Hello, friends! I'm changing the focus of the blog just a little bit. We'll still give away a lot of books, but we're going to focus also on encouragement and growing in God's grace. With that said, our first devotional comes from Gail Kittleson. It's from her book, "Catching up with Daylight." I'd never read her work until reading this devotional and I have to say, her devotionals remind me so much of Max Lucado's. Click on the book cover for more information. Enjoy!
Healing by Gail Kittleson
Jesus’ healings have a hold on me. I can’t seem to get enough of imagining the look in his eyes as he focuses on those stricken with all manner of infirmities. Today I read about the paraplegic lowered through the roof by his four friends. I love their audacity. They’re the kind of people most folks admonish, “Shhhh, can’t you see He’s TEACHING?”Maybe somebody did say that, but the friends pushed their way through anyway. Did they think Jesus would leave the area, cheating their friend of his chance? What made them so passionate that they seized that particular moment to reach the Master?Jesus looked straight into his eyes and said, “'Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home.' And the man obeyed. He got up, grabbed the stretcher, and walked out in front of everyone.The man didn’t hesitate, even to say thank you. His obedience relayed the message to the Savior. Perhaps the healed paraplegic knew his obedience was required for Jesus to show the mocking religious scholars what was what. He had heard their challenge: ‘“He can’t talk that way! That’s blasphemy! God and only God can forgive sins.”’I put myself in that crowded room lying on a cot, unable to move. The everyday odors of perspiration, cooking oils and smelly feet fill the air. The tension of so many human bodies in a small space press toward Jesus. From the cool night air, my friends lowered right into the midst of the melee, and there’s Jesus, looking up at my buddies on the roof, each with a rope in his hands.I breathe in as deeply as my weak muscles will let me. I search Jesus’ face as he turns toward me. His eyes glisten. He fixes them on me, and I hold my breath. It’s as if I’m the only person in the room. And then I hear the most remarkable words of my life:“Son, I forgive your sins.”Something happens inside me, deep down where bone meets bone, where sinew extends to muscle. Energy exudes from the center of my being, and anticipation makes the ends of my fingers tingle. My fingertips tingle? What can this mean?Then harsh voices whisper in the background something about blasphemy and what God and only God can do. Jesus whirls slowly, searching them out. Has he heard their insults?His voice, as clear as the sun overhead, rings out. “Why are you so skeptical? Which is simpler to say to the paraplegic, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or say, ‘Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both . . .”Then he looks at me again, and with the buzzing in my ears, a rising tide of the sort of hope I’d never imagined coming to me, I almost miss his words. But his presence holds me in the moment. When he tells me to get up, I do. Our eyes communicate everything, and his command enters me like a river of determination. I pick up the old stretcher and people wave back for me to get to the door.I feel their stares, glimpse their gaping faces, a mélange of shock and wonder. My joints creak and complain, but I keep walking. Someone says, “We’ve never seen anything like this!” I step over the threshold to a new world.“They rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!” Incredulous. Oh Lord of all, may my flighty, impetuous existence bear your passion for the healing you bring to and through me. And may I never lose that star struck incredulity that you care enough to be involved.
Purchase links:Bio: Sometimes we learn what we've done only after we do it. I wrote my memoir Catching Up With Daylight over a ten-year period, but learned the term "spirituality writing" only after the book was published. Figuring things out after the fact is a life theme for me, but even though it isn't the easy road, I learn a lot in the process. My very patient husband (37 years) and I in St. Ansgar, Iowa, where a small creative writing class meets in my home, and we enjoy our grandchildren. I facilitate workshops on creativity/memoir writing/aging with grace. My first fiction release with Vintage Rose, titled In This Together, will be released sometime in 2015.
Amazon print: http://www.amazon.com/Catching-Up-Daylight-Journey-Wholeness/dp/1939023122/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424359652&sr=8-1&keywords=catching+up+with+daylight
Amazon digital: http://www.amazon.com/Catching-Up-Daylight-Journey-Wholeness-ebook/dp/B00EJPZHPK/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1424359652&sr=8-1&keywords=catching+up+with+daylight
B&N print: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/catching-up-with-daylight-gail-kittleson/1117409147?ean=9781939023124
B&N digital: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/catching-up-with-daylight-gail-kittleson/1116460147?ean=2940148394945
Christian Book (print): http://www.christianbook.com/catching-with-daylight-journey-to-wholeness/gail-kittleson/9781939023124/pd/023120?event=ESRCN