2008 was a year of losses. It was a tough year and I felt pretty beat up by the end of it. A friend gave me this devotional last year at Christmas, right in the midst of this difficult season. She had no idea that God was going to use this devotional to help heal my heart of all the sorrow. Many days it seemed as if God was sitting right beside me speaking His truth into my life. I'm sure I have broken every copyright law imagineable quoting from it this year on my blog... if you are looking for a great Christmas present that will bless someone all year long, go and buy this for them!Here are a few recent excerpts:
- May we allow God to isolate us, but I do not mean the isolation of a monastery. It is in the experience of isolation that the Lord develops an independence of life and of faith so that the soul no longer depends on the continual help, prayers, faith, and care of others. The assistance and inspiration from others are necessary, and they have a place in a Christians development, but at times they can actually become a hindrance to a person's faith and welfare. God knows how to change our circumstances in order to isolate us. And once we yield to Him and He takes us through an experience of isolation, we are no longer dependent upon those around us, although we still love them as much as beofore. Then we realize that He has done a new work within us and that the wings of our soul have learned to soar in loftier air.
- Every difficult task that comes across your path--every one that you would rather not do, that will take the most effort, cause the most pain, and be the greatest struggle--brings a blessing with it. And refusing to do it regardless of the personal cost is to miss the blessing. ~J.R. Miller
- Life is a steep climb, and it is always encouraging to have those ahead of us "call back" and cheerfully summon us to higher ground. We all climb together, so we should help one another. The mountain climbing of life is serious, but glorious, business; it takes strength and steadiness to reach the summit. And as our view becomes better as we gain altitude, and as we discover things of importance, we should "call back" our encouragement to others.