Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Shall We Gather At The River"1 (Lyrics)
Writing devotionals from real-life situations and how they pertain to biblical Scripture in order to inspire and help us to gain a deeper understanding of God's love for us has been a passion of mine for a few years now. It hasn't always been like that.
I immigrated to Canada in 1957 from West Germany with my parents and brother. I was nine years old. We moved quite a few times during my life, and I guess that deep down inside, I regretted it, as I always had to make new friends, which was very hard at that time. When the kids found out that I had come from Germany, I became their target of literal insults. There came a time when I didn't want to tell anyone of my German heritage in order to avoid being bullied. As time went on, I became a victim of my surroundings, and I lashed out the only way I knew how. I was a troubled youth and hung around with the wrong crowd. I also rebelled by being a disturbance in class and not wanting to learn. I did not like geography or history or any other subjects that were taught. I never read any books that were assigned. I hated school. The telltale sign came when I looked at my report card. Back in those days, if you got a "D", "E" or "F", your parents' signature had to be on the report card. My parents never saw the report cards, because I forged their signatures. But I was found out at the end and got punished. And then one day, I met my husband-to-be. He was in grade 12 and I was in grade 9 — high school sweethearts, as they say. Things started to change then. We both attended the youth group in our church, and after some time, we got married. It was during that time that God was starting to tug at my heart, and I surrendered my life to the Lord.
It was when I went on a retreat and wrote a non-rhyming poem that the teacher suggested that I contact the PresbyCan Daily Devotional website to see what was needed in order to write a devotional. To my surprise, I was considered as a contributing writer of daily devotionals. With the help of Robin Ross, who began editing a daily devotional page on the Presbyterian Church website with contributors from around the world, to date, I have written over one hundred devotionals. I have received many e-mails from all over the globe, thanking me and letting me know how the devotional had come at the most appropriate time or how it had helped someone.
As I am writing this, I reflect on what has happened over the years and wonder why God chose someone like me to share His love with others all over the world.
Ephesians 3:7-12 – I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (NIV)
For some strange and unknown reason, God chose us, together, to spread His message of love to a world so desperately in need of reconciliation, forgiveness, and love. We are worthy in His sight.
Prayer: Loving God, even before we were formed in the womb, You knew how we would turn out. You see the hearts of individuals; we see only the outside. You see us as worthy, where sometimes, we see ourselves as failures. Thank You for loving us so much and for considering us worthy of Your calling. Amen.