Time is precious in the planting season, making it far easier to maintain a morning quiet time via a one-month daily devotional than through a deeply theological chapter book. This one even comes complete with built-in prayers and related Bible readings. But don't think 31 Days of Drawing Near to God by Ruth Myers is a light-weight book just because it is offered in manageable chunks. Right away, she details the book's theme as being a record of her finding the truth of her soul's beauty to God, despite the "plowing time" in life "when the steel of the plow was cutting deep into my soul."
She begins by exploring basic human needs for love but quickly goes to softly touch the more delightful aspects of human relationship with a loving God, bringing the two into harmony with sections like: Everything About Him Says Something About Me.
Indirectly, she reminds that the joy of the Lord is a strength to His children. "Isn't it refreshing to be in the company of a glad person?" She reminds that God IS that glad person. More in tone than in any specific words, she affirms her assertion that "The secret of a satisfied heart is not the pursuit of satisfaction or happiness. Satisfaction and happiness are by-products of the pursuit of God."
Without glossing over life's challenges, griefs or contradictions--even sharing such plowing in her personal life--her spirit of hope hovers nevertheless over the text, affirming an ever-present lifting of the likes of Psalm 36:
How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life. (vs. 7-9)
I imagine a seed, carved from the mother plant and thrust deep into the ground. What if it, in the strangeness of the change, should prove to hopeless to break open and allow life to spring upward into the bright sun. Seeds are not so aware that they would fail to thrive in such a way; but not so, humankind. Ruth Myers offers that bit of hope that leads us to grope upward, knowing the sun does shine above and our sweet transformation will be a garden of treasured growth to the Master Gardener!
(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.)