Monday, July 27, 2015

Devotional by Mary Manners: Is Today Really Necessary?

My dear writer friend Mary Manners pays her first visit to my blog today as our official devotional writer! As I mentioned in a previous post, Mary will contribute one devotional to the blog every month starting today! :)

Traditionally, the posts will be published on the last Monday of every month.

I hope you will enjoy visiting with Mary. She has a wealth of wonderful wisdom to share that I believe will encourage you in your journey through life. 

Enjoy! :)

Is Today Really Necessary?
A devotional written by Mary Manners

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."~James 1:2-4~

My dad has always been my hugest inspiration. Long ago, when I was barely a teenager in the early days of my middle school journey, I came home following a particularly rough day to find him sitting on the front porch waiting for me so he could ask about my day. I joined him on the concrete landing and he spent a good hour listening while I vented about the trials and tribulations of being a thirteen-year-old in a cruel, cruel world. I imagined he had no idea what I was going through, since he couldn't have possibly ever been as young as thirteen. Little did I know!

The next day, Dad came home with a small treasure for me--a poster with the most forlorn-looking bloodhound sitting in a washtub full of soap bubbles that had been dumped over his head. The caption read, "Was today really necessary?" 

Dad helped me mount the poster in a place of honor on my bedroom wall, and then we sat together and talked some more. That's when I began to understand the power of adversity in shaping who I am as well as my life's path.

Today, I use the trials of my life--both the small inconveniences that jab like bony fingers along my rib cage as well as the tsunamis that sweep through to wash away any semblance of sanity--to shape and mold my writing. Characters come alive when their story is infused with nuances of my personal trials. In daily tribulations I find a never-ending fount of inspiration. The passion to write the next story burns continuously inside me, and with every detour that comes my way I know that the round-about will lead to another exciting chapter.

My dad succumbed to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma thirteen years ago, but his memory is alive and well in the poster that has traveled with me through the decades. It now holds a place of honor on the wall across from my office desk. Each time I glance up to read the caption, I smile and think, "Yes, today is really necessary and thank you, God, for allowing me another breath, another test…and another chapter."

REFLECT: God is the master of the universe. He hears our every cry and knows the deepest desires of our hearts. His plan is for good, not to harm. Trust in this and carry on.

PRAY: Dear Lord, please help me to trust in Your will and Your plan for my life. Help me to be fearless in each trial and heartache that comes my way, knowing fully that you hold the paintbrush for the universe, and with each careful stroke You form the path of my existence.

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