woman praying with sunset in background

When we are enjoying the end of a beautiful sunset, we would do well to turn 180 degrees and check out the afterglow in the eastern skies, which is often as lovely to behold as the sunset itself.

At the end of an uplifting, though often exhausting, LWML Pacific Southwest District Convention, there is also a beautiful afterglow as we, on our way home, reflect the beauty of the Lord with whom we have spent such wonderful moments. The blessings we have received spill over to bless those we encounter.

Our trio experienced this most emphatically, and twice, within a couple of hours of the convention’s closing worship. What we thought was a frustrating development — a dead battery in our car in the parking garage — created opportunities to share the love of God. While waiting for AAA to arrive with our needed help we had lunch in the casino — and asked our waitress if we could pray for her. She was very touched and requested prayers for her daughter who was facing health issues and surgery. Beyond our prayers, we were able to offer specific encouragement, as one of our group had a child go through the very same challenge. Then when we got to the car and met the AAA technician, we again asked if we could pray for her. She, too, teared up and shared some very personal challenges her family was facing. Along with our prayers with and for her, our group again had some very specific experiences we could share showing the hope God gives and some specific steps to get her the help she needed. The three of us were blown away that the Lord would lead us to those in need immediately following the richness and beauty of the convention. While we may never know how things turned out for these two women, we will never forget the warmth and joy this afterglow provided for us.

Be encouraged, be brave, be ready — share the afterglow of the time you spend with Jesus!

PS: We especially treasured these experiences as we crawled south on I-15 amid the throngs of those leaving Las Vegas, as it took us over 8 hours to get to San Diego!

Devotion:

He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:41–42 NIV).

Talk about “afterglow” — just think of how the people who met Jesus after his resurrection were glowing! Are we not also those “who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead”? Do we not partake of Jesus’ body and blood during the sacrament of Holy Communion? So, therefore we too are commanded to “preach to the people and to testify.” We may not have seen Jesus face-to-face but we have the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us in all things. Praise God for these everyday opportunities to share our glowing faith with a stranger in our midst!

Prayer:

Dear Father in Heaven,

How can we ever thank you enough for the gift of “mountaintop experiences” where we feel so much closer to you? Help us to understand that when we are in fellowship with each other, reading Your Word, sharing the Lord’s Supper, and singing your praises, it’s so much easier to feel close to you. When we leave your house,   send your Holy Spirit so that we might be bold to share those experiences with others. Please continue to remind us that, while we are basking in the glow of the Son-rise, others are suffering in darkness. Embolden us to bring peace and comfort to those around us through the message of your saving grace. Amen.

Linda Koch
Pacific Southwest District

We would love to hear YOUR stories! Please send them our way at depgo@lwml.org.

Thanks from the Gospel Outreach Committee!