The Empty Shell (2)

Thursday, September 21, 2006
Listen to this devotional:

Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (NIV)

I remember being invited to attend a Bible study held at our church, and being very reluctant to attend it, but for some reason, my busy schedule allowed it.

The Bible study, indeed, was a life-changer! At the end of the study, the class had a retreat on a beautiful waterfront property. Each one of us was to take our Bible and find a secluded spot, to read and write down what the Holy Spirit told us.

I remember picking a spot by the lake. A dock was in front of me. The trees were a beautiful, luscious green. A warm breeze caressed my face. The sun was shining, and thousands of tiny diamonds glistened on the surface of the lake. A bird was chirping in the distance. I opened my Bible and began to read. I prayed. I read again. And then they came, words that spoke to my heart: "Peace. Tranquility. A gentle breeze. A solitary bird singing a song that echoes through the trees. Stillness. Solitude. God is here."

At that time, I did not realize what God had in store for me. I did not realize that the Bible study and the retreat would bring to the surface what was hidden deep down inside: writing … and that I had just written a non-rhyming poem.

It wasn't too much later that our Bible study teacher sent me a copy of a devotional that someone had written for a Presbyterian devotional website. She also suggested that I send my poem to the editor. I remember going through the motions of "Yeah, right. You're not good enough. You didn't even finish high school and you expect to write like the pros! They're gonna laugh at you." And on and on the battle continued within me, until I finally succumbed and sent in my poem. The editor of the Presbyterian devotional website sent me an e-mail with the guidelines and suggested that I write a devotional. To date, with the editor's help in suggestions and re-writes, I have written almost sixty devotionals for the PCCWeb Daily website.

Much later, after my hectic lifestyle had drawn me away from God, I remember reading a devotional on the PCCWeb Daily website about how important it was to spend time with God. I also remember saying to myself that, tomorrow morning, I was going to start reading my Bible again. But when tomorrow came, something else came along! For me, the effective message was when my friend Anna warned me that I was on my way to becoming an empty shell. I know that message was from God. He had not let go of me!

The amazing thing is that during those times when we stray from Him, God never leaves us or forsakes us! God continuously sends subtle messages to let us know that He misses our conversations and our time alone with Him.

Prayer: Thank You, God, for sending people, circumstances, and sometimes trials into our lives to remind us that You are always with us and that You will never forsake us. Amen.

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Rosemary Hagedorn <>
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada

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