Daily Guideposts for Women
   Devotion for Friday , May 17, 2013
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Selection Taken From:
Daily Guideposts: 365 Spirit-Lifting Devotions for Women by & Guideposts Ed.s

Experience the comfort and guidance offered each day in 365 Spirit-Lifting Devotions for Women. Designed to lift up your spirit, each devotion begins with a Scripture followed by an inspiring story written by women of different ages and backgrounds. They conclude with a brief quotation from a poetic woman. Best-known as America's favorite storyteller, Guideposts stories emphasize the power of faith in the lives of ordinary people. Coypright 2011.

May 17

While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

- — Luke 24:51–52

When our family lived in Germany, we were surprised that Ascension Thursday was a national holiday. Glad to have a break from our workday routine, we packed a picnic lunch and headed through the wald (the forest) to a park. There, to celebrate Himmelfahrt (heaven-going), a kite-flying festival was under way.
     Brightly colored kites filled the sky like floating jewels, fluttering, dipping, soaring. As we strolled through the park, we found our gaze constantly turning upward. What a perfect way to celebrate the Ascension—the sky that had received Jesus was now adorned with banners of victory!
     I had never thought much about the Ascension before, but I began pondering what the disciples experienced that day. How could they possibly have “returned to Jerusalem with great joy”? I think I would have felt devastated to see Jesus leave.
     They must have believed His promise to be with them always and give them the power of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the sight of Him ascending gave them a glimpse of their heavenly home with Him. Maybe they thought, This earthly life is not all there is. Someday we will be with Him again!
     So they went to Jerusalem with joyful expectation. And God gave them His Spirit as He promised. Those who formerly had huddled full of fear in a locked room boldly proclaimed the gospel “to the ends of the earth.” Through all that assailed them, He was with them. No matter what they endured, wherever they went, they were on a journey home to be with Him.
     Here in the United States, Ascension Thursday is a normal workday. Yet for me, it can be a reminder to seek renewal in the Holy Spirit and, like the disciples, find courage for my own journey.

I’ll be submerged in work today, Lord, but please help me focus
on You and remember that You are with me always.

—Mary Brown

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