Friday, December 28, 2012

Jesus Calling

If you’ve been around me much lately, you’ve no doubt heard me mention the devotion book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. When I was first grappling with the prospect of having cancer, I struggled in my faith immensely.  To put it mildly.  I would pray and read scripture, but I had no idea what to pray, and I just couldn’t seem to find what I needed.  I was so empty.

One day, God led me to pick up this devotion book at the store.  I had seen several people in different social media outlets quote from it throughout the year, and I had even looked at it earlier this fall at the dotmom conference. But I didn’t need it then. I needed it now.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much God has used this book to minister to me and my family during the past few months.  This is a dated devotional book that was copyrighted back in 2004 that is written as if Jesus were speaking directly to you. 

This is from the day I found out the mass in my breast was most likely cancer:
“As you look at the day before you, you see a twisted, complicated path, with branches going off in all directions.  You wonder how you can possibly find your way through that maze.  Then you remember the One who is with you always, holding you by your right hand. You recall My promise to guide you with My counsel, and you begin to relax.  As you look again at the path ahead, you notice that a peaceful fog has settled over it, obscuring your view.  You can only see a few steps ahead of you, so you turn your attention more fully to Me and begin to enjoy My Presence.
The fog is a protection for you, calling you back into the present moment.  Although I inhabit all of space and time, you can communicate with Me only here and now.  Someday the fog will no longer be necessary, for you will have learned to keep your focus on Me and on the path just ahead of you.                                                                                                                  Psalm 72:23-24; 1 Corinthians 13:12”
-November 16, Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
Wow.  Exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed it.

Here’s the entry for the day we met with the doctors to decide treatment, the day I dreaded so bad:
“When you are plagued by a persistent problem – one that goes on and on – view it as a rich opportunity.  An ongoing problem is like a tutor who is always by your side. The learning possibilities are limited only by your willingness to be teachable.  In faith, thank Me for your problem.  Ask Me to open your eyes and your heart to all that I am accomplishing through this difficulty. Once you have become grateful for a problem, it loses its power to drag you down.  On the contrary, your thankful attitude will lift you up into heavenly places with Me.  From this perspective, your difficulty can be seen as a slight, temporary distress that is producing for you a transcendent Glory never to cease!
Isaiah 30:20-21; 2 Corinthians 4:17”
- December 18, Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
Every day, it has been so spot on, it really feels like Jesus is sitting beside me, reassuring me, strengthening me, calming me.  Growing my faith.  Again, this book was written in 2004.  Back in 2004, God knew I would sit here empty in 2012 and need to hear these words, so He gave them to this lady to write down.  For me.  THAT is how good God is.  Amazing.

I’ll give you just one more.  Today, as I watched the Today show, I was struck by how most of the “year in review” moments were of really bad things.  Yes, they included the Olympics, but the majority was all the tragedy that the nation has seen this year (I may or may not be including the election in that :)). Then I read the devotion for today:
I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present Help in trouble. Therefore, you don’t need to be afraid of anything – not even cataclysmic circumstances.  The media are increasingly devoted to fear-inducing subject matter: terrorism, serial killers, environmental catastrophes.  If you focus on such dangers and forget that I am your Refuge in all circumstances, you will become increasingly fearful.  Every day I manifest My grace in countless places and situations, but the media take no notice.  I shower not only blessings but outright miracles on your planet.
As you grow closer to Me, I open your eyes to see more and more of My Presence all around you. Things that most people hardly notice, like shifting shades of sunlight, fill you with heart-bursting Joy.  You have eyes that see and ears that hear, so proclaim My abiding Presence in the world.
Psalm 46:1-3; Psalm 89:15”
- December 28, Sarah Young, Jesus Calling 
Can I get an AMEN?? Our God is awesome!

She has also written Jesus Calling for Kids, which is the same daily devotion format, but for kids. Obviously.  We will be starting it January 1 as our family devotion each night.  I cannot wait to see how God uses it in our family!

All this to say, if you are looking for a devotional book to read through in 2013, I cannot recommend this one enough. If I could buy you all a copy, I would. Really, if I could just call you every day and read it to you (like I do Burge) to be sure that you hear it every day, I would do that. That is how much I love this book!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE Jesus Calling! I started it at the beginning of this year and most days it almost freaked me out how applicable it was to what was going on it my life....as if it was written just for me. I have been so encouraged by it. I have the app on my phone because every time I buy the book, I end up giving it away to a friend. I agree with you, its amazing! I'm so glad you found it and are being encouraged by it. Praying for you guys!

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