≡ Menu

Message of Hope

Today’s Reflection

I SEE MORE now when I pay attention, which I often do not, and I am more overwhelmed by beauty that I now realize has nothing to do with me at all—except as it brings me half-understood messages of God’s goodness and love. Two sights from my adult past I remember now. The first is a huge oak tree outside my floor-to-ceiling window before my daughter was born. It was covered with dark red leaves of such an intensity that their red color and shapes reflected off the white walls of the apartment where I lived. It was truly astonishing and it hardly seemed possible, but there it was. Through that tree I received an obscure message of hope and beauty at a place in my life that seemed so hopeless I was not sure I could survive it.

—Roberta C. Bondi, Wild Things: Poems of Grief and Love, Loss and Gratitude (Upper Room Books, 2014)

Today’s Question

What might God want you to notice today as a message of hope?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.”
—Psalm 33:22 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, As you draw us closer to you, draw us closer to each other. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Who came up with the idea of using nativity scenes to celebrate Christmas? Many might be surprised to learn that Francis of Assisi, the well-known thirteenth-century saint, is credited with creating the first nativity scene. The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis introduces readers to Saint Francis and his joyous reenactment of the birth of Jesus, complete with a manger and animals. Discover more.

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

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jill November 14, 2019, 4:25 am

    God would want me to be aware of His constant presence. The assuredness of His steadfastness and comfort. While feeling overloaded by papers to grade and feeling rushed – to just step into His stillness.
    I have an appointment with my spiritual advisor this afternoon. And while my time seems at a premium now as I have so much schoolwork – this sacrifice will be worth it. Much to process following another funeral, and the upcoming holidays. Dad comes home in a few days.
    Grateful to attend my god son’s basketball scrimmage last night and it was less than five minutes from my church. So, despite being tired – a double blessing – seeing him play and then my small group study.
    Julie – I continue to pray for good results with the new meds and rejoice with you that thus far the majority of the side effects have remained at bay. Mary – may God continue to bless you and your students through each others interactions.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 14, 2019, 4:48 am

      Thank you Jill!

      May God grant you strength for the tasks ahead, Jill!

      God is our ever present help and hope!

      God would want me to notice that no matter what happens, He is still in control.

      Blessings!

  • Robert Moeller November 14, 2019, 6:44 am

    Much awaited appointment with mental health provider happened yesterday.
    Was on the road for much of the day, appointment lasted an hour and a half,
    I think much was accomplished, more to do before treatment begins. That surely is a sign of hope. God wants me to remember the two people who helped me using the subway. They helped me get back to the bus station for the ride home. It has been 45 years since I last rode the the subway in Boston to Boston University.

    Prayers for Jill grading papers, helping others, Dad soon to be home. Thankful that Julie’s new meds are working and side effects are not present.
    Prayers for safety and problem resolution. Blessings to Mary as she works with students, thankful she is out of the hospital and at home.

    Most definitely God is with us always. I am thankful for that. I’m sustained every day by God.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 14, 2019, 6:42 pm

      Robert, so glad that you finally had your appointment with the mental health provider yesterday.

      Thank you for your prayers and blessings!

      May God bless you and Erich abundantly!

  • Lou November 14, 2019, 7:21 am

    Surely- God is always with us. We only need to pay attention and take notice and see that He is right beside us. Thank you God

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 14, 2019, 6:49 pm

      Emmanuel!

      May we draw closer to God each day and may God bless you and your family, Lou!

  • Julie November 14, 2019, 8:25 am

    I would say that God wants me to notice His presence, notice His words of relief for burdens, notice His offer of peace. He would have me notice Advent season and the joy of Christmas.
    The meds contiinue at night only and with no discernable side effects. They also have had no noticable effect. I worry about the risk of blindness.
    Prayers for Jill and her feelings of stress. I admire your ability to put thoughts of the school work aside to be present for you godson and bible study group.
    Prayers for Mary and her God given talent of teaching. Your hard work and dedication to your students are showing results. Congratulations to you and your student.
    Prayers for Robert and the success he found with the long awaited mental health appointment and the new caregiver. May the actual treatment begin soon.
    Prayers for Lou and her children.
    Prayers and thank you UR

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 14, 2019, 6:36 pm

    Thanks Julie!

    So glad that your new medicine is effective.

    May God bless you with good health and many joyful moments with Megan.

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: