard to find.

    Thankful I am caught up with after the train show emails. Have enjoyed a great bowl of string bean and potato soup that has Erich’s special twist. A walk and some small grocery shopping along with today’s Lenten worship are on the to do list.

    Betsy, Mary, Julie, and Connie, you all have a better way with words on this topic than me. Very appreciative of your views, ideas, concerns, and the sharing of your activities.

    When I moved to help Erich I was asked to continue financial support until either the house or the condo sold. I did so. She has income from the mortgage payments since she holds the mortgage. I didn’t do well preparing to tell Anneliese that I would stop. I am sorry for that and have told her so. I have not heard from her for a week, but have sent messages and the UR close to every day. She still has other much needed support from me. I need to be able to buy a replacement car sometime soon as my current car has over 301,000 miles and is 15 years old.

    Prayers for all with health issues, wellbeing, care giving, concerns of any kind, and stress. May God help and guide you, may you turn to God for your needs and concerns, and may God’s love, grace, and mercy be yours. Thank You,
    Lord.

  • Wendy LeBolt March 11, 2019, 8:30 pm

    Hi everyone!
    Anything that speaks to me of beauty serves to confirm and strengthen my faith. Usually I find myself smiling before I realize the beauty I am experiencing. It could be a kindness I observe or a beautiful sunset. Often, it is the innocent and full-spirited reaction of a child. It might also be a clever solution to a problem or the application of diligence fulfilled.

    But in this passage, I am referring to the long distance view – really the imagining – of the new believer who sees a life lived in perfect faith as joy-filled, smooth-sailing, full of every good thing and, most of all, effortless. We who have traveled the road for a bit know that the life of faith may have a few potholes and steep drop-offs. To me, watching a mature and committed believer navigate what comes even and especially in the hardship may be the most beautiful expressions of God’s handiwork.

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