Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Saves"1 (Lyrics)
Revelation 19:1-7 (selected) – Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. Amen, Hallelujah! Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! (NIV)
I awoke on Saturday night close to 12:00 a.m. with sharp pain in a tooth. After forcing aspirin chips into a tiny cavity that I had previously not known existed, I slept until 6:00 a.m. when pain awoke me. More aspirin chips got me active and through church service on Sunday. Then again at midnight, and again at 6:00 a.m. Monday, I had to force aspirin chips into the tight place, ever so thankful that they worked.
Then it dawned on me that this was the third Monday in February, Louis Riel Day, a Manitoba provincial holiday! I checked with my usual dental office, and prayed when I got an answering machine: "Closed Monday" — then I breathed again when I heard emergency numbers that relayed me, through another dentist, eventually to my usual dentist, and I heard, "Will you meet me at the office at 10:00?" "For sure!"
On this dentist's Riel holiday, he did the work of both dental assistant and dentist while interspersing "Open" and "Close" with his singing of words from the Hallelujah Chorus, which he said (in response to my muffled appreciation) he had sung for a number of performances through the years in the Centennial Concert Hall in nearby Winnipeg. Soon the first stage of a root canal was completed. I drove home feeling very thankful to God while hallelujahs echoed, replacing pain.
Sometimes, people might ask, "What difference does it make if a person is a Christian?"
It can make all the difference in the world. It can spell, "Do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12) — even on a holiday! It can denote, "Sing to the Lord a new song (or an old song made new), for he has done marvelous things" (Psalm 98:1). It can mean, "In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:6). And "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). Through answered prayer, it can sometimes (according to God's will) even mean life or death for a person who prays or is prayed for. It means security for time and for eternity: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). It means that you can "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16) — as did this dentist.
Let us dare always to ask God for His best, then express our heartfelt thanks to Him.
Prayer: Dear God, who lives and reigns in heaven and in us Your people forever, please accept our thanks for Your presence and power in our lives. Praise and glory be to You. Amen.