Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional: January 17th

His House

Almost every town has one. People quicken their pace walking when they pass by. It becomes the subject of conjecture and legend. Some are consumed by needing to know its history. Still others make it the subject of mindless dares. It stands silent yet speaks volumes. It commands attention simply by its enduring presence. It is an empty house.

I can remember just such a house when I was in my pre-teen years. It sat back a lane just about a mile out of town. We called it the haunted house. It was ramshackled. To walk through the front door you walked across the roof of the front porch. Yet, as budding men, we felt compelled to see what it held inside. There were no artifacts. Nothing was left. No old furniture or rugs. Nothing.

Any concept of the life lived there when the house was new and beautiful was left to the imagination. However, there was life there. A living being, disturbed by our visit, landed on my left cheek and inserted his stinger just under my eye. A wasp. Needless to say, I ran out complaining about just getting stung. Terry Baker examined me and confirmed that I had been stung and pulled the stinger out of my cheek as it began to swell.

We never went back to that old house. We had had enough. Later invitations from others wishing to explore the old place brought stiff refusal from me. No desire, no wish, no way. Something bad happened there and that is it. Then there's the Lord's house. I remember my first visit ended with me crying and holding my mother's skirt. It was new and I was scared. But I learned that His house was a place where good things happened.

Over the years I have marvelled as people refuse to attend church services. They come up with all sorts of excuses concerning church. But it comes down to this very telling point. "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord.' " Psalms 122:1 The people who are there are there because they want to be. It makes them glad to be there because they love the Lord God. But what does that say about those who aren't glad to go?

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