“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36 Today’s Christian daily devotional
“Come join us, Crystal.” A sun-beaten hand reaches out and touches the silky cheek of a beautiful blonde. She looks like she could be an angel.
Crystal blinks while gently turning away, her expression distant and longing. Hiding behind her golden hair, she peeks through it while looking over the crowd of people on the deck below. They are celebrating in her honor tonight; ironically, the queen of the ball is the only person at the party missing a smile.
“Baby, people are expecting you to have a good time. Just try to enjoy yourself.” A man who looks old enough to be her grandfather nudges her lovingly.
“Sure, Hal.” Crystal recoils slightly from his touch.
Hal uncorks the bottle of champagne and pours her a generous glass, placing it in her hand as if she were a child.
Staring at the stars hovering above the water, Crystal escapes into another world. She drinks without thinking, without blinking.
The elixir is cool and when the liquid hits her empty stomach the wonderful numbing sensation seems to pump through her blood quickly. She doesn’t fight the wave of relaxation; if this is what she must do to survive, than so be it. Crystal has accepted her fate; not every princess gets her dream.
“There, that’s my girl.” Hal grabs her hand, kissing it tenderly.
Crystal’s heavy eyes looked on as if she were outside of her own body, watching a movie. She pretends that Hal is kissing another woman’s hand. If she doesn’t tell herself that, she might not make it through the night.
It was hard for Crystal to look at Hal’s bloated and blistered face. His years of drinking and hours in the sun could not be hidden, even in the forgiving moonlight. Never in her wildest dreams would Crystal have imagined that a man as repulsive as Hal would be touching her. But, prince charming failed to make his grand appearance. In the meantime, Crystal had a life to live and nothing would stop her from rising above mediocrity.
Hal came at the perfect moment; and Crystal was tired of waiting for anything better to come her way. He not only offered her the world—Hal was the only man in her life who actually followed through on his promises.
She felt it was her duty to be ‘nice’ to him even though ‘being nice’ felt like a slow and torturous death. Lucky for Hal, his repulsive appearance never seemed to affect his love life. Pretty women are sometimes the most desperate ones.
Being model of the year for Hal’s tanning bed company gave Crystal opportunities that she was never offered back in Ohio. In less than a year, Crystal had graced three magazine covers, filmed several commercials and had flown around the world for photo shoots in the most exciting and exotic locations. Her famous figure was sprawled on a sunset strip billboard, stopping traffic while she clicked champagne glasses on the ocean.
“Congratulations, Crystal Lockheart: Miss Sunshine Tanning model of the year! All of California is in love with you, you were voted number one by a landslide!” The Dj on the private boat deck turns the music down while making his announcement.
Hal lifts Crystal’s limp hand and motions her to stand up with him. Crystal isn’t too sure if she’s in dream or in a nightmare. On thing was for certain, she was no longer that innocent Mid-western girl with a fantasy of someday becoming someone important. Today, officially she was important.
Flashing her wining pageant smile, she musters a shaky wave; despite the fact her arm weighs twice as much as it usually does.
Getting up from her seat, she teeters slowly to the edge of the boat, stopping at the very end. Her heels grasp the edge of the rail. Life had become a hopeless downward spiral of dashed dreams and sick compromise. If this was the pinnacle—where could Crystal go from here? Watching the calm waves splashing against the boat, she pictured diving in and swimming away–forever.
Mark 8:36 says that we are all in a spiritual battle. Who is wining in your life?
“Dear Heavenly Father,
What is missing? I have accomplished so much in this life…yet, I still feel so empty inside.
I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul in the process. Lord, show me what is killing my soul.
Save me from myself. I give you all that I have, for I really have nothing without you anyway.
I regret that I have not even considered including you in my plans for my life. That’s going to change today.
From this day forward, I want you to lead me. Your idea of success may be different from what I am used to, but I am trusting that you will take me out of this stinking pit of my life and carry me into calm waters.
Clean me, Lord. I repent of not turning to you sooner and for loving myself more than I should have. I should have put you first from the very beginning.
Today is a new day. I rededicate my life to you. In Jesus’ name, give me the power to follow through on this promise, Amen.”
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verses:
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow! Mark 8:36
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan