A good devotional book is a treasure. I pray often throughout my day. I read and often recite from memory the Scriptures I have learned as well. But I love the focus of a devotional book. I have an old one called "Daily Light", a compilation of Bible verses by Anne Graham Lotz. There is no commentary, just a hodge-podge of verses that kind of interrelate with each other. Nothing wrong with it - and it contains some of my favorite verses - but I rather like the devotionals that are written to inspire me to think, and encourage me for the day at hand.
My friend, Cathy Sells, often puts excerpts of her daily devotional reading on her FB wall, and I've enjoyed reading those. They're from a book called Jesus Calling. After my granddaughter Mary got saved, I was looking for a kid-appropriate devotional book, and was delighted to find that Jesus Calling has a kid-friendly version, and got that for her. She loved it - and hopefully is still reading from it.
The last few days have found me feeling a little weird about some things, and a couple of coincidental things have happened. The little cloud that sometimes hovers over me has blown my way a few times over the past couple of days, and I've felt a little weak at times. Though for the most part I have been feeling stronger, and encouraged, I also know that I'm not out of the woods yet. You just don't get over something like this in two or three months. When your world is flung from its axis, hurdling through time and space, crashing into things, it takes a while to harness it again, and secure order. For the most part, things are settling in and the surface waters have calmed. Every now and then, though, a volcano will erupt, lightning will strike, or an earthquake threatens to tip the balance of the universe. The cursed black cloud is never completely out of sight... and relentlessly pursues me. Thankfully, with my umbrella of faith and friends, it hovers over me less and less often.
Recently, though, one such lightning bolt struck on the first day of September when I opened my book of daily devotions to find that the theme for the month was The Joy Of Marriage. Seriously? What a sad irony. I decided it was time to find a new book of devotions. Until such time as I found one, I revisited my old Daily Light book.
Today I was out running some errands, minding my own business - and the faint rumble I had been noticing kept creeping closer and growing louder, until I recognized it for what it was - thunder - and that relentless black cloud engulfed me again. When these moments arise, there's nothing to do but face them head on, and pray they pass quickly. Deep breathing, prayers, and thoughts of affirmation help me get through. Once the moment passed, though I was a bit shaken, I continued my errands, determined to complete my tasks.
As often seems to happen, a really great song came on the radio - right at the moment I needed to hear it. I'm sure I had heard it before, but this time it spoke to me:
"Our God" by Chris Tomlin
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
The song spoke to me as a reminder that God is Strong, and a Healer, Awesome in Power, and This Black Cloud (et al), while it may follow me for years, and rain on me often, will not defeat me. As I was sitting in the parking lot listening to the song, I thought of Cathy's book, and decided I'd see if Wal Mart carried it. I headed straight for the Books section.. Lo and behold, there on the top shelf, partially obscured by other books, I saw it. Only one copy. A very nicely bound book - so nicely bound, in fact, that it was priced a little more than I had expected to pay. It fit perfectly in my hands, though, and the soft leather felt just right. I thumbed through the book to find today's reading. What I read spoke far louder than the rumble of thunder that had been nipping at me all day, and I knew this was the perfect book for me.
Today - October 7th
In order to hear My voice, you must release all your worries into My care. Entrust to Me everything that concerns you. This clears the way for you to seek My face unhindered. Let Me free you from fear that is hiding deep inside you. Sit quietly in My presence, allowing My light to soak into you and drive out any darkness lodged within you.
Accept each day just as it comes to you, remembering that I am sovereign over your life. Rejoice in this day that I have made, trusting that I am abundantly present in it. Instead of regretting or resenting the way things are, thank Me in all circumstances. Trust Me, and don't be fearful; thank Me and rest in My sovereignty.
I bought the book.
Thank you, God, for being more greater, and more powerful than the storm. I pray for deliverance from the rumbling of the volcanoes, earthquakes, and storms - but until such time that I am delivered from them, I know that I don't have to face them alone.