By Susan Dollyhigh –
I bowed my head and prayed, “Dear Lord, thank you for this beautiful day. Please bless this cereal to my body. Amen.” I dipped my spoon into the bowl, and filled it full of crunchy flakes, plump raisins and cold milk.
Ummm, ummm, I love Raisin Bran.
I took a few more bites, dropped my reading glasses from the top of my head to my nose, and opened my Bible. I read awhile, then dipped my spoon back into the bowl and brought it up to my mouth. Now my dentist has always told me that I have a small mouth, ahem, so I guess that’s why I missed the opening, and ended up with milk dribbling down my chin. I turned from reading to clean my face, and noticed that my raisin bran looked a little strange.
Some of those raisins are really small.
I pushed my reading glasses up my nose, and leaned in closer.
Ugh! And they are swimming in the milk!
I spit and sputtered, and then glared at the surviving ants. But they didn’t notice; they were too busy floating around in the milk, catching waves on raisins and lounging on bran flakes. They were totally oblivious to the fact that a dollar pair of reading glasses had just saved them from being eaten alive. Ugh!
In Psalm 119, the psalmist asked God to open his eyes so he could see wonderful things in His law. But the psalmist wasn’t referring to his natural eyesight that allowed him to read words and discover historical facts. The psalmist was asking God for supernatural illumination so he could understand deep, hidden, secret things in God’s Word. He wanted to see spiritual things – God’s glory and beauty and excellence.
Before I read my Bible, I pray and ask God to open my spiritual eyes so I might have discernment and commune with Him. And these days, I’m asking Him to help me remember my reading glasses – even when I’m eating cereal. I can still taste those raisin “brants”.
Ask God to open your spiritual eyes. The supernatural experience is out of this world!
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Psalm 119:18 NIV).
PRAYER: Father, thank you for giving us spiritual senses so we might experience You in all Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
By Susan Dollyhigh –
I prayed, “Lord, please take away my fear…” and the dam broke. My body quaked with sobs, and the river of tears which sprang from a deep, painful place in my body, washed down my face in a torrent. And then I saw myself, wearing the same red sweater and blue jeans that I had on that day, climbing on my hands and knees up a steep and rocky hill. My hand reached up to grab a ledge of rocks as my high heeled boot slipped, threatening to send me sliding down the hill on my belly. I steadied myself, and continued climbing, all the while wailing from the depths of my soul.
I stopped to rest, swiped my face across the sleeve of my sweater, and looked up …and saw Christ on the cross. I had to get to Him. I frantically grabbed onto rocks to keep from falling, and when I reached the top, I ran to the foot of the cross and collapsed. My emotions were released from the prison where they’d resided for so long, and I cried the river of tears that brought healing to my soul.
As a six-year-old little girl, I’d heard, “Now, don’t you cry,” as I stood before my sixteen-year-old cousin’s casket. I remember feeling like I would choke from the emotion that was stuck in my throat. But I didn’t cry, and the Enemy turned that into a stronghold.
Forty years later, I shared with a counselor several tragic events that had taken place in my life – and I didn’t cry. I discovered that I was emotionally paralyzed. As my counselor and I prayed for that stronghold to be broken, I never dreamed I would end up climbing Calvary’s Hill. But when I rose from the foot of Jesus’s cross, my heart had been resurrected and made whole.
Do you need healing in your life? Take your problems to the Lord, for it is by His wounds we are healed.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5 NIV).
PRAYER: Father, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for revealing and breaking strongholds in my life. Thank you for the freedom and joy to experience being set free from bondage.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen
By Susan Dollyhigh –
A rocky marriage led to couples counseling, and individual sessions. After one session, my counselor asked me to pray Psalm 139:23-24. “Pray these verses, and ask God to reveal to you what’s in your heart,” she said.
The next morning during my quiet time, I prayed, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (NIV). I prayed that the Lord would reveal any faulty filters, or beliefs, in my heart.
Honestly I’d never asked the Lord a direct question, and I didn’t know how or when He might answer. But as I lingered in my chair, three thoughts came to mind: 1) I am not as intelligent as my husband. 2) My husband has the final word in all decisions. 3) I must keep the peace at all times.
I was shocked, but then I thought back to my childhood, and realized these thoughts described my mother’s role in my parent’s relationship.
In the Old Testament, the Lord told Jeremiah to call to Him, and He would tell him great and unsearchable things. The purposes of God’s revelations to Jeremiah were twofold: to encourage His people to turn from their sinful ways so they might escape judgment; and to offer His never- ending message of redemption.
All these years later, I was asked to call on the Lord, and He answered me. He revealed hidden things that I needed to know so the Lord could redeem my heart, and I could grow into the person He created me to be. God’s promises were not just for those we read about in the Bible, they are for us today.
Call to the Lord; let Him reveal any great and hidden things that you might need to know.
“This is what the LORD says… ‘Call to me and I will answer you and
tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know’” (Jeremiah 33:2-3 NIV).
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank You that Your Word is alive, and Your promises are ours to claim. Thank You that we can call to You and You answer us.
By Susan Dollyhigh –
Directionally challenged when driving to unfamiliar places? Oh yeah, unbelievably so. My left brain’s inability to get me from Point A to Point B was once a source of embarrassment, but after becoming a writer I found this anomaly is common among creative types.
Katelyn, my eight-year-old granddaughter, recently caught me off guard when she asked me for directions of a different kind. “Nana, how much longer will you live?”
“Well, I don’t know, Katelyn. Only God knows the answer to that question.”
“I don’t want you to die. I want you to stay here. With me.”
This was a special moment. I wanted my granddaughter to understand that our separation would be temporary, but later on we would be together forever. “I know you’ll be sad, I’ll be sad to leave you, too. But when I die, I’m going to Heaven, and I’ll be there waiting for you.”
“But, how do I get to Heaven? How will I find you?”
Thankfully, I know how to get to Heaven. “Jesus will come for you, and He will take you there.” Katelyn scrunched her forehead, so I explained further.
“In the Bible, Jesus’ disciples were worried about finding their way to Heaven, too. But Jesus told them not to worry because He was going to prepare a place for them, and this promise is meant for us, too.”
Katelyn looked at me like she understood, but I had even more to say. “When my mama and daddy, your great-grandparents, were dying they both told me that Jesus was in the room with us. They saw people they loved waiting for them in Heaven. So don’t you worry, Little Girl. I’ll be waiting at Heaven’s gate, ready to give you a great big hug.”
I gave her one of those hugs right then.
Yes, I’m often uncomfortable trying to find my way to a new place while driving a car. But I’m not disturbed about the road to heaven. Jesus has mapped that out in the Bible. He will see me safely there. He will see safely there each of us who have Jesus in our hearts.
Jesus tells us in John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (NIV).
PRAYER: Father, thank you for telling us in Your Word that we don’t have to worry about finding our way to Heaven, and that we can trust You to see us safely there. Amen
By Susan Dollyhigh –
His bald head glowed, his brown eyes sparkled, and his toothless grin made my heart skip a beat. His right arm rested on my shoulder while his left hand grasped mine as we twirled around in the kitchen. Cole laughed. For now anyway, he seemed to think dancing with Nana was fun.
I looked into the eyes of this five-month-old grandson of mine and relished the pure innocence of his life, as yet, untouched by the world.
“When God looks down at you, Baby Cole,” I said, “He sees you as white as snow.”
We twirled around again, “And when God looks down at me…” and suddenly the trance was broken.
My life has been touched by the world, and I have sinned greatly.
Satan, the great deceiver and peace-stealer, used this opportunity to hiss past sins at me. I could imagine the ugly, jagged scars on my soul. Our twirling slowed, and came to a stop as I felt my heart sink. Baby Cole’s smile faded, and he looked at me as if to ask, “Why did we stop dancing? What happened to our joy?”
But the Lord spoke to my heart and reminded me of Truth.
I know who I am, I am a child of the King. God loves me so much that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, into the world. Jesus paid the price for me, Baby Cole, and all mankind when he shed His blood on the cross. All I had to do was believe in Him, and not only does He forgive my sins, I have the promise of eternal life with Him in Heaven.
My sins have been forgiven.
My sins have even been forgotten.
My sins have been removed from me as far as the east is from the west.
I looked back into Cole’s eyes, and the magical moment returned. Cole and I continued to twirl while God the Father looked down on us and saw us as both as white as snow.
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be wool” (Isaiah 1:18 NIV).
Prayer: My Father in Heaven, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for the assurance You give us through Your Word that our sins are indeed forgiven, and that we can approach Your throne of grace as white as snow. Amen.