Lenten Devotional for Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lectionary readings for todayponder rock

Morning: Ps. 43 and 149
Jer. 13:1–11
Rom. 6:12–23
John 8:47–59
Evening: Ps. 31 and 143

3. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me and guide me.
7. I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities.
-from Psalm 31 (KJV)

I grew up in a small rural area on a struggling dairy farm. I, my brothers and sister attended the same small elementary school where we were all taught by the same 1st grade teacher. She had crinkly blue eyes that had laughed a lot; and she delighted in our accomplishments. As fate would have it, her daughter and I became best friends. We were typical kids, always at each other’s houses, becoming part of each other’s families. When we were in our mid 20’s, we received news that her mother had a particularly aggressive form of liver cancer. Upon hearing this, I came completely unglued and was so distraught and devastated. I couldn’t imagine this kind lady who had become a 2nd mother to me dying from something so terrible. The doctors had given no hope; only removing a part of her liver would give her any chance at all, and no doctor in eastern Tennessee was able to do it. I pretty much fell to my knees then and there and began to pray. I stayed there all night; crying and begging God not to take this person from me.

About a week later I heard from my friend that a surgeon in Pennsylvania was coming out of retirement just to do her surgery. Seems her doctor knew him and called to ask for advice. When the surgeon heard about her case, he called her immediately and they began planning the trip to Pennsylvania. The surgery was a success! She still died from the cancer, but was in remission for several years and was able to see 5 of 6 of her grandchildren born and when she did die, she was ready.

I had always known I could pray about things. But when I heard she would live, I sat in stunned amazement at how powerful and merciful God can be. Over the years, I have thanked him many times for this blessing he gave to me, my friend and her family.

Merciful God, thank you for being there for us every day and granting us answered prayers, and comfort in the worst of times.


Leslie Brown

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