The Beauty of the Lord
Lynn Cowell

"One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple." Psalm 27:4 (ESV)

The jagged scar on his back may be gruesome to some. To me, it is a mark of beauty. It is a reminder of the love he showed that day.

It was suppose to be a day filled with wonderful memories with my husband's family in the foothills of South Carolina. The highlight of our trip would be Slippery Rock, a natural water slide in the cool Pisgah forest. However, under the guidance of a "local" we changed our plans to go to a different waterfall.

When we reached it, the waterfall wasn't quite what we were told or expected. Unprotected. Steeper. Less water. No lifeguard, no stairs, no rope. Though disappointed, we vowed to make the best of it.

Greg watched the kids start down the steep slope. Sensing everything was not as smooth as it seemed, he called to our nine-year-old daughter, "Wait for me, and we'll go together."

The laughter and squeals brought joy to my heart. Wanting to catch their expressions, I looked down to adjust my camera's zoom. Looking up, I caught his eye. Something was wrong. I pulled the camera away just in time to witness Greg sticking out his leg, causing him and Madison to spin. Instead of her head slamming into the stone wall, Greg's bare back took the blow.

The day ended then, with a trip to the emergency room. The four-inch gash on his back, evidence he saved our daughter. Today, it is a thick red scar; proof of his love for his family.

My First Love also bears scars of love. Though I haven't seen them, I know they're there. I was young, naive and taking the course with no stairs, no rope, no lifeguard. I wanted to "live a little." Just before I smashed against the rock of this world, I listened to Jesus' invitation: "Wait for me; let Me get you out of harm's way and lead you." I fell into His accepting arms, rescued and safe.

Like I was, there are those who want to go their own way. They are oblivious to the rushing power of sin, which will smash them against the hard walls of this world. Thoughts such as "I can flirt with this sin; I just want a little fun!" or "I'm tired of responsibility. It's my turn. My kids will bounce back," or "I don't have to put up with him anymore. It's my life too," take precedence. Inevitable destruction follows. All along Jesus is at the top of the slope inviting them: "Wait for Me. Let's go together and I will lead you."

They've missed the Man. They've missed His strength. They've missed the scars that are proof that His love held Him to that gnarly cross when His mind and body screamed out. I see the price He paid to protect me from my own destruction and all I can say is "Oh, the beauty of the Lord."

Dear Lord, help me look to You every day. Help me trust Your instructions and warnings, knowing that You love me more than I love myself. You are my first love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Visit Lynn’s blog – Leading Others to Completion in Christ

Confessions of a Good Christian Girl: The Secrets Women Keep and the Grace that Saves Them by Tammy Maltby

Visit here for encouragement in your Everyday Life.

Application Steps:
Take some time away - away from laundry, tv and internet - to get quiet and worship Jesus. Thank Him for saving you and giving you new life!

Is there someone you know who is at the top of a slippery slope and needs to read this? Pray for them and forward them today's devotion.

Is there any area in your life you are flirting with something dangerous to yourself? Your family?

Confess this to Jesus. Tell Him you want to fall into His accepting arms and help you walk away from this danger.

If you answered yes, think of a friend you really trust with whom you can share this. Have them pray for you and hold you accountable.

Accept Jesus' invitation for the first time, or renew your acceptance of His grace.

Power Verses:
Isaiah 53:3-5, "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." (NIV)

© 2009 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this devotion. What a great reminder of the beauty and love of Christ.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading your devotional today brought tears to my eyes. I remember the day I fell to my knees & ask got to take control of my life, because I had made a mess of things. It wasn't changed that very moment, it had taken years for me to get to that point in my life. Little by little my life started changing for the better & now I coudn't ask for a better life. He was waiting for me to call out to him & when I did he took control. I am so thankful to be child of the King.

Anonymous Ramona said...


Anonymous Hannah said...

I have found, the hardest things to do sometimes are to admit that we are weak, incapable of saving ourselves! When I feel this way, I find strength in giving my problems and fears to the Lord. To feel him so powerfully, so pure, is to gain a sense of comfort and love that is unexplainable! Thank you for today's post. It helps me to remember that it is ok to let Jesus take the wheel!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for a beautiful devotion.If an earthly father can do what your husband did for his daughter,how much more can God do for His children.How often does God step in and saves us from ourselves and the enemy of our faith?Glory to Jesus,I cannot thank Him enough for allowing to be crushed for my inequities, and for the punishment that He had to endure so that I can have everlasting peace with God.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I learn't this verse along time ago, about forty years ago!!!!! But today it took on a direct meaning as I meditated on the verse after reading the devotional. It brought to my mind that when I go to the Lord's house I can gaze but what I must be gazing on is the beauty of the Lord. Thank you so much fo these devotionals. The selections are so precious.

Blogger Angela Dell said...

Dear Lord,

Thank you that you don't make us take life's bumps and bruises alone. Thnakyou for going with us leading out in the hard places and always staying with me. I thank you for my family that you have placed here with me to walk this likfe. Forgive me for the times I have turned away and tried to do it alone. I pray that the scars I have are a reminder to lean into you when I am frustrated or concerned. I pray that in the tests of life you give me I stand strong knowing you are right there holding my hand as I walk through the unknown to grow and be more like you every day. Be with me while my husband is away in these last weeks that are so busy. Keep me focused on what matters like our children and this family. Bless this house with your presence.

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