Devotional by Marilyn Starzer

A dear friend of mine Marilyn Starzer shared this devotional with me, and I wanted to share it with others. I know you will be blessed as I was. Marilyn is the author of the newly published book, Sometimes We Have No Choice. Please watch for it on my blog, I will be reviewing it in the future. Thank you Marilyn for sharing this!

I have relied on certain scriptures for years, especially the following one. It has allowed me to tackle some projects I really wasn’t qualified for. Philippians 4:13 states ” I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” James 1:22 states “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”I John 5:14 & 15 “If we ask according to His will, He hears us and if He hears us we know that we have what we asked”. I would like to share with you about once when I had to rely all of them..
The church we attended in Anchorage, Alaska asked for volunteers to start a craft class at the local nursing home teaching knitting and crocheting. While I was no teacher or expert in either, I knew how to do both and thought I could be a helper. I had no idea the challenge a nursing home presents but there were 5 volunteers that Sunday so I would not be alone. When the day arrived only 4 of us attended with 2 leaving right away due to the atmosphere. However, 5 women patients had shown up hoping for a class. The following week I arrived with materials to find I was the only one who had returned. The expectant looks on the ladies faces convinced me I had to do the best I could. I several times asked God to please get me out of this but I guess the answer was no. The challenges were numerous; a lady who had gone blind and wanted to learn how to knit by feel, several who loved to try to put something over on me from hiding supplies to tales of stolen false teeth to a gentleman who played the accordion and continually disrupted the class wanting the ladies to dance with him, even me. Many times I told God, “You got me into this so please give me the help you promised.” Several projects were completed when a young man from Kodiak informed me he was an artist and would like to paint. I contacted my art guild and they supplied easels, canvases and paint. Then I had an art class, also with several more joining who wanted to learn. Again, I was not a teacher and a novice myself but we muddled through and they did some nice work so I requested a flat for them at our next art show. A couple of the better ones sold and the Guild bought the rest.. Since they had all sold, the following week I had a class of ‘Rembrandts’ being led by an amateur. One amputee due to diabetes, wanted to do a still life of flowers for her daughter. I had never done either but again muddled through all the time petitioning God to guide me as He knew I couldn’t do it alone. We finished it then she wanted to do another for her son. Hoping she only had 2 children, I helped her get it sketched and about a third finished when the next week she was not in class. I inquired and was informed she had passed away. I had to cancel class that day and go home but I showed up the following week and continued for 5 years.
I tell you all this to tell you they taught ME some very valuable lessons: the accordion player taught me to enjoy life no matter what your circumstances, the two mischievous ladies taught me to laugh and make your own fun, the blind lady taught me not to stop trying and do the best with what I had and the diabetic lady taught me to give whatever I could and not feel sorry for myself. I was able to show them God’s faith and love. I DID come to love them all and I believe what I learned there enabled me to deal with the events coming in my own family. I am so glad I didn’t let my lack of confidence or faith cheat me out of the lessons and friendships.
2Chronicles 16:9 states:”For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
I believe this and Hebrews 10:23 states:” Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful.”

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