Desolate Sanctuary

Desolate Sanctuary - One last prayer changed her life forever... |

She sat alone in the back of a quiet sanctuary. It was her spot. She would sneak in the back every Sunday just after the morning service began. She’d listen as the songs were sung and the sermon was preached and then slip out during the invitation – a quick “pick me up” for the week.

The problem is it never worked.

For some time now, her heart has been hurting. She’s been walking through life as if in a fog – a fog that would never lift. She’s been searching for answers, for an escape from the shadows that smothered her hopes and dreams. She’s been longing for an end to her desolation but hasn’t been able to find it.

As far as she was concerned, there was only one way out – only one way to end her burdens and suffering. She knew the darkness, the sadness, the dreariness of her life was a result of her own choices. She had thrown away her dreams. She had caused her own misery. Only she could end the pain.

She made her way to the back pew of the church one last time. Tears were streaming down her face as the pastor invited the congregation to pray. She had not prayed in years but she wanted to pray one last time. The weight of her burdens was so heavy she almost couldn’t stand. She struggled to her feet and made her way to the altar. She didn’t know what to say but as her tears drenched the altar, her heart began to plead with the Father:

“Lord, bring your favor to this desolate sanctuary.

Lord, shine your light into this darkened tomb.

Lord, pour your spirit on this tattered and broken temple.

Lord, may your presence fill this life anew.”

She thought this would be her last prayer so she held nothing back. She poured out her soul and laid the broken pieces of her life before the Lord. She cried out in anger, in desperation, in brokenness. She expected nothing but in the midst of her tears, she found everything. The Father that she had walked away from so many years before was waiting for her with arms open wide. He picked up her broken pieces and opened her eyes to the hope that only He can give. He wiped away her tears, picked her up and filled her with the light of His Love.

One last prayer changed her life forever.

What about you? Are you living in a fog, in the shadow of your regrets? Do you feel like your life is a desolate wasteland? Are you haunted by the choices of your past? Are you pursuing things of this world, things that are leading you away from the Giver of abundant life? Are you ready to give up?

It’s time. Give it up today. Take it to our Heavenly Father and give it all to Him. You may have walked away. You may have made all the wrong choices but you do not have to remain in desolation. He is waiting for you with open arms. He wants to restore you. He wants to take the broken pieces of your life and make them into something beyond your wildest dreams. He wants to heal your soul and love on you today. Don’t wait any longer! Go ahead and Pray!



A Year of Smiles – Day 237


It was almost time for me to leave. I went into the kitchen, poured my coffee in my travel cup and reached for my keys. They weren’t there. I usually leave my keys in the same place every day. Apparently, though, I strayed from my ritual.

Where were my keys?!?

I couldn’t remember where I left them. I checked my room – the night stand and dressers. No keys. I searched pants pockets. No keys. I rummaged through my purse. Ugh! No keys!

I called my husband. Maybe he moved them. He didn’t answer. Hmm. If he’d had my keys, it’s possible they were in my car. 

I started out the door to go check the car. As soon as I opened the house door, my search was over. There, on a stand in the garage, were my keys – where they had been all night! 

Of course, when I saw my keys, I remembered setting them there after arriving home the night before. I stopped in the laundry room before going into the house because I didn’t have a pocket to put them in. Obviously, I forgot to pick them back up.

How could I be so forgetful?

Whether I like it or not, forgetfulness has become a frequent visitor in my life. I argue that it is a sign of having too many things on my plate or too much on my mind. Never, oh ever, would I admit that it is a sign of aging. But whatever the cause, forgetfulness is not usually a trait that makes me SMILE unless…

… we’re discussing the forgetfulness of God after He has forgiven us our transgressions. Yes! God not only forgives our sins when we repent, He also forgets those sins.

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭31:34‬b NIV‬‬

“as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭103:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

‭‭Micah‬ ‭7:18-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God doesn’t hold our sins against us. He doesn’t file them away so He can bring them up later to remind us of our shortcomings. No. When we confess and repent of our sins, God is faithful to forgive and to forget.

There sure would be so many more SMILES in our lives if we were all able to forget like God!