Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Wall Around My Heart

Author Mary DeMuth released a new book, entitled "The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You." Her book inspired my devotional poem. You can hear me read it here.

I thought to keep me safe from pain.
The walls I built stood tall and strong.
Within, I listened to the rain
And sang, alone, my aching song.

With none to disappoint my hopes
And none to strike the heart of me,
I labeled those who cared as dopes.
They forged their chains, but I was free!

One day, a songbird breached the wall
And sang of joy and love and peace.
Each note broke stones. I watched them fall.
My panic grew with each release.

I peered out through the breached rampart,
Afraid of what might wait outside.
He waited there – with loving heart –
Until I learned that all I tried

Could not protect or heal or win.
At best, I only “saved” myself
From feeling joy and love within.
My heart would not stay on the shelf.

The love of Him who loved me first
O’erwhelmed the threat of hurt and pain.
With peace, He quenched my fearful thirst.
And brought me from my walls again.

My freedom comes from Jesus’ love
And gives me leave to love you, too.
Receive His joy, sent from above
To find the freedom meant for you.

© Mary Beth Magee, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Looking for Comfort in a Time of Loss


As you face this loss, those around you have trouble knowing what to say. We want to offer you words of comfort and condolence, to make this trauma easier for you. We just don’t always know how.
I wish I could tell you that everything will be fine and normal.
The truth is, things will never be the same again.
I wish I could tell you that the hurt will go away.
The truth is, the pain will ease but the scar will not vanish.
I wish I could tell you that I knew why this happened.
The truth is, I don’t but I know Who does.
Read more here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Raining love?: Devotions from the Road of Life

“The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.Deuteronomy 28: 12, King James Version

The rain pours right now, lightning flashing and thunder rumbling in a full-out Southern thunderstorm. The results of the rain will be growth and blossoming for the plants, nourishment for livestock and replenishment for rivers, streams and reservoirs. The temperature drops a few degrees, a pleasant change on a hot August day.

As heaven pours out its gift of life-giving water, I can’t help but wonder what I pour out on those around me. Am I covering others in God’s love, refreshing them with a reminder of his ever-present care? Or am I spilling out anger and vitriol, doing more of Satan’s work than the Lord’s?

How easily I find myself falling into that particular ugly puddle of wickedness! If I take my eyes off the King, how quickly the world jumps up to fill my vision. He has promised His nourishing rain, but too often I put up an umbrella and divert His love. I must make a concentrated effort to focus on His will and His work if I am to spread His love.

What are you spreading to those around you? Do you rain love or anger, encouragement or destruction? 

Father, I thank You for the blessing of rain to replenish, refresh and nourish the world. Help me to be Your rain to others, spreading Your love to all I encounter. Amen.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thunder and Lightning - Devotions from the Road of Life

“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5: 1-18, KJV

Thunder rattled the house, and the little girl shrieked. Her ear-piercing yell sounded for long seconds after the thunder faded, but her panicked look remained. 

“Why are you yelling?” I asked. “The thunder won’t hurt you.” We had tried the “angels bowling in heaven and one of them got a strike” routine in the past, to no avail. She still emitted a shrill scream whenever she heard thunder.

“But it’s so loud,” she explained. “It scares me because it’s so loud.”

I sent a quick prayer for guidance heavenward. At five years of age, she was impressionable and I didn’t want to cause any problems or needless fear for her. An intelligent child, she is very curious and with a bent toward science. 

“What do you know about what causes thunder?” I asked.

“Lightning flashes and makes the thunder boom.”

“That’s right. So if you hear the thunder, you know that the lightning bolt is past. The lightning is what can hurt you. The thunder can’t. So how about when you hear the thunder, you say ‘Thank you, Lord’ to let Jesus know you appreciate him keeping you safe?”

She thought about the situation for a moment.

“I’ll try,” she agreed. Sure enough, although she jumped with the next big boom, she gave thanks instead of screaming. Then she turned to me with a big smile.

“I like that better,” she said. 

Too often, we let the noise of the world drown out the love that God sends us. We react to the situation, not the Creator. When that happens, we miss the opportunity to praise Him for bringing us through the situation. Maybe we should stop yelling and start thanking.

Months later, she is still thanking Him instead of shrieking.

I’ll bet Jesus likes that better, too.

Father, thank You for Your love. Thank You for the natural phenomena you’ve set into place. Help us to remember to praise You in everything and give thanks for Your goodness in all circumstances. You are sovereign. You are righteous. You are our loving Father. Amen.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Washed in His Mercy - Devotions from the Road of Life

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.Lamentations 3:22-26 (King James Version)

The waves roll in at Waveland, MS

A recent visit to the beach reminded me of the everlasting faithfulness of God. I watched as wave after wave came to shore, and I couldn’t help but think that those waves were a lot like the way God comes to us.

With wave after wave of love, He beckons us. He sends wave after wave of forgiveness to wash over us. And like the never-ending song of the waves against the sand, He calls us to come home to Him.

Just as I would never be able to drink the all the water of the ocean, I can never use up all of God’s goodness. As the writer of Lamentations says, His compassions fail not and are new every morning. Like the inexorable turning of the tide, His mercies are unstoppable. 

We have a choice: Do we run away from the inbound waves or do we plunge into the refreshing waters of His love? The water is there, whether we go to it or stay away. His love is there, too. All we have to do is wade out into its depths to enjoy the refreshment and renewal awaiting us there.

Father, we thank You for the unending love You send to us. Remind us to plunge into Your loving care, that we may be buoyed by Your love at all times. The world cannot sink us if we rest on Your waves of salvation.