Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hey all! Thanks for praying - my message for Sunday is complete and practiced! Yea God! Check out this devotion that touched my heart:

The Beauty of the Lord
18 Nov 2009
Lynn Cowell

"One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple." Psalm 27:4 (ESV)

The jagged scar on his back may be gruesome to some. To me, it is a mark of beauty. It is a reminder of the love he showed that day.

It was suppose to be a day filled with wonderful memories with my husband's family in the foothills of South Carolina. The highlight of our trip would be Slippery Rock, a natural water slide in the cool Pisgah forest. However, under the guidance of a "local" we changed our plans to go to a different waterfall.

When we reached it, the waterfall wasn't quite what we were told or expected. Unprotected. Steeper . Less water. No lifeguard, no stairs, no rope. Though disappointed, we vowed to make the best of it.

Greg watched the kids start down the steep slope. Sensing everything was not as smooth as it seemed, he called to our nine-year-old daughter, "Wait for me, and we'll go together."

The laughter and squeals brought joy to my heart. Wanting to catch their expressions, I looked down to adjust my camera's zoom. Looking up, I caught his eye. Something was wrong. I pulled the camera away just in time to witness Greg sticking out his leg, causing him and Madison to spin. Instead of her head slamming into the stone wall, Greg's bare back took the blow.

The day ended then, with a trip to the emergency room. The four-inch gash on his back, evidence he saved our daughter. Today, it is a thick red scar; proof of his love for his family.

My First Love also bears scars of love. Though I haven't seen them, I know they're there. I was young, naive and taking the course wi th no stairs, no rope, no lifeguard. I wanted to "live a little." Just before I smashed against the rock of this world, I listened to Jesus' invitation: "Wait for me; let Me get you out of harm's way and lead you." I fell into His accepting arms, rescued and safe.

Like I was, there are those who want to go their own way. They are oblivious to the rushing power of sin, which will smash them against the hard walls of this world. Thoughts such as "I can flirt with this sin; I just want a little fun!" or "I'm tired of responsibility. It's my turn. My kids will bounce back," or "I don't have to put up with him anymore. It's my life too," take precedence. Inevitable destruction follows. All along Jesus is at the top of the slope inviting them: "Wait for Me. Let's go together and I will lead you."

They've missed the Man. They've missed His strength. They've missed the scars that are proof that His love held Him to that gnarly cross when His mind and body sc reamed out. I see the price He paid to protect me from my own destruction and all I can say is "Oh, the beauty of the Lord."

Dear Lord, help me look to You every day. Help me trust Your instructions and warnings, knowing that You love me more than I love myself. You are my first love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


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