November 18, 2009
The Beauty of the Lord
"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 with 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 screamed 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.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Visit Lynn's blog - Leading Others to Completion in Christ
Take some time away - away from laundry, tv and internet - to get quiet and worship Jesus. Thank Him for saving you and giving you new life!
Is there someone you know who is at the top of a slippery slope and needs to read this? Pray for them and forward them today's devotion.
Is there any area in your life you are flirting with something dangerous to yourself? Your family? Confess this to Jesus. Tell Him you want to fall into His accepting arms and help you walk away from this danger.
If you answered yes, think of a friend you really trust with whom you can share this. Have them pray for you and hold you accountable.
Isaiah 53:3-5, "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." (NIV)
© 2009 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105