Daily Devotional

Joni Eareckson Tada’s inspirational daily devotionals are biblical insights that will enrich,
enlighten, and encourage you in your walk with Christ Jesus.

The Legacy of Mary Rose

"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in a few things….Come and share your Master’s happiness!" -Matthew 25:23

Just minutes before I was called up to the platform to address the overflowing convention, I met Mary Rose. She shuffled toward me, leaning on the arm of her escort, her gait stiff and her arm curled against her chest. I guessed she had cerebral palsy. She wore a tan cardigan over a yellow cotton dress. Nothing fancy. Her glasses sat askew on her nose. “Joni,” her escort said, “this is my friend Mary Rose, and she’s been waiting so long to meet you.” Mary Rose stretched out her rigid arm to greet me. Her body may have been stiff, but her smile was warm. She was excited to meet me, the person who had written the book which had meant so much to her decades earlier. “And Joni,” her escort said, “Mary Rose has something to tell you.”

“I-have-been-pray-ing-for-you-ev-ery-day,” she said with great effort, “ev-er-since-I-read-your-book.” Praying for me? Every day? I did some quick math in my head. Seven thousand times this woman had lifted me up to the Savior! I watched her shuffle away, back into the shadows, as I wheeled out into the light and the applause. But I didn’t feel important at that moment. God isn’t impressed by my books, paintings, speeches, and world travel. When it comes to “entering the Master’s happiness,” the highest accolades will go to godly people who have labored loyally yet received no recognition. Someday on the Other Side, when Mary Rose receives her magnificent reward, I’ll stand happily on the sidelines, cheering and applauding.

Do you ever feel that your service for Christ has been inconspicuous—hardly noticed by anyone? Be encouraged. Your reward has nothing to do with being bigger or better, well known or well watched. But it has everything to do with faithfulness.

Lord, empower me to serve you steadily and faithfully this day, this week, this year. Thank You for the promise of I Corinthians 15:58, that my “labor in the Lord is not in vain.”