Best Lists Ever

Monday, August 2, 2021
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Listen while you read: "Grace Greater Than Our Sin"1 (Lyrics)

We often travelled by skin boat (called a umiak) when visiting our family's tin mine in the White Mountains in Alaska, USA. The boats were made of walrus hide stretched over a framework. In my first year of life, wrapped completely in sealskin, I was lactose intolerant and screamed and threw up that entire nightmare trip up the Yukon River. The incessant bawling took its toll on any adult nerve. Back then allergies were a different story.

When we reached the mine, my father threw the howling bundle that was me, from the heaving umiak into the arms of indigenous workers on the riverbank. "I couldn't tell which end of the bundle was screaming, " my father would chuckle in his retelling, "Not that it mattered." It was just a casual throw, but someone waded out from shore and grabbed me in time. Was there just a moment of hesitation before I was caught, an opportunity instead to drop my relentless noise into those icy, arctic waters? I've sometimes wondered, as it became one of his favourite stories.

Dad's most beloved poet was Robert Service. Shortly before my father died, when he found out that my writing was included in a northern mystery anthology along with Service, he told me how proud he was of me. "And to think that a daughter of mine would be included with the greatest poet who ever lived!"

But we can never doubt the love of our Father God, Who cares for each of us as though we were the only one He had to care for. The apostle Paul is specific about that care at the end of Romans 8, making two lists of ten items each, covering every single thing that might make us think that God doesn't love us anymore, or cause us to be afraid or anxious. I've always found that every pain and suffering that I've ever experienced is included:

Romans 8:35,38-39 – Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (AMPC)

God, our heavenly Father, can do everything but fail. May we begin to count exclusively on His love as we encounter some of the many possibilities that Paul lists.

Prayer: Dear Father God, help us to rest continually in Your love and find the peace that You offer in this world which You have created and which You control with power and wisdom. Keep us believing and living in that love, available to all of us who call upon You as our Father. Help us in times of affliction and tribulation to turn to You for strength to go on. Make our faith and our love stronger as we walk with You through this world today. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for a lovely story and a good challenge.

    You inspire me, Rose. You are a fine lady. God bless you.

    Amen Rose!
    God’s Love covers everything!

    Great message Sharon.
    Thank you for sharing.
    (QC, CANADA)

    Thanks for sharing another interesting life experience, Rose. Be blessed as you bless others.

    Thank you, Rose, for this good reminder of NO SEPARATION… EVER! I am His and He is mine.

    Rose, praise the Lord that you continue to exercise the skills in your arsenal to uplift and enlighten grateful readers.

    Thank you for encouraging me today with the two lists from Romans that Paul said could not separate us from the love of Christ!

    Thank you for your story and strong witness in relation to Romans 8 which is one of the best chapters for us to read regularly. Blessings.

    Oh Rose, I’m glad you were caught so you could be here to share your experiences and life lessons with us. God truly has had His loving hand on your life! Blessings.

    This is a wonderful story and the encouraging message behind it. So descriptive. Thank you for sharing.
    Stay safe. God bless you and your family.

    Though I know the story, I still shudder when I read it. However, the message in today’s devotional is very relevant. You were caught, as we all are.

    Thank you Rose for the gift of your writing and message of God’s unfailing love. What a nice surprise to see a story from you. I feel blessed.

    What an interesting, humorous, and poignant account leading into the strong testimony of your “Best Lists Ever.” Strengthening to our hearts to continue our walk of faith. Thank you.

    Dear Rose! Isn’t it so wonderful that God is our Father and loves us forever! Regardless of what anyone else thinks of us, The God of the universe knows and loves us and has claimed us as His own! There is no greater security than that. Oh, how He loves you and me! Thank you for your stories! They are powerful!

    Amen Rose,
    Thank you for this wonderful reminder of the unending, unchanging, and unbelievable love of God. Through life’s ups and downs we need to be reminded regularly of the height, width, and depth of God’s love, and you have done that beautifully.
    Peace to you on this day Rose.

    Thank you Rose from the bottom of my heart your wise council has come at the very precise time I needed to hear it. God truly does work through the hands of his children. May God richly bless you and yours!
    The story was very captivating, I don’t blame you for wondering about that split second, we’ve all been there. Have a wonderful day!

    Dear Rose,
    You definitely have had a very interesting life right from the beginning. I am amazed by all the things you have done, accomplished, endured …
    In comparison I have lived a very routine life with no huge accomplishments, perils, or heartache. I do know that I pull closer to God when going through the more difficult times and I try to remember to be in conversation with God in the good times also, but I definitely feel his comfort and love more when I need it. I am grateful that I was brought up in a Christian home so that I did not have to go searching it was at my doorstep to know and grab hold. I am grateful that I married a good man who came from a religious background.
    Thank you for continuing to share your wisdom and learning and that you definitely feel God’s love in your life whatever he gives you to work through. May you have many blessings as you continue your journey.

    Your writing has always stood out for me! Thanks,

    Thanks for sharing Rose.
    Nothing can compare to God’s love for us, and nothing can separate us from Him.
    Glory. Blessings.


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