Friday, September 22, 2017

Accidental Prayer

            The whole incident probably took seven minutes. It was already dark when I started to drive home from a church prayer meeting. I stopped and waited for a red light to change. My rear view mirror told me that the car behind me was not going to stop. It hit with a jolt. 
My attitude was not good. I jumped out of my car and walk toward an older gentleman who stepped out of his car. I was anxious to survey the damage to my car. But I looked into his eyes, and I saw a reflection of my own eyes many years earlier.    
            “I’m sorry. I just came from the hospital and was thinking about my wife.” the distraught man explained. 
            Other cars were navigating around as we stood under the streetlights. I touched his arm and started to pray for him. I prayed that he and his wife would feel the love of the Lord, and doctors would have wisdom. I prayed other concerns that I had when my husband was in the hospital. Finally, I prayed, "Lord, keep him safe as he drives home."
            “You’re like an angel,” he whispered. 
            I looked at our undamaged cars, and his rejuvenated face and answered, “No, God wanted to tell you he loves you.”   

Scripture: “He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4 (MSG)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Never Finish Anythi

I saw this in print and it made me laugh. Then I read it again and sighed. There were some very important things in my life that seemed to go forward, hit a brick wall, recover, go forward, hit a brick wall, recover, go forward, and hit a bri… My dreams and desires were unfinished.
I looked up unfinished in my Holy Dictionary and discovered it meant imperfect, undeveloped, deficient, immature, and insufficient and a lot of other words that made me feel worse. Sigh.
But the meaning I hated the most was unprocessed. I hate going through process. It’s like being put into a blender. When it’s done there is nothing that went into the blender that is recognizable. I asked the Lord if there was any other way to finish things without going through process.
And of course He laughed with me and then gave me some verses to consider.
“For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross,” (Hebrews 12) Oh Jesus, I’m so sorry for the process you endured.Thank you.
“Being confident of this that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” (Phil:6) Oh, it’s your plans for my life?
“Count it pure joy when all kinds of trials come your way…” (James 1:2) Ouch. Count it all joy? Really?
Then He took me to Lazarus’ story in John eleven. “This will not end in death. It is for God’s glory, that I may be glorified through it.” Interesting. He didn’t say death wouldn’t be part of it. He said it would not end in death.
Okay, I choose to continue to continue. I choose to dream again. I will go through the process with as much joy as I can when I feel like I am dying. Who knows? Maybe when I come out of the blender I’ll be a delicious milk shake.

Scripture: “And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:4 (NAS)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Strength for Today

He pushed off with one foot and jumped on the back of the grocery cart. As he came zipping through the parking lot he realized that I was watching him. He broke into a slow smile. Then we both began to laugh out loud as he continued his ride to his car with his head held high. His grey hair and suit didn’t match his actions, but I understood.
            Don’t you wish you could go to the library, and renew yourself instead of your book. You can’t do that, but you can be renewed.
            God has a wonderful renewal plan. Even through youth get tired and quit you don’t have to do that according to Isaiah 40. You can actually ascend like an eagle, run like an athlete, and walk through your every day commitments and not collapse.
            All he asks is that you show up for his invigorating infusion. Isaiah says that when you wait upon the Lord He will renew your strength. So what does wait mean? Are we to sit until he shows up? Do we rest and let him do it all? Or do we wait on him like a waitress waits on a customer? Our English minds translate wait many different ways.

            However, wait in Strong’s concordance comes from a root that means to bind together by twisting. We are not to sit and do nothing. We need to closely interact with him in order to renew our strength. Perhaps the example of the waitress is closer to the meaning. We seek his face and ask him about his desires. We wrap ourselves up in him. 
            Let's try it. Who knows? Maybe, the next time we go to the grocery store we may feel the urge to jump on the back of the cart and push off.
Isaiah 40:29,31  "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases strength...those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength."