Nothing on Earth Beside

He emptied my hands of my treasured store,

And His covenant love revealed.

There was not a wound in my aching heart
The balm of His breath has not healed.
Oh, tender and true was His discipline sore,

In wisdom that taught and tried,
Till the soul that He sought was trusting in Him,
And nothing on earth beside.
(from Streams in the Desert)

Father, I thank You that You continue to pursue me, coming to my rescue again and again, until I am trusting in You alone. Left unattended and untried, I have proven that I quickly run wild. Banished to my own wants and desires, I become a boastful and selfish mess – not to mention, one that errs continually.

In Your perfect wisdom and love, You pry my hands – often finger by finger – from the idols I have intentionally, and sometimes unwittingly, grasped throughout the years.
The longing for material things – in order to serve You better, of course.
Ministry opportunities that were more to fill a void in my own heart than to honor You.
Idols of self-righteousness as I deemed my own struggles as somehow less than the seemingly glaring trials of others.
Performance-based works to seek Your approval, while failing to realize that I had it all along.
Attitudes and  selfish motives became crafted idols to which I clung as surely as if they were pagan images of stone and wood.
My treasured stores of self-worth and self-promotion –  all became as dust beneath Your feet when Your covenant love was revealed.

Your gentleness continually compels me to be awestruck in Your dealings with me. Occasionally, with indignant, holy anger, You tear the poisonous apple from my hands and fling it far from me. But more often, it is Your kindness that woos my heart, calling me to return to Your side. It is the gentle caress of Your Spirit’s breath to which I find myself responding. It is Your healing touch of love that tugs my heart toward life while opening my eyes to see the death with which I have surrounded myself.

Thank You for Your covenant love, Lord. For caring for me enough to patiently come to my rescue time and again. There has never been a moment when Your faithfulness toward me has wavered. Never a time when Your hand was shortened to save me. Not once did Your compassion wane – even when I played the harlot, casting Your favor behind my back and placing myself at the disposal of other gods.

Please continue to come to me, Father. Pierce my heart with Your truths and enlighten my eyes to see clearly. Do what You must until this soul that You seek is trusting in You… and nothing on earth beside.

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