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Limitation or Blessing?

The next day, as they were nearing the city, Peter went up on the flat roof of his house to pray. It was noon and he was hungry, but while lunch was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the sky open, and a great canvas sheet, suspended by its four corners, settle to the ground. In the sheet were all sorts of animals, snakes and birds [forbidden to the Jews for food].

Then a voice said to him, "Go kill and eat any of them you wish."

"Never, Lord," Peter declared, "I have never in all my life eaten such creatures, for they are forbidden by our Jewish laws."

The voice spoke again, "Don't contradict God! If he says something is kosher, then it is."

The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was pulled up again to heaven.

Acts 10: 9-16 (TLB)

Peter told them, "You know it is against the Jewish laws for me to come into a Gentile home like this. But God has shown me in a vision that I should never think of anyone as inferior.

Acts 10:28 (TLB)

At 61, with a new degree, Linda Coggin, from British Columbia, Canada, was discouraged. She had not received the job she had applied for with great hope. But them Linda received a phone call from the monastery where she'd been on a waiting list for a retreat. They had an opening that very weekend.

The day Linda arrived, the scripture for the afternoon service was the story of Pete's unwillingness to visit Gentiles because he believed they were unclean. Linda wondered, What do I call profane that God blesses? As Linda walked the grounds that afternoon, she prayed this question over and over: What's holding me back? Lord, what do you bless that I don't?

As Linda sat in the chapel once again, God answered her question. It was her fear that she was too old for a new job, to begin again, that was holding her back from finding her new place of service and a way forward. She felt God encouraging her to move past her prejudice against her age to see new possibilities instead of only limitations. She was seeing age as a problem when God did not!

Linda lift the chapel with this question clearly in her mind: Can I look past my biases and see what God blesses in others and in me?

Prayer: Dear God, help us to face what we falsely see as obstacles that hold us back from your service, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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