As I have previously mentioned, I am not one who typically likes daily devotionals. They tend to be like "fun size" candy or samples of food: just enough to get me interested but not enough to be filling. I tend to find the passages of devotionals to be too short to make any meaningful impact in my own daily life. Yet when I got a copy of Christine Caine's Unshakeable, I decided to use this as an opportunity to have a devotional with my younger son.
We adopted him when he was eight and, having grown up in orphanages, he struggles with the concept of an unseen God who loves him when, for most of his life, the people around him never did. Or how a loving God could have allowed him and other kids to be in orphanages or for there to be bullies in the world.
He is a child of trauma and loss. He wrestles with God far more than Jacob did, so something deep in my spirit suggested I begin to read one of these devotionals each morning before school. What amazed me was how God used the short passages in this book to relate to the very struggles that my son was having: of identity, of God's identity, of worth, of the love of God, of overcoming difficult pasts, of forgiving and being forgiven.
I remember the morning we read the day's passage entitled "Wonderfully Made." Caine starts with Psalm 139:13, "You created my inmost being; you knit me together from my mother's womb." The author then writes of how she was adopted and how she did not know the mother from whose womb she came, but that she still knows that the God who created her in that womb has a very real love for her. "His love was always relentless," she writes, "unyielding, passionate, unfailing, perfect." I find tears rolling down my cheeks as I read this to my son, who did not know his own birth-mother. I loved how she tenderly and compassionately writes about being God's handiwork, created and chosen or how Christ is close to the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. All of these things touch on my son's life and the questions he asks aloud and within himself to God.
As I read the passages, we discuss and talk about them together. We share our hearts and our thoughts about the very nature and grace of God. I listen to what he has to say or what he's asking and why he's asking. I pray before each one so that God opens both our hearts and our minds, that we receive what the Holy Spirit wants to minister to us and to heal the broken parts of ourselves. I pray that by reading these devotionals together, we grow closer to each other and, more importantly, to our Creator.
God knew that we needed this book right now and He graciously is using it to be more than just a quick spiritual fix but a real opportunity to grow in our knowledge of His word, of His character and very nature and in our own relationship as father and son. This book is truly a blessing.
Christine Caine's official website: