THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Thursday, September 13 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. -Psalm 103:3 (GNT) I have healed beautifully from a six-hour surgery to remove a benign lump from my left jaw. There is not the slightest scar. Watching my face heal reminded me of other illnesses I have survived, starting in childhood: mumps and measles, chicken pox and whooping cough, strep and flu, and a rare blood disease that almost took my life in the first grade. I look at my arms and hands. From a lifetime of working on cars and pruning trees, my arms have been bruised, burned, lacerated, punctured, crushed, sprained, and sliced to the bone many times over. Yet my arms look about as smooth and clean as they did fifty years ago. How clever of God to give us smart bodies with a self-healing app installed at birth! The wounds that bother me most, however, are the invisible wounds of the heart. Times when I was crushed by harsh criticism from bullies at school. Even worse is the shame I felt over my own careless words that hurt the people I love the most. “That’s where God’s grace comes in,” my daughter Natalie reminds me. “J know, and I’m grateful, but I would rather I had never said those things. “Don’t we all,” she says laughing. “But you learned something from your mistakes, and that’s important.” I look again at my arms. They are still strong and useful, after all the insults they have endured; and if my heart looks as good as they do, it’s only because of God’s healing grace. I thank You, father, for healing me within and without so that I might continue to be strong and useful to those who depend on me. -Daniel Schantz Digging Deeper: Psalm 131; 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 DAILY GUIDEPOSTS   A Political Indorsement (NOT) Proud and pleased as she could be, the petite young bride, Mrs. Stanford Summers, strode briskly up to the teller’s cage at the bank to cash her husband’s pay check for the first time. When the teller told her the check would have to be endorsed, the bride grabbed the pen and unhesitatingly wrote on the back: ‘I heartily recommend my husband, Mr. Stanford Summers.’