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God’s Blessing

Today’s Reflection

THE PERSON IN NEED OF care is a beloved daughter or son of God. The identity is unchanged by weakness, illness, or death. When Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor” (see Luke 6:20), he is speaking not just of the poor economically but each of us, his beloved brothers and sisters, when we experience our human fragility. That basic human weakness is never more evident than when people fall sick or face the reality of their death. Perhaps not so strangely, however, people seldom consider themselves “blessed” when weakness befalls them. We want to help. We want to do something for people in need. We want to offer consolation to those who are in grief and alleviate the suffering of those who are in pain. There is obviously nothing wrong with the desire. It is a noble and grace-filled desire. But unless we realize that God’s blessing is coming to us from those we want to serve, our help will be short-lived, and eventually we may feel burned out.

—Henri J.M. Nouwen, with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Caregiving: The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series (The Upper Room, 2011)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How are you blessed by caring for others?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
—Genesis 2:3 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Practice seeing blessings all around you! Upper Room author Beth A. Richardson invites us to practice the Celtic way of seeing God in everyday life. Join our online community for the eCourse edition of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Jill August 25, 2019, 6:23 am

    I really had to concentrate and read that last sentence several times…to get it. My interpretation is that the blessing is coming from God, not the people we are trying to serve. We certainly can be blessed by the one who we are serving – but we cannot count on that occurring. Our act of service is in obedience to Our Father – and He will give us His blessing.
    I liked April’s comment regarding reading a portion of Scripture in different versions/translations. So – this morning, I read from NKJV…and verse 5 hits me again. In this version…”My soul, wait silently for God alone.” David is talking to himself here…giving himself a directive. Like in Psalm 42…the psalmist – v.5 “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him. For the help of his countenance.” I know I need to be careful about what I am saying to myself…the voices in my head. I need to guard against negativity – and point my fleshly self back to God – my True North. This kinda goes along with today’s reading – serving others in His strength, not our own. We will weary. When feeling overwhelmed – recalibrate. Strain to hear The Spirit’s words over fleshly words and desires.
    Father – lead us in worship of You today, in Spirit and in Truth.

    • April August 25, 2019, 11:12 am

      I’m so glad you found new insight from another version of Psalm 62, Jill. Today I listened to it being read and then thought about the word selah as it is used often in the Psalm. Here is information about it:
      Selah (/ˈsiːlə(h)/; Hebrew: סֶלָה, also transliterated as selāh) is a word used 74 times in the Hebrew Bible—seventy-one times in the Psalms and three times in the Book of Habakkuk. The meaning of the word is not known, though various interpretations are given below. It is probably either a liturgico-musical mark or an instruction on the reading of the text, something like “stop and listen.” Another proposal is that Selah can be used to indicate that there is to be a musical interlude at that point in the Psalm. The Amplified Bible translates selah as “pause, and think of that.” It can also be interpreted as a form of underlining in preparation for the next paragraph.
      Yes, I will pause and think today and see God in all.
      Blessings dear UR family, whether you are at a concert or relaxing at home…God each of His Beloved Children!!

      • April August 25, 2019, 11:15 am

        oops….instead of God each of His Beloved Children!!…it is God Loves each of His Beloved Children!!

  • robert moeller August 25, 2019, 6:42 am

    Caring for others is a form of love and we are to love our neighbors as ourself.
    We are blessed by God in doing so.

    Only God can bless us.

    Prayers for the family of a college hockey friend, Robert Rosenthal, whose son, Ben, took his own life. Prayers for Marcy, Doris, Meesook, Anneliese, Julie, and all with health concerns. God’s peace to all experiencing or recovering from grief. Reconciliation or resolution to those conflict. God’s love can and does cover a multitude of sins. Thank You, Lord.

    Have a God filled Sunday.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling August 25, 2019, 7:10 am

    For me, I am blessed when I see my mum smile when I care for her. Ultimately, we are blessed by God for He is the one who gives us the strength and love to care for others.

    Thank you God for greatly blessing us when we care for others.

    Blessings!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling August 25, 2019, 7:13 am

      Also, we know it brings joy to God when we care for others.

  • Julie August 25, 2019, 7:47 am

    I agree with Robert, we are to love or neighbor and in the Bible “when you did this for one you did it for me.” One in need, one in pain, one lonely; we are called by God to serve the need and pain of the world. By ding so we are blessed in His eyes. By doing so we are living our faith.
    Megan and I enjoyed the concert last night. I mentioned the first singer as one I am watching as his career and success proceed. He speaks of his grandmother and wears her purple bandana on his belt when he performs. She died several years ago but his love continues. I was standing and swaying my arms the entire time he was on stage and a man came over and gave me a hug and said I was amazing. Funny
    Prayers for Jill and Larry as they continue to heal and share.
    Prayers for Robert and his new church as they learn about the symbols found in the Bible.
    Prayers for Mary and her memories of her parents.
    Prayers for healing for Andrea, Connie, Erich, and Marcy.
    Prayers, blessings warm hugs and thank you dear UR faithful

  • Mary August 25, 2019, 8:34 am

    When I’m able to make someone happy or feel better about themselves, it makes me feel good inside.

  • Martin Armstrong August 25, 2019, 8:38 am

    I have been to Guatemala 13 times helping to lead short term mission teams and encouraging young Guatemalans in their efforts to carve out a future for themselves. God’s blessing becomes real to me in the smiles and thank yous that sincerely express gratitude for relief from their daily struggles. God is faithful in blessing unselfish efforts to relieve stress and suffering.

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