January 22, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

As I sat in the comfy chair I call my “prayer chair,” my attention was drawn to the winter-bare tree in my front yard. The sky had just begun to lighten with the first hints of the soon-rising sun, and  I noticed a bird perched on a branch. At first I didn’t pay much attention, because I was involved in going through my prayer list. But then the little bird shivered. Something inside me went, “Aaawwwww, the poor thing!”

I continued down my prayer list, but I kept my eye on that huddled, trembling figure. The sky grew brighter, and the tree branch the bird clung to swayed with cold gusts. As I watched, it seemed to pull its little head farther into the shelter of its fluffed-up feathers, just like I draw down inside the collar of my jacket when I’m out in the frigid weather. I found myself distracted over and over from my prayers, concerned for that poor creature.

And then the sun rose above the eastern horizon. Its rays lit up my front yard, and the tree, and the bird. But something wasn’t right. I got out of my chair and pressed my nose against the window for a closer look. Turns out my ‘bird’ was nothing but a dead leaf, still clinging stubbornly to the bare branch.

I enjoyed a good laugh, and made a mental note to have my eyeglass prescription updated in the near future. When I returned to my chair and my unfinished prayer list, a thought nagged at me. How often do I become distracted from the really important things in life? I blush when I consider how many times I’ve shut down my computer from hours of reading email to discover that my husband has fallen asleep, having spent much of the evening alone. Or picked up my daily Bible study and realized the last time I opened the book was two weeks ago. Or started to write a check to a worthwhile charity, only to realize I’ve already spent all my money on fast food and new clothes.

I’ve added a new item to the top of my prayer list. From now on, I’ll ask the Lord to shine His light on my day. Maybe in the light of the Son, I’ll be able to more clearly see what’s really important.

PRAYER: Lord, today please illuminate what’s important for me to see, and help me not to become distracted by anything else.

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” John 1:9 KJV.

Today’s devotion is by Virginia Smith, the author of over a dozen Christian novels and more than fifty articles and short stories. Her newest book, Third Time’s a Charm, is the satisfying conclusion to the Sister-to-Sister series. Learn more about Ginny and her books at

About Virginia Smith

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