OneShare Health Team Member shares her thoughts on renowned Christian devotional
Over the course of my life, I’ve tethered myself to several buoys—work, gardening, Book Club, and yes, even chocolate. These were my comforts, my steady lifelines every time life’s current would whip me right back into uncharted territory.
Work was a distraction until it was time to close my laptop; gardening gave me solace until triple digits drove me back inside; Book Club provided laughs and stimulating conversation until spouses and children (or, in my case, the cat) started questioning our whereabouts; and chocolate…sweet, sweet chocolate was the perfect pick-me-up until my stomach inevitably began to rebel.
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It wasn’t long until I figured out that none of my comforts, these so-called “buoys,” came even remotely close to the lighthouse and everlasting serenity that is God.
“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”
Admittedly, until Jesus Calling, I wasn’t always strong in my faith. I questioned every twist and bump in the road as if God were testing me purely because He could. Every so often, when the going was really rough, I’d flip to a page in the Bible, hoping for a shred of clarity that, no matter how happenstance, would put me at ease again. But even when my intentions were pure, even when my heart was truly open to the possibility of having a personal encounter with the Lord, silence met me.
Around the time I started my first corporate job, I removed the beaded rosary that had donned my rearview mirror since my sophomore year of high school. Shortly after, my mom and I set up a dinner date. She was riding shotgun in the car with me when she noticed the mirror. “Where’s your rosary?” “Hm? Oh. Uh, it was just time.” A devout Christian woman whose Catholic upbringing meant grace before every meal, prayers before bedtime, and mass on Sundays, she wasn’t convinced.
After dinner, I took her home. Before I could leave, she asked me to wait in the driveway while she grabbed something from the house. “I want you to read this,” she urged, handing me a copy of Sarah Young’s first-ever Jesus Calling devotional. “I know how selective you are about books, but promise me you’ll read a little before bed tonight?” Anyone who knows my mom understands the gravity of a promise made to her. I met her gaze and knew she meant business. “Okay. I promise.”
After she’d gone back inside, I weighed the book in my palm for a second. “Find Peace in His Presence.” Hm. I put the car in reverse, backed out of her driveway, and went home. That night, I watched Bridget Jones’s Diary (another guilty comfort, I must admit). I started dozing off just before Bridget and Daniel zip off to countryside in Daniel’s vintage red Mercedes convertible.
Realizing I’d have to get out of bed to turn off the lamp, I reluctantly slipped out from beneath my jersey sheets and crossed the bedroom. Just before I switched off the light, though, I caught a glimpse of the book my mom had given me perched on the comfy sac in my living room. Promise me. Okay, mom.
So, I grabbed the top blanket off my bed and crossed the threshold to my living room (I was living in a one-bedroom apartment at the time). Comfort acquired, I opened the book and flipped to October 23 (pg. 310):
“As you turn your attention to Me, feel the Light of My Presence shining upon you. Open your mind and heart to receive My heavenly smile of approval. Let My gold-tinged Love wash over you and soak into the depths of your being. As you are increasingly filled with My Being, you experience joyous union with me: I in you, and you in Me. Your Joy-in-Me and My Joy-in-you become intertwined and inseparable. I suffuse your soul with Joy in My Presence; at My right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”
There were tears in my eyes before I could even get to the scripture at the bottom of the page. (For anyone who’s curious, it was John 17:20—23 and Psalm 16:11 NKJV.) That night, I could’ve slept on a bed of nails for all the inner peace and tranquility that one devotional offered me.
Four years later, I continue to read Mrs. Young’s devotionals; I even recite them to my husband before bed each night. They’ve become a ritual in our family, a calming reminder that God’s plans supersede our own and only He knows the way. Through Mrs. Young, I’ve been able to encounter God on an overwhelmingly profound level. Yes, some days uplift me more than others (my heart isn’t always in the right place), but joy has finally found me. Peace is now my constant. And I owe it all to Jesus Calling.
To find out more about Jesus Calling visit their website or order your own copy today!
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
Hebrews 6:10 (NIV)
Permission granted by Thomas Nelson to reprint October 23 devotion from Jesus Calling, ©2004.