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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Mary C. Earle

Saturday, May 9

I have been sustained by you ever since I was born.
—Psalm 71:6

I have a friend who is a painter; Fernando paints huge canvasses using stunning abstract forms. Now in his 70s, he has suffered from some vascular problems. A few years ago, he had to have a procedure in which a cardio-vascular surgeon created a bypass in his leg, thereby vastly improving the circulation.

When Fernando began to recover from his surgery, he asked me to come to see him. He had been plagued with anxiety. He was fearful that his leg would not heal, and that he would not be able to paint because he would not be able to stand. He is wise enough to know that he was in the grip of many fears, some old, some new. We prayed, and I anointed him for healing.

Several days later, Fernando asked me to come see him again. He had had a kind of spiritual awakening.

I realized that for all of these years I have been standing on this leg, doing what I love, and I never thanked God for my leg. Not once. I simply took it for granted. All of a sudden I saw that I have not thanked God for this body which has made it this far. Even with the problems with my veins, all of the other parts are working. So I have started saying "thank you for my leg," and also "thank you for my lungs, for my heart, for my eyes."

Fernando had stepped through that threshold of knowing that he had been sustained by God ever since he was born. Even though he was not fully healed, Fernando had been granted a different perspective. His fears were not completely gone, but they were held within the sturdy container of deep, true gratitude.

Eventually, he returned to his painting. And he continued to pray, "Thank You for my leg, for my heart, for my life."

Beloved God, may I come to know the myriad ways in which You sustain my life, moment to moment. And may I have the heart to offer sustenance to those in need. Amen.

The Signposts for May originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.