Daily D – Romans 15:5
Romans 15:5 “May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
You at your best is not a result of a good night’s sleep or your favorite morning beverage. You at your best is the result of God’s transforming grace.
I have the appointment today that I look forward to putting behind me each year. My annual physical is necessary and important and a bit uncomfortable. My new doctor sent a note saying to fast so that we can do lab work. My former doctor, now retired, said I could drink black coffee the way God intended before these labs. The new doctor, and she is very young, said I can only have water.
This means I am not yet at my best today. I will survive. I will not complain. I will not drive straight to Starbucks upon leaving the doctor’s office.
I will submit to the discomfort. I will ponder why the lab results are not completed in advance of the appointment so that we can have a full discussion today and not have to bother with follow-up communication by email, voicemail, and messages via the medical group’s app.
These are not complaints, merely observations. They may or may not relate to the absence of my favorite dark roast and healthy snack.
I will look around the doctor’s office when I arrive this morning and see how many other people haven’t yet had their coffee. It’s easy to tell. Most of them have to say something about this desperate condition. I will smile to myself and press on to endure the long moments separating me from the kindness made possible by coffee.
How good is our God? First, he gives us coffee. The Brits can have the tea. Tea is fine when it is refreshingly chilled on a summer’s day. It is welcome when heated and mixed with herbs to comfort winter stuffiness. Coffee, whether dark roast or medium, is the elixir of life.
Second, patience, encouragement, and harmony are possible in spite of a lack of coffee. This is truly supernatural. As far as it depends on me, coffee helps make these three attributes possible. As far as it depends on God, he makes these attributes possible in spite of a lack of coffee, an empty tummy, and a roomful of people on the brink of angry outbursts.
I will experience patience, encouragement, and harmony because of the inflow and overflow of the good, good grace of God.
Our Father, we often blame too little of this or a lack of that for our problems. Transform our thinking and behaving by your grace so that we may reflect your goodness whether or not we have had our morning coffee and daily bread. Fill us with your Holy Spirit. Empower us for every moment. Overflow our lives with kindness. May others discover in us the building blocks of true harmony when we are at our best and when we feel like we are not quite up to it. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.