Sometimes I feel very discouraged about the state of the church in today’s world. It sometimes seems as though most people are indifferent to God’s word.
I was once one of those indifferent people. Although I had grown up attending and participating in church, when I was a young adult, I only showed up in church on Christmas and Easter, usually at my parents’ behest. The rest of the time, I didn’t give much thought to who God wanted me to be or whether I was living according to God’s word. I was too busy trying to live according to what I wanted and who I wanted to be.
Like many people, I came back to the church when I had children. But I still wasn’t terribly committed. I didn’t think about God much between Sundays—unless, of course, I needed something! Then I was quick to ask God for it in prayer.
As I said in today’s devotional, I just happened to pick up The Upper Room at church and began to read the stories of faith every day. It dawned on me that maybe there was a different way to live, a way of commitment and faith. I also began reading the Bible passages that went with the stories, and for the first time their truths began to really sink in. I started highlighting the passages in my Bible with colored markers so I could find them again quickly. Because of my new outlook, I became more active at church, seeking to become Jesus’ hands and feet in the world. I volunteered to help with services, attended classes and Bible studies, taught Sunday school, and delivered meals to church members who were sick or unable to leave home.
Ironically, when I began highlighting each day’s verse, I used my old Bible that I had received in confirmation class as an eighth grader. I chose it because I didn’t want to mark up a newer Bible. Today as I glance through the pages of this old book—it’s 57 years old now—I marvel at the rainbow colors of my markers on so many pages. Without realizing it, I’ve read much of the Bible, just through reading The Upper Room’s daily devotional stories! God truly works in mysterious ways.
I’m certainly not a perfect Christian, but I am one who’s trying hard to follow Christ. When so much of the world is indifferent to or actively trying to undermine God’s word, I’m so grateful I’ve been able to read it daily in the pages of The Upper Room.