Why These Devotionals.

You have been receiving my daily emailed devotionals for a while now, but it occurred to me that you might be interested in how it all began.

It was never my intention to write devotionals. I began journaling in early morning meditations after my wife Cindy entered into the Lord’s presence following a thirty-seven year battle with multiple sclerosis. The waiting before Him, reading His word, and the writing became cathartic as my heart gradually began to heal.

The accumulation of those early journals and the ones added even more recently reflects a decades-long effort to make sense out of daily loss and unfulfilled expectations…both hers and mine. As we grew in intimacy with God and with one another, we found ourselves profoundly questioning a God who can do anything but did not do the one thing we most often asked. Mysteriously, we came to know Him as a God who has all power yet chose to withhold the application of it for which we most yearned.

How could a loving God who promised to never leave or forsake us appear to have done just that? What was He thinking, this God of lavish love who promised to replace mourning with joy and ashes with beauty? What went through His eternal mind as He watched my wife’s vibrancy and once-engaging personality gradually become dull and wasted? This God who gave up all He had in search of a bride for His own wedding banquet seemed not to care that I had a bride who could neither sit at a table nor swallow the good things set before her.

The paradox of such horrific personal suffering juxtaposed against the backdrop of a glad bridegroom God became simply unbearable at times. Yet I had walked with Him long enough to know that if there was lack of understanding, the problem was mine, not His. He is, after all, a God who has moved heaven and earth to become known by His children. He invites us to plumb the depths of His personality and emotion, thereby not only learning more about what motivates Him, but growing more intimate with Him in the process.

“Cynthia” means “reflector of light”. I found over the years of our marriage that she was well-named, not because she had within her any more comprehension than I of what God was doing; daily living often deemed dark indeed. But ultimately, her life, and our lives together, became a backdrop against which the beauty and majesty and glory of God were reflected. God used our suffering as a crack through which His own suffering in our behalf could be better understood. Ultimately, the crack widened into a doorway we walked through unto her death. He invites each of us to die to self that we might more perfectly identify with Him. In that place of identification has come deeper understanding of His own pain and suffering, ultimately expanding my heart to more fully experience how high, how deep, how wide, and how broad is His marvelous love for us.

These devotionals reflect my journey to greater intimacy with Him. They are meant to be used as a personal devotional, but even more, they are a study of His words to us as a bridegroom speaks to His beloved, urging her always to go deeper into His love. God has pried open my once-locked heart to show greater depths of His love for me and for Cindy. It is my prayer that these writing will cause you to contemplate His purposes in the midst of your own hard places. I pray that you would allow those struggles to become launching pads for growing intimacy with Him. It is my prayer that you would be led each day into a deepening relationship with the God who loves you with unimagined passion.

I hope you would feel free to forward any of these to friends or family whom you feel might be blessed in the reading. They can sign up to receive their own daily messages by going to www.lifeinrealtimeonline.com.



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