Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/9/2023: Psalm 23

Today please be in prayer for

Andover UMC
Wichita East District
Arkansas City UMC
Wichita East District
Arkansas City Grandview UMC
Mount Hope (Ark City) UMC
Wichita East District
Augusta: First UMC
Wichita East District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
    he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.

Today's Devotional

It was a Wednesday morning, and as I got ready for the day I wondered where God might use me in the day ahead. Later at the hospital’s north information desk a woman came in and set her small tote bag and manila envelope on the end of the long desk. She looked like she knew what she was doing so I went back to direct others coming in and standing in front of me.

Pretty soon I glanced back at the woman and her demeanor had changed. She was looking a bit panicky. I went to her and asked if I could help. Turned out she was having outpatient surgery and she had not intended to be alone that morning. Her husband had had emergency surgery the evening before and clearly could not accompany her. Now she could not find her phone. I mentioned it must be a pretty scary time. She was beside herself.

Finally, we walked out to the parking garage together. She thought the phone must be in her car. She could not remember where she had parked but using her key fob we tried to locate the car. In a few minutes she cried, “I have to go in. I’m already late.” We did. I made another trip as she registered and was escorted to her procedure. I promised I would find her phone and get it to her. In a little while I donned my coat and gloves and went back to the garage. I could hear the horn; I could not locate the car. It seemed to move every time I would get close. I tried two or three more times. Still no success.

My next move was to call my husband. This was right up his alley! He came to the hospital and set out to locate the care. About 15 minutes later he returned with the phone in his hand. The car was in a place I had not even thought to investigate. What a joy it was to take the phone to the surgery nurse on the second floor so it could be given to the woman!

Verses of Psalm 23 come to my mind as I reflect on this episode. This Psalm is calming to me. The words, “for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me” offer a sense of peace. The woman needed the sense of peace that the images of green pastures and still waters provide. 

 Whether or not the woman knew God’s restoring love, she clearly needed a special dose of it that morning. I got to be the channel for God’s love to reach her in that scary time. As I helped her, I was being used by God to touch someone. This turned out to be a place God needed me that day. I do not know the end of the story, but for a brief segment of it I got to be a channel for God’s caring presence. What a privilege to be used in such a way. I wonder where God will need me this day?
-- Dianne Tombaugh, retired deacon

Prayer for Reflection

Caring Shepherd, thank you for the opportunities to share love in and with the world through my actions. Help me be aware of chances to serve on this day. Amen.


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