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A Cloud of Witnesses

Today’s Reflection

A CLOUD OF WITNESSES: those faithful saints who have gone before me. Abraham and Moses, my parents and grandparents, my aunts and uncles. A favorite childhood Sunday school teacher, longtime church members, neighbors, and friends. I close my eyes, wanting to focus my mind’s eye on each person who helped mold my spiritual life. These spiritual ancestors did not abandon their faith when life was difficult. They felt the sharp pain of rejection and failure. They suffered illness and grieved the loss of loved ones. Still they faithfully embraced the hardships and uncertainties of life with courage and hope. Recalling their stories of faithfulness encourages me in the what-ifs of this season of life. I can hear them calling to me: “Finish well, dear one.”

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

From page 76 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

Who are some of the faithful saints in your life?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
—Hebrews 12:1, 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.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Jill July 7, 2019, 6:02 am

    This reading causes many thoughts in my head…yes, so many in my cloud – and gratefulness they were placed on my path at some point. I think of my mom’s best friend’s daughter – how our paths were parallel for so long and the deep impact she had on my life, without her being able to see the fruit for so long. And now her continuing deep sorrow of losing her mom in late January. She, now tucked away in a corner of Montana with her husband, grieving and isolated. Never, in a million years, would I have imagined her grief of losing her mom would devastate her so much more than mine. I think of my mom’s friend who died a week before mom – and her funeral service – which truly was a celebration of her life – so well lived for the glory of God. I cried so much at that service – knowing mom had only a few days left and all of us would be gathered, yet again, in a setting like this. And crying, because I would not be able to speak to a life lived for the glory of God – like Carolyn’s three daughters did. How she faced her illness and death – each day to bring God glory…she prayed for my mom the day before she died. She was one of my Sunday School teachers and a real stalwart in our church.
    And the most recent member of my cloud – my colleague at school – who was still teaching three weeks before she succumbed to the cancer fight. What a crucial person in this season of my life. Knowing her – really knowing her – for only three months – and yet the profound impact she had on me – in the midst of it all. Courage and hope – she personified these things. I so desperately needed to see that.
    Father – Your grace is beyond measure – I am so humbled. Please show me where I can be someone else’s witness in their cloud. I need Your wisdom.

  • Kris July 7, 2019, 9:59 am

    I can feel your unshed tears. Most everyone I hold dear, especially my husband, is gone. My college age children are still very much here. Their special needs are sometimes draining. So thank you for your inspiring prayer. (Enduring is a far cry from witnessing.)

  • Yvonne Kennedy July 7, 2019, 11:04 am

    Today’s Devotional brought a smile to my heart and soul. Thank you

  • Yvonne Kennedy July 7, 2019, 11:05 am

    Today’s Devotional brought a smile to my heart and soul. Thank you.

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