Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I wanted to pass along something I received today as a devotional. Many of you may be like me and have read the Upper Room at some point every day for almost all your life. Being the geek that I am, I have the daily Upper Room Devotional emailed to me each day. I thought todays was really, really good and I really spoke to me. So, I wanted to pass this along to you and pray that it's a blessing to you as it has been to me

You can get this devotional mailed to you each day by clicking here


Fruits of the Compost Heap

Suggested Bible Reading

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God's gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him.

-Ecclesiastes 3:1-14 (NRSV)

Today's Scripture

[God] has made everything beautiful in its time.
-Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

I keep a compost pile and love to put things into it to ferment into clean, healthy soil. I put in vegetable scraps, old leaves, grass clippings, and even paper. Every few weeks, I stir the pile to make sure that all the content is turned over. When the heap is dry, I water it. Other than that, I do nothing but let natural bacteria do their job. After a few months, I find that my "garbage" has turned into rich, fresh soil for my garden.

Often something similar happens in my life. I have felt that things I did or did not do were wasted and fruitless. At times, I have been very hard on myself. But I realize that God is not as hard on me as I can be on myself. My great failures have been turned into something positive. God quietly works, and later, when I expect it least, I find wonderful new soil ready to nurture a new phase in my life. The rotten oranges and moldy leaves of my life -- my failures and shortcomings -- have been transformed, to give me a new perspective or stronger confidence.

We can always start again when we turn our will and life over to God and allow God's power to quietly work.

Sarah B. Joy (Indiana, USA)

Heavenly Father, we are weak and vulnerable. Help us to accept your guiding strength in our lives; and when we fail, help us trust you to use even that to teach us how to serve you more faithfully. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thought for the Day

God can use our failures to bring new growth.

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