Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "At The Cross"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 119:176 – I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments. (ESV)
I've always been geographically dyslexic. My family used my inability as a reverse GPS. They'd ask me which way to go, and the opposite direction was always right. But I never thought that I could become spiritually dyslexic. It started out simply enough. Although I attended Bible school, I grew up as a rebellious hippy. A prominent religious journal chose me to be one of four national columnists for their monthly publication. The other three were serious men in suits representing politics, arts, and theology. I would be the voice of youth, questioning the old ways and writing about life outside the church. But lacking a church home because of frequent moves from city to city, and being inundated by my husband with classic philosophy and existentialism, gradually, I began to run out of answers.
Finally, we settled in a town where I joined a church with a boys' choir. Unfortunately, the boys were routinely abused by their choirmaster, resulting in the suicides of two boys and the death of one of my sons. The church authorities refused responsibility until, as a last resort, we parents picketed every Sunday for nearly a year. The congregation spat on us, pushed and shoved and screamed at us. When the choirmaster was finally imprisoned, everything that I thought I knew about God was gone. These people had claimed to be believers, and we who had suffered were the outcasts. I was left with a bleak emptiness inside where faith had once lived. I fell into despair, empty and lost.
That was when God, who knows all about us, gathered me up in His arms. I was walking by a church where the homeless slept on its steps, and I could not pass by, spiritually homeless as I was. Something happened to me, like what happened to Saul of Tarsus. An overwhelming longing filled my soul to return to faith, to God who had always guided my life. I prayed as I turned and went inside to find the minister, an urgency pushing me forward. He listened quietly as I sobbed it all out. His quiet confidence in the God I had known so well, spoke to all the skepticism inside me. Tears still come to my eyes as I write this.
The chorus of a hymn kept coming back as I embraced God's grace once again:
- Keep on believing,
God will answer prayer;
Keep on believing,
Though you be heavy-laden
And burdened down with care,
Remember God still loves you
And He answers prayer.
– Frank C. Huston
When we go back to God, He opens His arms wide and says that He had never gone away. Someone said, You can never reach the bottom of God's love.
Matthew 18:11 – For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. (NKJV)
Prayer: Dear God, how grateful we are that You guide our every footstep, and that with You there are no coincidences, only appointments. You come to us and restore our souls when we are broken and our dearest hopes are gone. Keep us continually thirsting for Your living waters, and cause us to walk in the straight paths which Your only Son has walked before. In His name, we pray. Amen.