Daily Devotional for September 8, 2022

Every Sunday morning as I stand in front of the congregation, I take attendance in my head.  It’s easy to do because our members have come to believe if they sit in a different pew, they will spontaneously explode.
This means, after all these years, when I see an empty seat, I know who to track down.  And just for the record, tracking them down is the appropriate term.  There’s no mercy here.
Many of our members, when they can’t come in person, worship with us online.  I’m good with that as long as they still send in their offering.
Last Sunday, I noticed Tiffany’s family was not in their usual place.  This was very disturbing to me because every Sunday, my goal is to keep Frank awake through the entire sermon.
Twelve minutes after the benediction, I got the following text from Tiffany.  “The boys’ allergies are very bad today.  Gabriel is worst with swollen eyes and sneezing.  So, we opted to stay home with them.  But just an FYI, Frank stayed awake through your whole sermon.”
Praise God for small victories!  Even though Frank had to worship from home, he stayed awake.  I couldn’t be happier.
This got me thinking.
While most of the world may see this as a small victory, remember, life is full of small victories that add up.
A successful marriage is defined by a husband and wife, who every day chose to put their spouse’s needs before their own.
A successful parent understands that consistency in love, nurture, and discipline are key in raising children.
A successful education happens when a student studies on a consistent basis and doesn’t try to cram a semester’s worth of learning into the night before the final exam. 
A successful career happens when you show up day after day, putting your shoulder to the grindstone and pushing when it is easy and when it is not.
And most importantly, a successful spiritual life happens when you chose to give yourself to the One who matters most, not only on the day of your baptism, but every day after.
Jesus tells of a woman who has ten silver coins and loses one.  She searches and searches until she finds it.  And when she does, she calls all her neighbors to celebrate with her.  Jesus says, “Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”  (Luke 15:10)
We may look at the billions of people on our planet and say one person repenting is not that big a deal.  It’s a small victory.  But that small victory means everything to God. 
While you may see yourself as small and insignificant, you mean everything to God.  In fact, God would rather die than live without you.  
You are no small victory for God.  You are God’s everything.
Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me remember that every day I am faithful, is a huge victory that is celebrated in heaven.  Guide my steps on your path.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.
Frank stayed awake last Sunday.  That’s a victory.  Now all I have to do is make sure he sent in his offering.  He’s pretty good about that so I think we are probably okay.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins