Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Great Physician Now Is Near"1 (Lyrics)
One hot summer day, I watched our Blue Healer, Rocky, saunter across the field and walk into the neighbour's pond. With the sun behind him, he looked rather handsome as he emerged from the refreshing water and walked through the tall grass. As is typical of wet dogs, he shook himself, starting at his nose and ending at the very tip of his tail. Water danced in all directions, with the sunlight reflecting on each drop. Then, Rocky did something that ruined the serene scene. He trotted his wet self to the nearest dirt hole, lowered his shoulder, then his entire body, into the dirt, and proceeded to roll from side to side, not missing a square inch.
As I watched in amazement, I was reminded of myself. No, I don't roll in the dirt after a dip in the pool, but there have been times when I did something similar. Some of the most wonderful, refreshing times that I have ever had with the Lord, to my dismay, have been followed with a good roll in the dirt.
I remember wonderful times when I have praised God, enjoyed His presence, and fallen in love with Him all over again, only to come home and find myself losing my temper, gossiping, grumbling, or totally blowing it in some way or another. Unlike my furry friend, I didn't mean to roll in the dirt, but I did. I could not understand how this could happen. But I know that I am not the only one who has experienced this disappointment. Read what the apostle Paul says:
Romans 7:15 – I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (NIV)
I am not a theologian, but I think that the enemy, the devil, hates for us to enjoy the Lord's presence. He cringes as we praise Him, and he loves to see us innocently waltz out of the refreshing living water, only to find ourselves rolling in the dirt.
I prayed with a young woman who cried as she told me how she had been so close to God, but then, she found herself doing what she did not want to do. My heart broke for her as well as for myself, because I have been there many times in my life.
How do we avoid the dreaded dirt hole? We need to be ready for the attack and then remember the truths that we have stored in our hearts. Put on the whole armour of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV)
Jesus is ever willing to forgive us, and He sends His Holy Spirit when we are tempted to lower our shoulders into a pit of sin and doubt. Each morning, may we be reminded of His unfailing love for us, even when we bathe in His glory but head for the nearest mud hole!
Prayer: Lord, we praise You for those times when we are moved by Your Spirit and are touched by the beauty of Your creation. Our Father, deliver us from evil, since Your enemy does not want us to be blessed by Your grace and goodness and tries everything he can to get us off track. Save us from those dirt holes of negativity and discontentment. We pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.