The beloved 31-year-old father of two had battled a life-threatening lung disease for 11 years. He was critically ill the morning his newborn was to be baptized. The next day he would be traveling to Mayo Clinic for an experimental treatment. Every time they started for church, he had to lie down again. They finally arrived for worship two minutes before the service began. Afterwards, I asked him “How did you ever manage to be here through the entire service?” I will never forget his response: “I was strengthened just being here with my family, friends, and church. The weariness subsided, because I felt God’s presence everywhere I looked. God strengthened me through the faith of all of you. I knew everyone was praying for my family and me.”
A prayer for your day: Gracious God, we pray for all who are exhausted or hurting and in need of your renewing presence. Use us to speak your word of encouragement, mercy, and hope to them. Amen.
This message is adapted from “Renewed,” a devotion written by Rev. Mary Ann Moller-Gunderson for Women of the ELCA.