Monday, June 6, 2011


I have a love/hate relationship with my daily devotionals.

OK, not a hate thing exactly – but hear me out.

I love how God so often speaks a word to me just when I need to hear it.

I "hate" how God so often speaks a word to me just when I need to hear it (but might not want to!)

Let me give you an example.

The other day, I was writing a post about the peace of God. I wanted to see if it flowed – so I read it out loud to my youngest son. At the end He was really quiet. (Was it that horrible, I thought to my "glass half-empty" self?)

Finally he said, "Mom, you know that leather devotional book you gave me with the leaves on the front?"

"Yeah, I remember that."

"Do you have a copy?"

"Yes, I do."

"Go check out June 4th."

So I did. It was all about the peace of God – and it had used the exact same verses that I had placed in my post. Words and verses that both my son and I really needed to hear on that particular day.

I whispered to him, "God is really awesome, isn't He?"

That's a *love my devotions* moment.

And those moments happen all the time, don't they? When a particular passage of Scripture just seems to leap out at you. When a particular message in church, or a lesson from Bible Study, is just so perfectly appropriate to where you're at – it's like God spoke out just to you…

Of course, there's the other side.

Let me give you an example of that.

I had a day last week that was full of aggravations. Dealing with frustrating family issues, and cantankerous people, and irritating phone calls – I was quite honestly just annoyed with everything and everyone. I was not feeling holy and patient. I was sick and tired of being responsible and conscientious and kind…

I wanted to be selfish – I wanted to be left alone.

That's how I went to sleep that night – in a mood. The next morning when I woke up, I wasn't feeling any different – (unless you call being even more annoyed and entrenched in my crummy attitude "different"…)

But, I went to do my devotions.

Here's how they began:

"Some people annoy us. They interrupt us when we're trying to concentrate, ignore us when we need their help, or give us unwanted advice. Sometimes, the best we can do is tolerate them. Tolerating people, however, isn't loving them, and God has set a high standard for us in relationships – especially in the family of God…"

Can you see God's timely irony?

I looked up at the ceiling, and said with a sigh –

"God, will You just leave me alone?"

(Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to be convicted, you know??)

But He answered me, just as clear as if He had spoken it aloud –

"No, I love you too much."

So, you see, I love my devotions when they're a timely word of encouragement, or comfort, or inspiration, or peace.

And though I might "hate" my devotions when they convict me, or challenge me, or discipline me – I actually love those, too.

For in it all, God is speaking – sometimes in a way that's just so perfectly appropriate to where I'm at – it's like God spoke out just to me.

And praise His name – He never leaves me alone…

No, He loves me too much for that!

(Today I'm linked with Wendy at Faith's Firm Foundation)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. I was having one of those days last week when I
    was thinking along these same lines, Sharon. I
    love His Word and how it speaks to me, guiding
    and encouraging. I keep saying it, but, I don't
    know what I would do without God in my life.
    Have a blessed day.

  2. "God, will You just leave me alone?"..."No, I love you too much."

    Powerful words, Sharon!

    I'm thankful that He never gives up on us, that He will leave the 99 and look for the one lost sheep. If I was in His place I would have probably given up on me a long time ago. I'm thankful He didn't.


  3. I was going to quote the same part that Joan did.
    That was my favorite.

    I relate very much to this one and have the same tug of war with not only devotionals but when I open up for Bible study.

    It happened on Saturday.
    If I can get it together, and I probably can't, I'll write about it. Right now, the post is living in my head with fifty-four others.

    And about devotionals: A friend just gave me a copy of Look Unto Me, a devotional book from a collection of work by my favorite, Charles Spurgeon. I'm over the moon...

  4. And don't you wish we could either use italics or underline or SOMETHING in comments? It makes me look like I'm too dumb to delineate that it's a book. In truth, I'm too much of a purist to quote one.

    From one English person to another.

  5. It's never fun when we are convicted by God's words...but they are always good for us! I love how He speaks through us so powerfully right when we need it. And, what a relief to know that He loves us too much to ever leave us alone!

    Living for him, Joan

  6. That was so neat to read Sharon about what you wrote about peace correlating with what that other devotional had about peace on the same day. A timely God moment indeed! I have written in the past in my Bible things that happen like this (devotional based on what I was writing, things like that) to help me go back and look at things when I come upon that particular passage again in the Bible. It is so neat how God's word continues to convict us, teach us, comfort us, etc. He does love us that much that he always wants us to stretch and grow with him on board leading us along our life's journey :)


  7. Oh I can so relate Sharon. I love it when God confirms His word to me through multiple channels. But it's a hard pill to swallow when He's dishing out medicine I rather not take. I love the line tolerating people is not loving that's a selah moment.

  8. Oh can so, so relate...sometimes it is just down right funny and irritating at the same time. But then isn't that how our children feel about us sometimes also? I am so glad He doesn't leave me alone...and He will use whatever method to get my attention.

  9. God has a good sense of humor. His timing is perfect. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I think I had a day like that yesterday - and last night I must have woke up every 30 minutes! Whew.

  11. Blessings Sharon...

    God's speaking every day in different ways... I love how you are so honest and vulnerable about
    your tug of war... though it really was not one.

    Thankful that He does not leave us alone... I too like that part that Joan and Debbie liked but the BEST is this and the MOST Truthful:

    "...I love my devotions when they're a timely word of encouragement, or comfort, or inspiration, or peace.

    And though I might "hate" my devotions when they convict me, or challenge me, or discipline me – I actually love those, too."

    The one's that refine us are the ones we "hate", for me I prefer dislike, because they rub us...
    yep, I got a post coming on this... so can't say much on this.

    Sometimes we can only take so much "pruning" (switched from refining)! It's ooo and ouch and a bit uncomfortable until we begin to see that new blossom of hope or a seed of encouragement, but just hearing the Word or being hit over the head time and time again, does cause us to either grin and bear it, push it aside or let it change us. I love when I hear God speak when it's tender but that tough love,'s just too TOUGH some times and I am so tender hearted (lol)yet God knows us best and those thistles and weeds really don't belong choking the life out of us.

    I really love the mother son connection here and how he recalled hearing this already once that day having read, gotta love God when HE speaks to us in the precious connection like that... awesome God! Praying that our soil remains ready to receive His seeds, watered, nurtured, nourished by Living Water, not hardened...I've seen far too much of that. Thinking of the Parable of the Sower now...hmmmm

    Thanks always He does LOVE YOU that much and so do I, to see how He uses you to speak to us for Him... may you be blessed and receive a double portion.

    Love and hug,

  12. Sandy - Oh, I'm so glad you could relate. I have also grown to love His Word more each day. And I don't think we can say it enough - what would we do without Him?

    Joan - I know that there was a time of wandering in my life when God easily could have, maybe should have, given up on me. But He didn't, and yes, I am SO grateful. His love stretches farther than I can wander.

    Debbie - That devotional sounds wonderful - I'm going to check it out. I totally get the Bible Study example. God is right there when we're reading/studying about Him - which is a wonderful thing - and yet, sometimes He just has to make us squirm out of our comfort zones a little. (And YES, I HATE having to resort to OTHER ways of expressing things in comments!!! I did those extra exclamation points because I know you love them so much. Appreciate the purist English...)

    Joan - Oh amen! Yes, His love is a tough love - but that's because it's holy and real. I actually am beginning to embrace the times when He convicts me - thanking Him for believing that I am worth refining.

    Betty - I just loved what you had to say. It was a little "mini-post" in itself! And yes, this was indeed such a special moment with my son. It is those perfectly timed moments that continually prove to me the unchanging faithfulness of God.

    Wanda - Selah! Yup, I immediately thought of some people and situations that I'm just "tolerating" - and I was soundly convicted. Praying that God will lead me to a deeper level of patience and love.

    Janette - I'm just hoping that my sons think I'm funny sometimes. I know I've got the annoying part down pat. Sometimes God's methods to get our attention might seem harsh, but behind it is always the loving Lord who will not leave us ever. C.S. Lewis called pain "God's megaphone" - sometimes He needs to speak more loudly...

    Charlotte - Yes, I'm convinced that sometimes God is a comedian! Can you even imagine what it will be like to hear Him laugh?! His timing is so wonderful - and His *coincidences* always bring a smile to my face.

    Sandie - I hate days like that, and I've had many nights like that. However, I love that sometimes God does His best talking to me in the middle of those restless, sleepless nights.

    Peggy - I like how you said the convicting moments *rub* us - I liked that imagery. Rubbing up against us - like a pencil eraser - removing all the messy spots. And yes, I also love the imagery of pruning, and God as the Master Gardener. His love is tough sometimes - but so is my hardened heart. Can't wait for your upcoming post. And thank you for your kind comments. I, too, am eternally grateful for a God who won't leave me alone!


  13. Hi Sharon -

    Thank you - this grabbed my spirit and ministered.

    Especially, I was gripped by this, "But He answered me, just as clear as if He had spoken it aloud –

    "No, I love you too much."

    That is so rich and meaningful, Sharon.

  14. Sandra - It literally gave me goosebumps. What a tremendous thing - the God of the universe, who holds all the stars and galaxies in place, who makes the planets orbit, actually cares about ME!! His eyes are constantly on us - the Word says that He delights in every detail of our lives.

    Oh, I love Him so much...

    Glad you enjoyed this.



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)