Not the Same
Lynn Cowell

"When the people of the land come before the Lord at the appointed feasts, whoever enters by the north gate to worship is to go out the south gate; and whoever enters by the south gate is to go out the north gate. No one is to return through the gate by which he entered, but each is to go out the opposite gate." Ezekiel 46:9 (NIV)

As soon as my eyes opened I knew it was going to be one of "those" days. You know the type. The saying, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" was created for days like this. I was sad, disappointed, frustrated and empty. I couldn't put my finger on why I felt this ball of emotions; I just knew I had to get out before everyone woke up and my feelings steered our day in the wrong direction.

I put on my tennis shoes, grabbed my keys and started out the front door. Though unsure of where I was going to run, I was certain of the length: far! Far enough for me to come back a different person. What I needed was to get alone with Jesus and have Him fill me and exchange my negative emotions with His peace, truth and life.

As I started my run, old thoughts poured into my head. You are not beautiful. You are not special. Your life doesn't count. After years of reading the Truth, studying the Truth and even teaching the Truth, it was hard to believe I still struggled with these dark thoughts. I guess I shouldn't have expected the enemy to lie down and give up. He knows my weaknesses and all my buttons to push.

As lies poured in, I retrieved scriptures stored in my mind and heart. He sees me as beautiful. He says He is wild about me. He is more than enough for me. He is all I need.

Mulling over these precious chunks of God's Word, tears began to pour. This is what I needed. I didn't need more words of affirmation from my husband. I didn't need another pat on the back from a friend. I needed a new outpouring of love from my Love. I needed to be reminded of who He says I am, to give up the old lies and replace them with His Truths.

When we come into His presence, He fills us. The Lord changes us so that we are not the same as we were when we came to Him. Ezekiel 46:9 represents this exchange of old for new. The people of Israel were told when they came into the temple area to worship, they were to enter through one gate and exit through the opposite gate. So the same should be true with us; we are "not to go back as we came, but more holy, and heavenly, and spiritual" (Matthew Henry). As we enter into our special times with God, we need to come out the "opposite gate," different than the way we went in.

After an hour of running, crying and praying to God, I returned home a different woman. Now, I was ready. Ready to be the wife and mom I needed to be. Ready to be God's vessel to pour out. Being in the Lord's presence restored me. I had been filled and changed.

Dear Lord, I need You today. Living this life sometimes drains me and leaves me empty. As I come through Your gates and into Your presence, change me. Pour Your life and heart into me so that as I leave through the "opposite gate," I am not the same woman as when I came in. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Pierced By the Word: 31 Meditations for Your Soul by John Piper

Visit Lynn’s blog

To read a gripping tale, based on a true story, of a photojournalist who came out of Africa different than he went in, pick up the She Reads winter novel selection Scared by Tom Davis.

Rain on Me: Devotions of Hope & Encouragement for Difficult Times by Holly Gerth

Application Steps:
Do you need help coming into the Lord's presence? Play worship music and let God's truth pour into your heart. As it does, respond to Him. Speak words of praise for who He is and what He means to you.

Here I am Again, Lord, a free devotion, will encourage you as well.

Be real with Jesus even when your feelings are negative. Honesty with Him and ourselves allows room for Him to take us out of our "pit" and move us closer to Himself.

Find a place where you can "run" when you need to be with Jesus. Maybe it is your bedroom, porch or going for a walk. Go there regularly to meet with Him.

What brings up old, negative thoughts? Harsh words with your husband? Rejection at work? Communication patterns in broken relationships? Begin to recognize these triggers so you can make a point to run to Jesus for truth each time they resurface.

Power Verses:
Titus 3:5-7, "…He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." (NIV)

Ephesians 4:21-22a, 23, "Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life…let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes." (NLT)

© 2009 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Mommy Melback said...

I always tend to fix my own mood when I wake like this.
I love this!!

Anonymous Rani John said...

This is a great devotion. Very true and had happened to me many times. When you share your feelings with your Father, your troubling circumstances might not change, but your attitude towards them do change..And that happens when you are at the feet of Jesus.
Thank you for this thought.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh, talk about conviction at its greatest- The Lord speaks to me through this devotion. I need to empty myself and to be filled up with His Spirit and peace right upon awakening each new morning(and thru the day).

Anonymous RAMONA said...

Hey,You couldn't have said it any better than that. Must "TRY" I also have them days. Thanks for sharring, and trust me, the next time I won't return the same as I left. Just to remember "MaMa said there was gonna be days like this" brought back many of my memories of her sayings. Which in years, I found to be also true. Thanks Again.

I always pray that I be changed and cleaned and made different that I may serve him most efficiently. I had never seen this script in this light / fashion before. Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really blessed me today. I woke up with a lot of feelings of regret and failure. I have a box where I keep different scriptures that I refer to as my love box. It's amazing what can happen when we start to replace those bad thoughts with God's thoughts about us.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


These words really spoke to my heart today. I found out 2 weeks ago my husband was having an affair and I don't feel like much of any kind of woman at this point. Thankfully I have a wonderful support group of godly women friends and family. I know with Him I will survive. Keep doing what you do - it touches someone every day. Have a Merry Christmas.

Anonymous Jennifer Renee said...

I have many days like this. As a matter of fact I had a day like this last Saturday. I felt lonely, I became a little depressed, and cried. This devotion reminded me to try and see myself in the way that God sees me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that this is a timely devotion. I read them every day and rarely read the comments. Today I decided to and saw that someone is dealing with infidelity in their marriage. I felt compelled to leave you a message. I found out a little over two years ago that my husband was having an affair. Honestly, some days it feels like it was two weeks ago. With God's help and spiritual counseling we are rebuilding our marriage one day at a time. While I am not responsible for the horrible decision he made, I have been able to self-reflect and realize that there were some things that I should have been doing differently in our relationship. Forgiveness has always been extremely difficult for me, but God continues to show me how merciful He is. Even though I am still struggling, I can definitely see the positive changes in both of us. There are so many things about our marriage that are better than before. I don't know what your plans are, but if your husband truly wants to be committed to only you, please seek God for guidance. I'll be praying for you.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Good Morning All!
This is my first time to comment... I've been missing my wonderful Christian mother a lot lately. Her Godly wisdom comes back to me when I go through hard times. Like many others, my husband had an affair 13 years ago. He left and married the "other woman". I raised my child by myself with God's help. She is now in college and leaning on Him to help her through. (I see my mother's strenth in her.)It was the hardest thing - but most rewarding thing - I've ever done! God will raise you up! Just keep looking to Him for guidance...He will NEVER disappoint you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the devotion. What I need exactly. You see I had such a day on Friday. My last day at the job I was working at, with no idea of where my next job will be. I felt so furstrated, dissapointed, rejected and couldn't help it except live the office in tears with so many questions that only God can answer. But God is so good he has plans in everything, after my drive alone with Jesus I got home checked P31 and found this devotion. Glory to God who knows our thoughts, and what we are going through and He already has the word ready to help us out of the "pit". Halelujah

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is one of my first times on the website and i love and appreciate all of it! i love this devotion, it spoke directly to my heart. i thank God for being so patient, merciful, and loving with us moody girls!lol

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