This devotional is brought to you by Pacific Press® Publishing Association.
The same way one builds an altar stone by stone, one builds a life with God prayer by prayer. Some stones are kept, others are discarded in the search for the cohesive whole. Even when the altar is built, it serves only to receive the sacrifice of the best that we know and possess to the God who possesses us. As an old hymn says, "You cannot have rest, or be perfectly blessed, / until all on the altar you've laid."
Every morning at first light, I read Scripture and pray, listening for the God who knows everything about me and loves me anyway. As many evenings as possible, I walk in the dark for an hour with my wife, setting aside all other demands to be with the person who knows me best and loves me anyway. Prayer and intimate conversation are the bookends of my day that keep me upright on the shelf and available to service. Humiliating experience has taught me to remain between those bookends.
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