One such page in this notebook is titled "Things to write about" and follows with a list of moments I have encountered this last week. It is amazing. As each item is written and thought of, I am reminded of how very much God cares for the little things in my life. He uses each one to draw me to thoughts of Him and the grace He is weaving through my day.
The first item that I wrote on my list was about a rodent lurking. It wasn't a rodent I actually saw. In fact, I don't even know what it was. All I know is there was the evidence of something lurking in my attic that wasn't supposed to be there. Remember last week when I talked about how the wires in my car showed me how much I need the connection to Christ? Just because I understood the problem, confessed the problem and committed to fix it, that doesn't mean it magically disappeared. The footsteps and scratching in my attic put me on alert that something was there. I haven't heard the sound again, but that doesn't mean I won't. I have to continually be aware of the "lurking rodent" and be available and ready to take care it. The same is true of our connection to Him. Just knowing there is a problem, I can't assume that it is enough. God wants us to grow and move closer to Him, but it is easy to let the "lurking rodent" take us off course. The enemy wants to trip us and we can fall for the trap.
This was a moment I caught where God gently reminded me. I need to remember the task, be ready and stay connected. (I know, but it totally makes sense to me...)
One of the other items on the list that goes with the above theme is how I was reminded about prayer. I don't profess to be anything great. I don't have a degree in theology, or great philosophy. What I do know is how God is in complete control all the time and even the things I worry about are not beyond Him.
My hubby and I pray together before bed. I admit it is not as often as we want or should. These last few months I have been the silent one, praying in my head and heart- screaming as loud as I can inside - pleading that God will understand me and hear our prayer. We pray about lots of different things. There is always a never ending list of things that we should be praying for. I confess that I often tease my hubby (lovingly of course) That he will thank God for his provision and then present the top three requests. Again- this is before bed. It is not on our knees in a holy position or anything like that. We are laying in the dark, hoping the God of the universe will hear us.
The other night as we were praying, I felt a twinge of selfishness. How I desperately wanted my husband to pray for us. I wanted protection from the stress of our car issues. While we had fixed one, another sprung up and we did fix it, but now there was uncertainty. I wanted assurance that God was going to fix the financial crisis I was feeling pressured with. I wanted him to pray for our children and their futures in the school there are in. I wanted him to plead with God for answers about how to deal with the church issues I have been struggling with.
I am sure you ask why I didn't pray for those myself, right? Me too. You see, I have been carrying a heavy bag of rocks for some time now and everytime I think I have set it down so that I can be free, something happens and I pick it back up. This battle often keeps me from uttering a word to the Lord audibly. What if my motives are wrong? What if I am not clear of sin and he won't hear my prayer? What happens if my hubby and I have had a fight, will He listen? My heart's cry is connection with God and to pray. I want to unleash my cares and concerns so that He will carry the burdens that weigh me down.
That night as my hubby lay there giving God our list of hopes for others, I was next to him crying out in my heart. In that moment it was as if my heart grew quieter long enough to hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me- "Be HONEST, the Lord knows the cry of your heart already. Do not hide from Him." In that moment, the gate opened and the concerns, the baggage, the fear, worry and despair spilled out of my heart. While I still did not utter a word, I do trust my GOD heard it all. He heard my anxiety about the bills mounting. He answered that they very next day. He brought comfort to my anxiety about our kids and asked me to just wait for HIM about our church decision. Does it mean that every was fixed? No, but my attitude was. God wants to hear from me. He wants to hear his daughter talk to Him about her day, dreams, fears, hopes and worries. If He knows it already and has it under control, who am I to withhold from Him? It may mean that the answer to my prayer is simply to quiet my heart and wait for Him to work.
While God has continually answered my prayer in subtle ways, I am looking more and more for Him. It is as if I am a rabbit chasing the carrot on the stick in front of me. It isn't that God is playing a game, but slowly and carefully drawing me close to him. Only on the day I am standing before Him will I recieve that carrot. It will be carrots for my crown. Until then, I am reminded that there is NOTHING at all that comes as a surprise to God. He knows all. He is all. He is in control of the whole picture. So what makes me think He can't handle my prayers? Why do I behave like God is not big enough? What right do I have to tell God what and where with my heart and the desires I have? It is His. I can be honest. I can trust that He will do what is best for me and brings Him glory. Even if that means my prayer is answered differently than I wanted. Often times it is, and that is when I know it was the best way.
Hebrews 4:14-16 Says:
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The greek meaning of "confidence" is boldness; freedom in speaking. We CAN be bold and cast our praise, thanksgiving, cares, sorrows, worries and hope on Christ. HE knows and is NOT foreign to what we are going through.
Great God, mold me and continue to hold the carrot in front of me. I want to grow and be made for YOUR SPLENDOR!
Here is a song of encouragement.