Have you ever read something that you identified with IMMEDIATELY? Something that spoke to your heart and the “place” you were in at that point in your life. It’s a feeling that the author somehow got into your head and wrote that piece specifically for you. I am not one to preach but I do like to share what is meaningful to and what works for ME. By doing so, I am in hopes that my willingness to be transparent and vulnerable by “putting it all out there” may help you in some small way too.
I have been a long-time follower of the work of Rev. Charles Stanley, located in Atlanta, Georgia. In my daily, early morning time of prayer I like to read his devotions. As soon as I read the one for today, I KNEW I needed to share it in some way…..somehow. What better way than to start a new category on my blog. People who are interested can read it and those who aren’t can thumb their nose and move on. I am not in the habit of copying other people’s work but in this case you really do need to read his whole little message for today. Of course I take no credit for this……just sharing it with you…….
His Empowering Presence
Psalm 42: 1-5
A woman unlocks her front door and walks into an empty house. She drops her purse and bags onto the couch and immediately turns on some music. Have you ever wondered what impulse makes people want to break the silence of a quiet home? The sights and sounds of TVs and radios temporarily meet our need to feel we’re not alone.
God desires an intimate relationship with each person, so he created us with a yearning for His presence. Though He alone can fill that void, people attempt to satisfy their longing with all kinds of relationships and activities. But filling that spot with anything other than the Lord is at best a short-term solution.
The Bible urges us to stop our frenzied search for satisfaction in what the world offers and instead recognize that we should turn to Jesus Christ. Yet so many people pursue substitutes for His presence. Friends, hobbies, and busy schedules provide momentary pleasure while using up precious time that should be spent in quietness before God. And all too often, when the amusement of one good thing wears off, we seek a new activity or person to fill the gap.
Nothing besides the Lord can adequately fill the spot in our life that God has reserved for Himself — noise and busyness will satisfy for just a little while. Our Father’s empowering presence is the only genuine solution. For believers, the Holy Spirit is already present within. What we must do is settle ourselves before God, and He will make Himself known to us.
This spoke to me very deeply today. It’s not easy for long-time believers to admit they may have lost their way. Perhaps, on the long journey we call life, they strayed off the path very slightly at first….maybe they caught sight of a rare and beautiful “flower” and thought they would take just a tiny little detour off “the path” to go examine this new and lovely thing. They marveled at it’s beauty and stayed and enjoyed it for awhile but promised themselves they’d get back on the path before nightfall. But when they went to go back, they ran into an old friend who told them about another rare and beautiful “flower” not far away…..it would only take a short trip and then they could go back to their original path. Or maybe it was something entirely different that led them off the original path. Maybe something horrifically painful happened during the course of their journey and they just started to run in despair as fast and as far as they could, tears blinding their steps. When they finally stopped they found themselves in “the woods” far off the familiar path. They knew they should go back but the thought of having to face that pain kept them away a little longer. The woods seemed interesting after all and they ran across a few new friends there and found some interesting new flowers and things to enjoy. One thing leads to another and time passes much more quickly than they realized and when they finally decided to head back to the path, they couldn’t find it. They thought sure they hadn’t ever really gone very far….that it was just a few steps back. But such is the way of this world…….so many distractions and “things” and people to fill our minds and time with. We often get so wrapped up in all life’s “accoutrements” that we forget who we were and where we were going. Sometimes we stray so far from the path that even a trail of breadcrumbs wouldn’t be enough to get us back. Sometimes we can only find the light of the path by first being enveloped in darkness. A darkness void of the beautiful “flowers” and other “pretties” that so fascinated us and fought for real estate in our minds. Once we are plunged into that kind of darkness, it is often easier, then, to see the soft familiar glow of that old path…..the one that was always there waiting faithfully…. but we just couldn’t see it…..or didn’t want to see it.
Personally, I’m headed back. I can see that old “familiar glow” off in the distance and I’m headed towards it. But I’ve managed to step in a couple groundhog holes that have delayed me here and there…………..but I’ll get there. When I stop and soak up the stillness while looking in all directions at the beauty around me, I seem to be able to make out the outlines of that path even better. Sooner or later I’ll make it………of that I am certain.