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Strength and Vulnerability

Today’s Reflection

MY MIND IS DRAWN to occasions in the past when I felt vulnerable and defenseless—times of poor decision, rejection, and disappointment throughout the years. This melancholy moment of reflection redirects my thoughts to something deep inside. Life is brief, and aging is real. I feel it in my joints. I feel it every time I lose my reading glasses or when I hear that another friend has died. Yet somehow just acknowledging the reality of aging is liberating; I don’t want to pretend to be young. I want to be bold enough to be authentic; I want to be faithful enough to prepare for life’s challenges. Some say that growing old is too depressing to ponder. But here at the beach, I confront an important truth: To be strong, I must first be vulnerable.

—Missy Buchanan
Beach Calling: A Devotional Journal for the Middle Years and Beyond

From pages 15-16 of Beach Calling by Missy Buchanan. 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

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
—Hebrews 4:13, NIV

Prayer for the Week

Like the waves of the ocean rolling onto the sand, may God’s glorious grace rush in to my heart and soul again and again. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Happy 4th of July!
Celebrate Independence Day by celebrating our troops: Give to The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller July 2, 2019, 6:27 am

    Now that’s a question for the ages. I don’t think I would want to know what the future would be, how things would turn out. The years between November 17, 1997 and 2019’s move to NH have of course had both positives and negatives, but I feel I’m on a new course, a very fresh new start, in a new place, with new people, and things are coming along very nicely. Life isn’t easy, a bed of roses, there are thorns and there will be problems, but I am encouraged, uplifted, and hopeful that all of the time and effort made possible by God and God’s wisdom will pay off in a good future for my son and fulfilling time as my life comes to an earthly end. Thank You, Lord.

    A new internet provider and I am back to daily reflections in a regular basis. That’s a big blessing. Now I can more easily read and post in response to the UR family. Thank you for your prayers of encouragement and support. As the pastor said Sunday, “Jesus loves us and there is nothing we can do about it.”
    Amen!

  • Jill July 2, 2019, 6:35 am

    The single, most important thing which I realize now…know deep down in my heart…is that I can have a relationship with the Holy One. I was raised in a Baptist church and memorized verse after verse. Was in church on Wednesdays and Sundays, involved in youth group and youth choir. Did all the things a good, churchy girl was supposed to do. Accepted Christ as my Saviour and continued to be in church and live a “good life”. As I have come to realize – Christ was my Saviour, but He wasn’t Lord of my life. The whole sanctification thing. I don’t know why I never “got” this. I never experienced the peace that passeth understanding – until the last few years. Now, I know I have entered into this relational thing…probably the last 15 years…but even then, learning what it means to surrender ALL things to Him. Not that I have attained that either, not this side of Heaven. But, nevertheless, an awareness, a desire, a striving for. He meets me in these and reveals more to me. Now that I have experienced His peace and have a desire to please Him, honor Him – I can so assuredly see His movement in my life, Him drawing me closer and closer to Him. It’s not about being a good person, it’s about desiring to be the clay – and He the Great Potter…and allowing Him to use me in how He sees fit.
    As I reflect back on these past two years – it is incredible to see His workmanship over all the occurrences in my life. There is deep gratitude and appreciation. And a stronger than ever desire to continue to serve Him, and hopefully used by Him. I know that none of this has been wasted and will be woven in to His grand economy.
    Grateful for time in my flower gardens this morning, watering and dead-heading and weeding. Simple peace and stillness as the heat is already evident.
    Praying for Julie – this time while h is away – may she be able to enjoy the non-threatening environment. May there be ease.
    Prayers also for Andrea – and lifestyle changes which lie ahead. May she be committed to them and embrace the wellness which comes along with them.
    Grateful for Robert sharing the good news about his new church. Might he continue to settle in, make new friends and continue to support Erich well.

  • Lou July 2, 2019, 6:36 am

    I now know and wish I had known when I was younger – that God is first – and if you place him first in your life nothing else matters. I wish I had known not to count on/ trust in fallible people. I put my whole trust in my marriage and I knew in my heart that it would never end and I was comfortable in that knowledge. Too comfortable I guess. I wish I had known that I shouldn’t have been so comfortable and trusting. I wish I had known that people will fail you but God never will.
    It’s been another week of household trials- But I’m getting through by God’s grace alone I feel. All of my kids will be home for the 4th and I will get to enjoy them for a week. I am so looking forward to fun times with them.
    Praying for their safe travels home- praying that Connies lunch was a happy time to add to her memories. Praying that Robert continues settling in- so happy that he has already found a church home that he feels comfortable in. Praying for Andrea and life’s readjustment and her good health. Praying for Betsy and her family, for Jill and the peace she is feeling in her summer respite, for Mary and her sister, for Julie in her pain and loneliness, for Marcy and her improved health and circumstances, for Edy and her family and also for all of those not mentioned by name especially the new posters from yesterday- God is near.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling July 2, 2019, 7:21 am

    Thanks Lou!

    I wish I rely on the strength and wisdom of God than on my own. Most importantly, to always pray for God’s will will to be done.

    Blessings!

  • Julie July 2, 2019, 8:15 am

    I echo Lou’s sentiments. I wish I had known not to place my heart with earthly beings but with God. That I should rely only on Him and His love. I wish I had stayed single after my divorce from Megan’s father. I wish I had recognized the emotional abuse prior to quiting my job. I am glad that God opened my eyes to Him and the true definition of love and acceptance.
    Prayers for Jill and her garden.
    Prayers for Robert and his new church and new friends.
    Prayers for Lou and her family, may they arrive home safely.
    Prayers for Mary and her family, may they be blessed with abundance.
    Prayers for Connie and her health, may she stop losin weight.
    Prayers for Andrea, may her health improve as she adjusts her life as her doctor directed.
    Prayers for Marcy, may her health improve.
    Yes, I am enjoying this h free time. Megan and I marvel daily how sweet life is without h and his menacing presence.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you dear UR family

  • Susan Jordan July 2, 2019, 8:42 am

    Love comes in many forms and comes when you least expect it. Don’t look for love—love will find you.

  • Connie July 2, 2019, 8:45 am

    What I know now? When I was young I kind of “knew it all” in a non-bragging way. I thought if things were done my way it was the right way! I know now that God is in complete control of my life and that is fine with me and that actually my control is very small.
    I had a wonderful lunch with my cousin and we talked and laughed and it felt so good. Thank you Jesus.
    The Hummers like the new nectar.
    May Lou’s household trials be resolved and may the rest of this week be joyous for her and her children.
    We give our hearts away and often they are broken….but God mends them, always.

  • Martha Phillips July 2, 2019, 12:10 pm

    There is no way I can begin to name what I would do differently. I am just so thankful that our LORD was with me. God’s grace and mercy have followed me all my life.

  • Al Qualman July 2, 2019, 12:10 pm

    Today’s Upper Room is exactly what I needed today. All of my joints are on fire today. I do know better days are in the future. God is good.

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