Sunday, October 28, 2012

can it be?

"Awaken anything that has died an unnecessary death in her.. If she is in a desert, bloom something stunning and obvious there." 

(from Beth Moore's prayer for the listeners at her live simulcast, September 15, 2012)
(See the whole prayer here at Beth Moore's blog

That moment when... you've earnestly prayed this prayer for yourself, claiming what was prayed for you as your own... then a few days later, it happens.  An old longing you had tried to put to death is reawakened.  Something wonderful appears in the midst of the discouraging days.

And yet, still you question whether this thing is from God.

Until a few weeks later, you pull out your crumpled print-out of that prayer, read it again, and realize, in a wow moment, that maybe....possibly....this thing that has bloomed in your life again is God's answer to these words you prayed.  Can it be?

Monday, October 22, 2012

the wonder of it all..

During this beautiful fall season, I've been thinking about what it means to praise the Creator of this beauty.

I used to think that when I saw something -- mountains, a waterfall, a sunset, some glorious piece of creation -- that I was wrong or in some way "cheating" God if I didn't spout off some eloquent words of praise in my heart.  God deserves glory for His creation, right?  The Bible says that He has revealed Himself to us through creation (Romans 1:19-20, Psalm 19:1).  I thought, if He has made this for me to live in and to see, and if He uses it to show me Himself, then it is my responsibility to give Him proper praise for it.

But in the last few months, I've begun to realize that my simple enjoyment and awe of God's creation, the joy and wonder it stirs in my heart, is praise enough.  

God is our Father.  Think about it....parents love to see their children USING and ENJOYING the gifts they give them.  Right?  It would be disappointing for a mom or dad to give their child a gift, only for the child to toss it aside, take it for granted, and never enjoy it.  But when they see their child playing with that toy, wearing that outfit, driving that car, or whatever it may be, and finding delight in it, it makes the parent happy and feel that their gift is appreciated.

So when I see something awe-inspiring in God's creation, it's okay if I don't have any elaborate words of praise to say, or any amazing conclusions to draw (like, "God this shows me that you are....").  It's totally okay if I do, and I'm sure He loves that, too!  Maybe a Bible verse like "When I consider the heavens, the work of Your fingers..." might come to mind, or I might start singing a song about God's love being deeper than the ocean.  Awesome!  But it's also okay when nothing like that comes to mind.  Because I've come to believe that God loves to see my heart finding delight in what He has created.

And these are beautiful moments...
Being speechless over a gorgeous sunset.
Looking at a sky full of stars, wondering at how many there are.
Smiling when I see my beloved mountains appear on the horizon.
Breathing in fresh, clean air and laughing at the wind in my face.
Watching the snow fall in child-like wonder.

This is my heart wondering and rejoicing at my surroundings, at what my awesome Creator God has made with His hands.  Maybe I have prayers of praise and Scripture in response, but if not, no need to force it.  Maybe I simply say, "God, You're awesome."  Maybe I take a photo of it, or point it out to a friend, or just take a moment to breathe it in and savor it.  Whatever the response, I think our Father is pleased to see us delight in His gift of creation.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

on singleness...

My September 5 journal entry:

"Got an email from [a friend] this morning.  She said, 'Love is hard but not impossible,' and said to keep praying, 'not in an attitude of desperation, but telling God that you need a person by your side.' 

You know that, Abba - that I need and want my man by my side, and to be by his.  But Your timing is perfect for that.  I can't even say if I'm ready for it or not, but I want to be.  Father, fulfill the desires of our hearts in Your perfect timing, and may it be soon, according to Your will.  Help me to rest in You and wait patiently, even when my flesh wants to pursue.  Remove selfishness from me, Lord, and develop agape love within me.  Prepare me to be the girlfriend, the companion, the wife that my man needs me to be - and more importantly, that You want me to be for Your glory!  And please be preparing him, too, to be a godly boyfriend, companion, husband, father, that I need/want him to be and that You're calling him to be.  Thank You for Your work in both our lives.
It's hard to have hope sometimes...Hard to imagine it actually working out beautifully...but help me hope, Lord; help me believe.  And God, continue to help me love and want You the most.  I pray that You would come before everything in both our lives, even before each other." 

[Note: the "man" referred to is an unknown person! :-) ]
Pray for your future mate, ladies and gentlemen.  And pray for God to bring you together!  I certainly do, though I sometimes feel like God is ignoring me.  He isn't.  But His ways are far above ours.

Yes, there have been moments in life that I have stomped my feet at God and told I'm that I'm sick of being alone.  There have been moments I've told Him I didn't want to learn any more "lessons" from "the gift of singleness." (as all the articles meant to make us feel better say!)  But in the end, I do believe that He knows what He's doing, and that what He's doing is something loving and beautiful.

It takes courage to hold onto that hope.  Let's hold it anyway.
"He makes everything beautiful in its time." Ecclesiastes 3:11