Daily Bread Jan. 8

Love Is Like That
By Gary McDonald of Blue Springs, MO, USA

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. —Romans 15:13 NRSV

After eleven years of apartment living, our son Ryan decided to buy a house. Historically low interest rates and his need for more living space encouraged him to invest. We volunteered to help him move. In our eagerness, we failed to consider our age, lack of physical fitness, the condition of our car, the cost, the distance to Ryan’s new home, and even the weather. Love is like that.

Later, we wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew. In late summer, we knew Paducah, Kentucky, would be rainy or blazingly hot and humid. Neither condition would be comfortable for physical work. While driving the 400-mile trip, we prayed for the physical strength to do the work, that our journey would be safe, and that all would go smoothly.

We arrived late that afternoon and began working immediately. We rented a truck and began moving our son’s possessions. We did not realize how much he could pack into a one-person apartment and a storage unit. When we finished, we had worked nonstop at least 12 hours. The day exhausted us.

Several days later, while driving home, we realized the answer to each prayer concern. Clouds had covered the sun, but neither the rain nor sun had bothered us. We had the stamina to endure the entire workday. The car performed safely and without mechanical problems. God is good. Love is like that.

Prayer for Peace

Generous God, thank you for being like you are. Thank you for not considering all the obstacles in the way of blessings. Thank you that love is the common thread that unites us in peace.

Spiritual Practice: Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart

Open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breathing slow and deepen. Be aware of God’s breath moving in and out of your heart. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. Let your heart expand to contain God’s gracious outpouring of love. With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.

Peace Covenant

Today, God, I will respond to a need with the faith that I can, and not look for reasons I cannot.

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