When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person. Job 22:29

At dinner with two of my children the other night, I was grousing about my work, which I dearly love.  But COVID has completely changed the character of our ministries and limited us in so many ways.  Many countries where we work are shut down; teams can’t travel; and the needs have shifted.

In prayer the next morning, it occurred to me that I’m the director, and if I’m not happy with operations, I need to look in the mirror.  With repentance, I began praying for fresh inspiration and direction in moving forward, and the ideas began to flow.

At the office I met with one of the leaders to share my thoughts, and he heaped more possibilities onto my clipboard.  When I saw the bishop, he added to my growing thoughts for ministry and gave me permission to do a presentation to the staff.

After we finished Scripture reading and prayers in staff meeting, I reported about the intense hunger our partners around the world are experiencing; about two of our missionaries who are currently suffering with Covid in a Middle Eastern country with limited medical facilities; and about extreme poverty and needs we can only imagine.  I asked staffers to join us in prayer for these dear ones and invited them to go with us when the countries reopened.

After a few announcements, Bishop closed the meeting, and I walked out the door.  Our housekeeper caught up with me, grabbed my hand, and put something in it.  She looked intently into my face and said, “This is for where it’s most needed.”  I automatically thanked her but didn’t look down until I got to the hallway where I saw a hundred dollar bill.  I walked by my assistant’s office, and she said, “You’re not going to believe this,” and showed me a check from our receptionist for one hundred dollars. And, yes, I have thanked these dear ladies who could not comprehend how their generous spirits and sacrifices meant so much more than the gifts themselves.  They were the crowning touch of God’s encouragement.  (And three staff members asked to join mission teams.)

Father, thank you that you’ve placed us in the Church with sisters and brothers whom you use for your purposes. You ARE good–ALL the time. AMEN.


…When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.  Mark 16:4

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I was terrified.  I’d never been around anyone with cancer, and it wasn’t part of our family history.  I had no idea what to expect, but I knew it was a time to trust.

The surgery went well, and the doctors told me afterward that they thought they had gotten it all, but, of course, I knew there would be some sort of follow-up.  When we met the oncologist for the first time, he recommended chemotherapy—six long months.  My husband met the news with his typical pragmatic attitude wanting to know when to begin.

I didn’t know about cancer, but I certainly had heard horror stories about chemo and knew the side effects could be ghastly.  We asked the same people who had prayed for the surgery to now pray for chemo treatments.  And I prayed that I would be able to support Peter in spite of my own anxiety.

The first day of treatment was scheduled, and I did a lot of extra praying, especially for strength.  We walked in the door looking about to find seats.  Instead, we found Anne.  Anne was the head nurse for the clinic (I had no idea!), and she was a dear friend from our church prayer group.  “We’ve been waiting for you and praying,” was Anne’s greeting.  And so began six months of seeing a friend who we knew had been part of that great cloud of witnesses that are always there to support us through dark times.

I suspect those ladies who went to the tomb on Easter Sunday had hearts full of dread, perhaps not unlike my experience, just much more intense.  They knew what they had seen, and they anticipated the horror and grief they would encounter.  But even before they could minister to Jesus’ body, they had an almost insurmountable task:  Who would roll away the stone?

And how much time do we spend worrying about something that we fear will happen?  We reflect on past experiences thinking that this is going to be just the same—or worse.  We don’t always trust that God will go before us to lift that load.  Notice the order of events:  When they looked up…  Had their eyes been on the ground in their overwhelming sorrow?  Were they thinking of the impossibility of the situation?  WHEN they looked up…they saw the stone had already been rolled back.

The answer was there before they asked. 

Father, help us to look up when we’re bowed down, knowing that you have already met the need.  And thank you, too, Father, for healing Peter.  AMEN.


He restoreth my soul.  Psalm 23:3

Meditating today on the 23rd Psalm, I stopped at the third verse and thought about the restorations I’ve experienced through a long and interesting life.  And then I was reminded of Joel’s promise in verse 2:25, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…” 

As I juxtaposed the two verses informing restoration, it occurred to me that, while I have often felt regret over the years the locusts have eaten, there are so many other things that I feel gratitude for their disappearance.  Those hungry locusts devoured wounds, mistakes, bad choices, painful memories, and so much more that was part of those “years.”

All this time, I’ve been thankful for the restoration my soul has experienced in lieu of events that caused grief without ever seeing that the injuries have not just been pushed aside.  They have actually been destroyed, removed, eaten up so that my soul could be restored to newness of life.  And with that, goodness and mercy have followed and will follow me all the rest of my life.


Father, thank you for the blessing of meditating in your Word and for your Spirit that brings light and life.  AMEN.