Monday, October 12, 2009

A Follow Up to the Petals Post

Today I found an article in Christianity Today that contritutes more to my thinking on the Petals topic. Somehow it's related. Not sure how yet. Something about trusting instead of fixing. Believing instead of doing. Check it out if you like.

Dang. I keep forgetting how to put web addresses in so you can access them directly. Help?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cleaning up the Dead Petals

I’m sitting on the back deck having some quiet time with the Lord. Beautiful sunshine! One of the many things I have to be thankful for this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

But thanks is not uppermost in my mind. As we begin to talk (or as I begin to talk) I notice the petunia needs pruning. So many dead leaves and blossoms. So I start pulling them off as I mutter. “God, please help my dear ones. You know how long and hard I’ve prayed for them and yet nothing has happened. Can’t you do something? I’ve invested so much in them you must know how important this is. They need your healing in their lives so badly. It seems to me like you should be doing something about this.”

I mutter away, out loud, which means I can hear how it sounds, so I end up doing quite a bit of repenting: for my impatience with God, for my self-pity, for my lack of faith.

Then all of a sudden I’m in tears. From out of nowhere. God, you know how much I love these people. It’s because I love them. I know you love them too. Please help them.

I sob and pray for a while, then I wipe my eyes and pick up My Utmost for His Highest from the bench beside me. I open to today’s date. The heading is "Pull Yourself Together." Hmm. Sounds suspiciously like a Word from the Lord, considering the circumstances.

Oswald Chambers says: “Yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” Romans 6:13-22 is the passage it’s from.

I cannot save and sanctify myself; I cannot atone for sin; I cannot redeem the world; I cannot make right what is wrong, pure what is impure, holy what is unholy. That is all the sovereign work of God. Have I faith in what Jesus Christ has done? He has made a perfect Atonement, am I in the habit of constantly realizing it? The great need is not to do things, but to believe things. The Redemption of Christ is not an experience, it is the great act of God which He has performed through Christ, and I have to build my faith upon it.

Yup. There’s a message here for me.

I’m relieved, actually. I don’t have to fix things or worry how God is doing it. I’m sure He’s up to something and I’m sure it’s good. It might even work better if He fixes it than if I try.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
Proverbs 3:5-7

The next verse says, in the King James, it will be health to thy navel. Not too sure what that means but a healthy navel can't be a bad thing.

Now I need to get out the sweeper and suck up the dead petals on the deck floor.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

When it Comes to Eternity, Timing Might be Everything

It may be my imagination, but it seems lately I’ve become aware of the quiet moving of God in my life in a new way. I don’t know if He’s moving in a new way, or I’m just becoming aware of it. But it’s intriguing, and something I want to follow up on.

Often, these days, when I’m working at the computer, or out and about around town, I get a sudden, sweet urge to go to prayer in a more focused way.

The kind of prayer I’m drawn to in these moments is different than the more or less continual chatter I bombard Him with all day long—the kind that often degrades into self-talk, because I’ve become more focused on my problems than the One I’m talking to about them.

These moments are delicate, so fleeting that they’re gone almost as soon as I realize they’ve come. Kind of like butterflies landing on your shoulder. And I’ve found they totally evaporate when they come and I think to myself, “Hmm. That’s nice. I’m going to go to prayer as soon as I finish this article, or when I get home from the store.” When the article is finished, or the groceries are in the fridge, I don’t feel the same sweet urgency, and my prayer times, when I manage to fit them into my schedule, become life-less.

Why is this? Maybe, in these brief, sweet times, I’m catching the crest of the wave of a kairos moment—a spiritually significant, eternal “moment” (there are no moments in eternity but I have no other words to express it), and if I don’t hop on the surfboard and get on top of that wave I’ll miss the excitement, and the spiritual benefits, of an exhilarating experience with God.

Even more sobering, I might miss a chance to create, in prayer, a spiritually significant moment in the life (or the eternity) of someone for whom God is asking me to intercede.

I’ve decided I’m not satisfied with lifeless prayer times any more—the kind that feel like I’ve called the meeting, and God is taking His time showing up. And I’m realizing something new about obedience: it needs to be instant. I need to be instant in my response to these brief promptings or they will go away.

For some time now God has been teaching me that I need to be restfully available to Him, and instantly obedient. The first part of that admonition is easier for me now. I’ve learned to relax and let Him guide and prompt. But I’m slower on the uptake of the prompts. This is (yet another) growing edge for me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Another Granddaughter's Birthday, October 4, 2009!

A Sonnet to
Sophia Marie Jessie Mohr
written the day she was born,
October 4, 2007
by Grandma Jaques

The rain-bowed clouds embrace your birth today.
They promise grace for sunny skies and dim.
Life spreads her wings to start you on your way,
God takes your hand to lead your heart toward Him.

Through your dear body run the threads of life
That join us all in common ancestry.
And through your spirit, as you’re led by Christ,
Those threads will lead into eternity.

The gracious plans the Master has for you
Are mirrored in the glowing rainbow skies.
We see them faintly veiled from earthly view
As we look down into your misty eyes.