Daily Devotional “The More Necessary Thing”

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Daily Devotional
Be different!
December 17, 2022

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“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.

Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

Philippians 1:21-24

My grandmother lived to be a ripe old age—so old, in fact, that as a teenager I wondered why God allowed her to linger in so much suffering.

Grandmother Landwehr had to leave her cherished home to come live with us. My sister, Jay, moved out of her bedroom and in with Kathy.

My siblings and I ran errands, read to her, and took on extra chores so that my mother would be free to tend to all the extra needs.

Grandmother Landwehr changed our family dynamics; my sisters and I became a lot less self-focused.

As my Lutheran grandmother lay in bed, she probably prayed, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.” But it was more necessary for us—my sisters and I—that she remain. Sometimes our suffering is mostly for the benefit of others. God did not “take my grandmother home” before he had taught us how to serve selflessly.

Was God only “using” my grandmother’s hardship for our benefit? Hardly!

Paul explains later in verses 25 and 26, “Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.”

God accomplished much in my life through Grandmom…and it’s all to her account.

Lord, help me to understand that my suffering can—and does—benefit others. Help me to see that’s the more necessary thing.

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