For me, writing devotionals doesn’t come as easily as writing fiction. I don’t want to force writing something that is divinely inspired and meant to encourage others spiritually. Creating a devotional is a precious opportunity to praise the Lord, comfort others, connect Scripture to our daily lives, and more. Unlike fiction, which for me really is about entertainment and at times, education, devotionals have a higher purpose.
So I was thrilled this past week when I awoke one morning, and through the groggy haze of waking up, yawning, and getting ready for the day, I realized a story worthy of a devotional had come to me.
I wrote it down, while it was still fresh, and am editing it now. I can’t publish it here, because most devotionals require the material not to be published anywhere else, but I can give you the rewritten synopsis below:
Recently, my husband David and I bought a tiny tomato plant. We’ve tended it like parents, watering it daily, admiring its growth, rushing out during rainstorms to shelter its fragile leaves. We even named it: Benito Tomito!
(Ok, so we’re kooky. And it’s just a simple garden plant. But inspiration can come from the most mundane places.)
We noticed the tomato plant suffering one day. Gaping holes appeared in its leaves, lower branches lost their healthy green color and turned a pale yellow, and the leaves began curling upwards. Worrying, we watered it extra, checking on it daily. Did it need new soil? Was it getting enough sunlight? Was Benito lonely?
One cool morning I notice the issue. A fat caterpillar lay comfortably on the stalk, chewing hungrily on a green leaf. Poor Benito was helpless, defenseless against those gnawing mandibles. The caterpillar’s chubby segments were the exact green as Benito’s stalk, one of Nature’s camouflage tricks, and so we’d overlooked it day after day.
It struck me this week that sin can attack us just as the caterpillar was ravaging Benito. It stays close by, in disguise, draining us of energy that could be used to serve others. We are distracted from our purpose on Earth by the many sinful, attractive activities that are out there.
Even once we’ve quit the distraction, it takes time to recover. Often there are consequences of our sin that continue pulling us away from serving others. Even after we plucked the caterpillar off and flung it away, Benito’s energies and nutrients were devoted to regrowing damaged leaves rather than growing the red tomatoes we hoped to see.
All we can do is pray for God to reveal our sin to us, that we can be on our guard against it. Similar to how we needed to protect Benito with bug spray, we can guard against sin’s infiltration by surrounding ourselves with Christian encouragers and friends who can keep us accountable and see what we can’t see, reading God’s word, and, most important of all, praying constantly.
I hope this encourages yall!Thank you for reading and following my blog! I am deeply thankful for each of you.