Devotional by Beth Green
Sometimes, it takes an outsider to remind you when you’ve got a good thing going. For instance, on a recent Sunday morning, my husband introduced our church to one of his business colleagues who was visiting from China. My husband invited his friend to the platform to share a few words with our West Virginia congregation. We just love it when company comes to visit, so we were all leaning in.
Nervously, the man approached the stage. He was kind, soft-spoken and humble. He began to express his gratitude for the opportunity to visit an American church. We smiled as he bowed with every “thank you.”
As our guest spoke of his experience with us so far, he mentioned that something caught his attention during his tour of our facility. You might find it interesting to know that it wasn’t the modern church architecture, the digital screens or the aviation themed decor. Ultimately, what would be most memorable for our foreign friend was our women’s restroom. (Yes, my husband is known for giving very thorough tours.)
No joke. The Ladies’ Room had left a mark. Our enchanted guest described it as “the best women’s restroom he had ever seen.” He noticed that “everything was so clean, and all the details were included for the women to be served.” “It was amazing,” he said with both a noticeable Chinese accent and a noticeable astonishment. As he shared his fascination with our congregation, a wave of laughter rolled throughout the auditorium. Our tourist just bowed again and again, while repeatedly saying, “thank you.”
It’s a cute story, but each time I think about it, I’m reminded that there are freedoms that we can sometimes take for granted. Those comforts that we become so easily accustomed to may only be a dream for our sisters in other parts of the world. I have gained enough of a global perspective to understand that placing value on womanhood is no laughing matter.
As he departed that day, our guest said, “I wish my wife could experience the women’s restrooms that you have here.” We were touched by his heart. He was so sincere.
Let this be a tap on the shoulder reminding all of us to be continually grateful for Devoted Conference. May we always appreciate our freedom to assemble. May we embrace our freedom to worship God as a Sisterhood. May we be found incredibly grateful, soaking up the environment that celebrates, empowers and champions us for who we are created to be – uniquely female. I am persuaded to not take these freedoms for granted. As I return to Virginia Beach year after year, I know I’ve got a good thing going.
Ladies, I’m looking forward to leaning in and receiving all I can from the environment that is being prepared, anticipating that every detail has been carefully prepared to serve and encourage us. Besides all that, the Spirit of God is going to be there! And wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Devoted Conference will be beautiful, and it will be amazing, and it will leave us astonished! And I’m also confident that the bathrooms will totally rock!
As we gather for Devoted 2019, my prayer is that we, as God’s daughters, would find freedom in more ways than one, that we would experience true beauty, and discover that God really does supply all that we need to be the women He has designed us to be. May Devoted 2019 leave us astonished.
…and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT)