How Do I Get There?

January 21, 2023 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

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

As White As Snow

December 16, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

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.

Where is the Merry in Christmas?

November 10, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Susan Dollyhigh –

Rehab center, jail, and illness, greet my waking mind. I throw off the covers, put my feet on the floor, close my eyes, and take a deep breath. I trudge into the living room where a Christmas tree, gifts, and stockings greet my eyes. I can’t wrap my mind around the extremes of Merry Christmas and the despondency I feel in my heart.

An epidemic of anxiety, fear, and grief has spread through my family. My litany of sorrows is mind-numbing – my daughter in rehab, my eight-year-old granddaughter wondering why Mommy won’t be home for Christmas, my brother in jail, my sister’s brush with death from an unknown illness that lingers still. Each of these maladies alone could paralyze a family, and each of these situations is so foreign that my family never dreamed of experiencing any of them. Where is the hope, the peace, the joy, of the season?

I pour a cup of coffee, sit down on the couch, and my eyes lock on the Advent wreath adorning my coffee table. The words of the prophet Isaiah, later spoken by Jesus, come to mind, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…” I gaze at the Advent candles representing Hope, Love, Peace and Joy, and feel Christ’s peace gently infuse my spirit.

I know Who the Hope is. I know He is Love. I’ve experienced His Peace. When I focus on Him instead of my circumstances, I feel the constant Joy He gives me, even in difficult circumstances. I’ve found the Merry in Christmas, even Christmas this year. The Merry in Christmas is Christ.

I hope you have Christ in your heart this season – no matter how difficult your life circumstances may be.

Bible Verse: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV).

Prayer: Father in Heaven, I pray for my family, and all families who have heavy hearts this Christmas. I pray that You will comfort us, and grace us with your peace. Thank You for the gift of Your Son. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Poor Baby Jesus

October 24, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Susan Dollyhigh –

Baby Jesus, lying in the manger, tumbled around in a few loose strands of hay. Drew, my four-year-old grandson, turned the plastic ornament until the manger sat upright.

“Look, Nana, it’s Baby Jesus,” Drew said. “I made this at church.”

“Baby Jesus,” Drew’s two-year-old sister, Annalise, echoed.

“Oh, Drew, it’s beautiful!” I said.

“Sit down, Nana,” Drew said. “I’ll show you some more things I made.”

I sat down on the blue-carpeted floor beside Annalise. Drew pulled crinkled drawings, popsicle-stick figures, and other treasures from his box, showed them to us, and then piled them on the floor. Annalise held onto the plastic ornament, and each time Drew showed us something new, Annalise held the ornament up and said, “Baby Jesus.” He was clearly her favorite of Drew’s treasures.

When lunch time rolled around, I told Drew that we needed to clean up before going downstairs.

“We’ll help you, Drew,” I said. I handed Drew his papers and stick figures, but when I picked up the plastic ornament with Baby Jesus inside, I rolled it across the floor – and that was not acceptable, even to a two-year-old.

Annalise picked up the ornament, held it close to her little body, glared at me, and said, “Poor Baby Jesus.”

Feeling reprimanded by this two-year-old, I crawled over to Annalise, looked into the ornament, and said; “I’m sorry, Baby Jesus.”

My apology was intended to appease Annalise, but sitting there on my knees, I felt a true pang of sorrow in my heart. In a precious moment, my grandchildren had shared with me their love and awe of Baby Jesus. In my haste to clean up, I completely forgot about Him.

So many times during the Christmas season, I do the same. I set out the manger scene, and get caught up with decorating, shopping, and baking. And I toss poor Baby Jesus to the back of my mind.

This season, I want to hold this baby in my heart, just the way Annalise held Him in her hand. When I decorate my tree, I want to remember Baby Jesus. When I buy a gift for a loved one, I want to remember Baby Jesus. When I bake goodies for my family, I want to remember Baby Jesus. And when the Christmas season is over, and its time to clean up, I don’t want to toss Baby Jesus across the floor. I want to carry Him in my heart into the New Year.

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth
to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them” (Luke 2:6-7 NIV).

Prayer: Father in Heaven, thank You for reminding me through my grandchildren that this holiday season is all about Baby Jesus. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

What Does Sin Cost?

October 17, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Susan Dollyhigh –

“What does a gallon of gas cost?” the pastor asked the little ones gathered around him for children’s church.

Little hands shot into the air. A brown-haired boy answered with great confidence, “Seventy-five dollars.” The congregation laughed softly.

A blond-haired lad called out, “Eighty dollars!” and as if in a bidding war, a freckle-faced little guy upped his answer to one hundred dollars.

Then a wise spectacled-boy calmly answered, “Three dollars a gallon.”

“Very good.” The pastor leaned back on the step he was sitting on. “Okay. How much does a shirt cost at Target?”

“Fifty dollars,” a little girl with pigtails said.

The blond-haired lad decided to try his answer of eighty dollars again.

The pastor declared that the price of shirts had gone up since he last shopped at Target. “Okay let me ask you this, what would happen if I didn’t pay my water bill?”

With wide eyes, little pigtail girl said, “You could go to jail.”

Wise spectacled-boy announced, “They will cut off your water.”

“Yes, I guess both of those things could happen,” the pastor said. “Okay here’s another one, what does sin cost?”

Without even raising her hand, a little brunette who’d remained silent whispered just loud enough to be heard, “Your life. Sin costs you your life.”

The pastor blinked in surprise. “That’s right. The Bible tells us that the cost of our sin is death, but the Bible also tells us that our bill has already been paid. Who do you think paid that bill?”

“Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” the boys and girls shouted.

“Jesus paid the bill for everyone,” little pigtail girl said, then raising her chin, “even cats.”

“The Church is always one generation short of extinction, if our generation fails to guard the truth and entrust it to our children, then that will be the end!” Warren Wiersbe

This Thanksgiving season, I’m thankful for Jesus. I’m thankful that He paid the cost of my sin the day He died on the cross. I’m also thankful that the church seems safe from extinction for another generation. I pray these children will grow up and guard and entrust the truth to their children, ensuring the survival of the church of Christ.

Bible Verse: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NIV).

Prayer: Father, thank You for all your many blessings. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for parents who guard and entrust the truth to their children. Amen.

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