A Call to Prayer for Our Nation

Last night, God laid it on my heart to spend some time in Revelation.  Honestly, Revelation is not a book I would normally turn to.  In fact, I didn’t read it until I was required to in 9th grade.  Revelation can be unnerving and difficult to understand.  Thus you can understand my reluctance to turn to that particular book.  Yet, I felt certain that was where God wanted me to turn.

The beginning chapters of Revelation are a warning to the Seven Churches.  Each church had fallen into some sort of sin.  As I pondered God’s warnings to the churches I noticed a similarity between the state of the churches and the current state of our nation.

Just as the first church, our nation has fallen away from its first love.  Founded on the words “In God We Trust”, America now mocks the name of God.  We have more than fallen away.  We have turned our back.  God’s warning to the church and to those who would come?  Repent and remember from where you have fallen.  Turn back.

As the second church, our nation has bowed under the pressure of false teaching.  Politics is no longer a matter of honor, but of who can concoct the most deceptive lies.  In our schools, our youth are led astray day after day.  By separating the church and state, our education system has crumbled.

The third church fell into sexual immorality and the fourth church tolerated such behavior.  Much of our nation has become sexually immoral.  Many have exchanged the natural for the unnatural.  Others have taken the lives of children in order to exercise their sexual freedom.  Those not walking in such sin, often tolerate it.  We are warned not to tolerate such immorality.  This kind of sin tears apart God’s design from the beginning.  The Lord longs for us to repent.

In addition to these things, our nation has fallen asleep.  Our nation is lukewarm.  The apathy and complacency we have given into have led to the struggles we now face.  Apathy in politics has led to most people being unhappy about either candidate in the coming election.  People are tearing each other apart over politics.  Apathy and lukewarm complacency are tearing our nation to pieces.  We need people who will rise up, who won’t be satisfied with lukewarm.  Our nation must turn back.

I would encourage you as the election approaches to pray for our nation.  Take some time even today, to specifically pray for the future of our nation.

  1. Pray for repentance.
  2. Pray for our nation to return to her First Love.
  3. Pray sexual immorality would have no place in our nation and that it would no longer be passively tolerated.
  4. Pray for a wake-up call.
  5. Pray for people to wake up from their slumber and rise up.
  6. Pray for the outcome of the elections.
  7. Pray and Trust God.

While the condition of our nation is saddening and may even seem hopeless, take courage, God is in control.  God is the First King and He will be the Last King.  Ultimately He is in control.  “He changes times and seasons.  He sets removes Kings and sets up Kings” (Daniel 2:21).  As you vote, leave the outcome up to God.  Do not fear.  God still reigns over all.

The Way of Faithfulness

Re-entry has been nothing like what I expected.  Leaving India, I expected to come home on fire for the LORD.  I figured I would be able to easily put into practice all I had learned in India.  I thought I would continue growing in my faith and learning at the same rate I had while in India.

Shortly after getting home, I was struggling to get through my personal quiet time.  I caught myself praying “God, I don’t understand the distance I feel from you.  Since coming home from India, you feel so far away.”  Then, even as I prayed, I realized the truth.

It was as if God spoke these words to me “Daughter, have you sought me diligently as you did in India?  Do you get up two hours early every morning to spend time with me and listen for my voice?  Are you searching for the things unseen as you go about your day?  I am right here.  Just talk to me.  Draw near to me,”

As my thoughts continued down that road, I was reminded of James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  I could no longer complain about the distance between myself and God when I realized I was the one placing it there.

In the mornings, instead of getting up early and delighting in my time with the Lord I would flip my alarm off and roll over for an extra hour of sleep or I would flip my computer on to check my email.  Instead of spending time in prayer, I would turn on music and allow my thoughts to wander.  It was much easier to slip into old habits and even form new bad ones than it was to put into practice the things I had hoped to continue in.

Even after I realized where the distance in my relationship with God was coming from, I continued to slide down a path I would rather not have taken.  My time spent with the LORD was reduced from hours of pouring over scriptures and baring my heart before the LORD to a few forced minutes of reading at night and distracted prayers on my way to work.  I hated the distance, yet could not seem to close the gap.

In my mind, I began thinking “When we go backpacking in the mountains next week I’ll have extra time, I’ll get up early, I’ll get back on the right track.”  Well, it turns out it is just as easy to turn off an alarm in a tent in the mountains as it is in my room at home.  After returning from the trip, I found myself in the same boat as before, floundering aimlessly in my walk with the LORD.  After that, I began looking towards the next event, a Bible camp I would be serving at, and then another backpacking trip.  It didn’t take long to realize and event was not going to help me get rid of bad habits and jump-start new ones.  I knew something would have to change.

Just the other night, I was talking with one of my teammates about re-entry.  As we shared our struggles, we discovered a common theme.  We both acknowledged that the biggest struggle we were facing was in our walk with the LORD.  We had both been allowing distractions to take over and were lacking dedication in our time with God each day.  As we ended our discussion, we agreed to keep each other accountable.

A couple of days later, I opened up my Bible to Psalm 119.  I planned on reading for a few minutes before I hit the lights and went to bed.  By verse two I was cringing.  “Blessed are those…who seek the Lord with their whole heart.”  Exactly, what I had not been doing.  I realized the lameness of the few minutes I had intended to set aside for reading that night.  Scripture is often said to be a mirror, and as I read, I could no longer stand the reflection I was seeing.  I resolved in my mind to make an end of the apathy I was wallowing in.  I set my alarm and determined to get up early the next morning in order to spend time earnestly seeking the LORD.

The next morning, I followed through.  After reading and spending time in prayer, my day got off to a good start.  Instead of being discouraged by my own apathy, I felt renewed by my time in the word.

As I began to notice the change in my days, I was reminded of what I dear friend from India was constantly telling me.  “If I don’t start my day with prayer, it doesn’t go right.  I just don’t feel right if I don’t go up to the mountain and pray in the mornings.”  Every day, this dear friend of mine, would get up at 5:00 in the morning and climb to the hilltop in the village called prayer mountain.  After spending time with the LORD, he knew He could start his day on the right foot.  How right He was!  Although I knew these things to be true in my heart, my mind took a while longer to get it.

I’ve realized the importance of starting the day right, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy.  It will still be just as easy to turn my alarm off an roll over, but I don’t want to settle for that any longer.  My hearts desire is that I may draw near to God in order for Him to draw nearer to me.  I want truly want to seek Him with my whole heart.  “I [am choosing] the way of faithfulness” (Psalm 119:30).

Maybe This Time…

Over and over again, I find myself praying for opportunities, opportunities to share the gospel or to share the love of Christ with others.  The intentions I have when I pray for opportunities are, of course, good intentions.  But, they are just that, intentions.  I can pray for opportunities until I am blue in the face, but it won’t change a thing.  Until I act on the opportunities God has given me, they will be nothing more than opportunities.  Too often I think we go through life praying for opportunities while we walk right by them.  The opportunities are everywhere, in our homes, at the post office, the thrift store, and even the bowling alley.

We are called to be stewards of the gospel (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).  That doesn’t mean keeping the gospel to ourselves, but sharing it with others that it might increase and be multiplied.  A steward doesn’t only see the opportunities, He makes the investment.  “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as LORD, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, ‘let light shine out of the darkness,’ has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:5-6).  We have the light.  Each day we should be proclaiming that light to others.

There is a song by Casting Crowns called “Here I Go Again” that reflects the importance of actually taking the opportunities God gives us.  It is one I listen to over and over again; a great reminder to not only see the opportunities but to take them because it might be someone’s last or only chance to hear the words of life.  The words to the song are:

So maybe this time I’ll speak the words of life
With Your fire in my eyes
But that old familiar fear is tearing at my words
What am I so afraid of?

‘Cause here I go again
Talkin ’bout the rain
And mulling over things that won’t live past today
And as I dance around the truth
Time is not his friend
This might be my last chance to tell him
That You love Him
But here I go again, here I go again

Lord, You love him so, You gave Your only Son
If he will just believe; he will never die
But how then will he know what he has never heard
Lord he has never seen mirrored in my life

This might be my last chance to tell him
That You love him
This might be my last chance to tell him
That You love him
You love him, You love him

What Am I so afraid
What am I so afraid
What am I so afraid of?

How many “maybe this times” will there be?  God gives us opportunities each day, yet we often believe the lie that maybe next time will be a better opportunity.  We talk about the rain and talk about things that won’t live past today.  More often than not, we waste the very opportunities we ask for.  The enemy wants us to believe the idea that there is always time.  The gospel is a life or death matter.  How will the people we encounter every day know the truth unless we take the opportunities to tell them.  “How are they to hear without someone preaching” (Romans 10:14)?  Does the weather really matter when someone’s eternal soul hangs in the balance?

The enemy doesn’t care if we pray for opportunities.  We can have all the opportunities we want.  The enemy cares when we start taking those opportunities and making the most of them.  Opportunities are everywhere.  When we begin to look for them, recognize them, and act on them, the devil is hard at work in an attempt to prevent us from taking those opportunities.  The devil has lost the battle for our soul, but will continue to fight against the spread of the gospel hoping that it will stop with us.

I can talk all day about the gospel.  We can talk amongst ourselves about the gospel, but what does our talk matter if we are not sharing it with others, if we are not living it out each day.  Talking about the gospel with others who are already saved will not bring others to salvation.  We can talk about sharing the gospel, we can talk about taking our opportunities, but we must not only talk, we must do “For the Kingdom of God does not consist in talk” (1 Corinthians 4:20).  “Let us not love in words or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 2:18).  Knowledge will pass away, but the light of the gospel and the love of Christ will remain.  It matters not what we say, but how we live and how we love.

I can sit here and write spiritual sounding blog posts every day and what will I gain?  What will be gained for the gospel if I write and do not actually live out the words I am speaking?  I can continue to pray for opportunities day in and day out, but what will happen to the opportunities I miss while I pray for more?

The Lord has given me many opportunities throughout my life and especially throughout the last three months.  I regret to say, I have not done a very good job acting on many of those opportunities.  I talk about love and trust and don’t consistently live it out in my home.  I go to work and to the store and neglect to show the love of Christ to my co-workers or to the other shoppers.  I go into difficult areas of town and encounter people who are desperate to hear the hope of Christ and yet I keep my mouth shut.

I want to be bold for the gospel.  I don’t want to waste any more time looking high and low for the opportunities when they are right in front of my face.  I want my “manner of life [to] be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27).  I want the words that I proclaim to be evident in my every deed.

So, instead of asking for opportunities, we should be asking for the boldness to act on them, for the boldness to share the gospel and share the love and the light of Christ.  “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).  I pray that the Lord will grant to me, and to you, to continue “to speak the word of God with all boldness” (Acts 4:31).

Trust is a Choice

Thinking about all that God has taught me in the last four months nearly makes my head spin (or maybe it was just the coffee I drank).  I took some time the last few days to ponder the lessons God has been teaching me since He directed me to go to India.  One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is about Trust.

It has been my prayer, for quite some time now, that God would teach me to trust Him more.  When I started praying that prayer, I didn’t realize how it might change my life.  I didn’t really consider the path God might take me down in order to teach me to trust Him.  I think I thought God would change me overnight.  That one day I would suddenly just know how to trust Him.  That one day I would go from not knowing how to trust God to the next being able to trust Him completely.  But that isn’t how God works.  I am not a robot and instead of being programmed I am taught.  In order for me to learn something, there must be repetition and practice.  I can’t simply read God’s word and expect an instant change.  I actually have to take action, I have to live it.

In teaching me to trust Him, God has led me into situations far out of my comfort zone.  It doesn’t take much to trust God in the places I feel comfortable in or that I can handle by myself.  It is when things are completely out of my control that I learn to trust in the Lord with all my heart.  Trust doesn’t come easily.  Trust requires a choice.  Standing still is not Trust.  In order to actually trust God I have to pick up my feet and take a step forward.  I have to step out and take the first step trusting that God will show me the next one.  Each step doesn’t necessarily get easier, but learning to trust God means taking each step in spite of feelings of fear.  The choice to trust God must override the temptation to fear.  Trusting God means stepping forward in whatever directions He leads and leaving the outcome up to Him.

God says His word is a lamp for my feet and a light to my path.  When I first learned that verse (Psalm 119:105) the idea in my head was a bit skewed.  The image in my head was of a path, yes, but the surroundings were clearly in view just as they are in broad daylight.  If God’s word is a lamp, there is a problem with the picture I had in my head.  A lamp is not needed in full daylight.  If the world around me were a bright place, I wouldn’t be in need of a lamp.  God’s promise to light my path is evidence that the path may not appear clear; I may not be able to see the whole path ahead of me.  Instead of promising a clear view of the entire trail, God promises His word as a guiding light.

At night, a lamp only shines out enough to see the next few steps.  In order to see further, I must hold the lamp out in front of me and move forward one step at a time.  Trusting God works the same way.  In order to see the path ahead, I have to be reading His word and using its light to guide me in taking the next step.

God is teaching me to trust Him, for sure, but He is also making it clear to me how important it is to put trust into practice.  Trust isn’t something that becomes a constant habit.  In order to continue trusting God, I have to practice it each and every day.

When God directed me to go to India for the summer, I could have stood still.  I could have complained about it not being what I expected or wanted.  Instead I prayed that God would help me to trust Him.  In spite of the fear that left me trembling, I had to make the choice to step forward.  Once I made that choice I was fully dependent on God.  The whole idea of going to India was God’s and the events surrounding it were out of my control.  Once I took the first step by applying to go to India, I had to keep trusting in God’s faithfulness.  At first the fundraising for the trip seemed daunting.  I knew God was calling me to go to India, but had to trust Him to make the way before me.  I was asked the question, “If God doesn’t provide the funds, will that be God telling you not to go?”  With that as a possibility, I had to surrender my fears and my dreams and allow God to take control.  God made it pretty clear what His answer was.  Within a month and a half God had provided all of the funds I needed to go to India.  Once the funds were raised, everything appeared to be set.  All was going as “planned”.  Then, about two weeks ago my team and I found out we would need to apply for Visas in order to get into India.   I applied and within twenty-four hours received an email letting me know my application had been rejected.  I almost could have laughed.  I could see what God was doing.  He took the situation that I thought was under control, out of my hands again.  Even though the Visa seemed like such a simple thing, I had to trust God completely.  Staying up all night on the phone with India got me nowhere.  God gave me no other option but to entrust the visa to Him and to wait patiently.  A week later, after much prayer, my Visa was granted.  I am learning even now, how important it is to trust God each day with every little thing.  Trusting God in the big things seems obvious and it seems like if I can trust God with the big things, it should be easy to trust Him with the smaller ones.  Sometimes though, God has to take the small things I think I have under control out of my control in order for me to learn to trust Him fully.

His Word Stands Forever

Lately I’ve been trying to sort out what I’m thinking in my head so that I can put it into words and share it with others.  People have asked me what God has been teaching me and I haven’t been able to pin just one thing down.  There are so many lessons I’ve learned in the last 4 months it would take many pages to write them all, many conversations to tell about each lesson God has taught me.

In the last four months my love for God’s word has continued to grow.  I have read the Bible for many years.  I love reading God’s word!  But recently, it has taken on a new meaning in my life.  The more time I spend in the word, the more I love it. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  His word is a lamp to light the way.  “Every word of God proves true” (Proverbs 30:5).  The things of this earth pass away, but ” the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).  God’s word is alive today.  It is as applicable now as it was thousands of years ago.  “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).  No matter who you are, there are scriptures that apply to you.  No matter what you are facing, there are passages that have the power to instruct and change you.  There is nothing new under the sun.  What has been done is what will be done.  When I read God’s word I see the things I am facing reflected perfectly.  When I can’t quite put into words what I am going through or learning, I can read the Bible and understand more clearly.

As I learn more about God and understand more about who He is and who he wants me to become, I understand more of His word.  The scriptures have become more alive to me than ever before.  As the Psalmist says in Psalms 119:147 “I hope in your [His] words.  My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your [His] promise” and in Psalms 119:161-162 “My heart stands in awe of your words.  I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.”  I keep reading His word and pouring over passage after passage of scripture.  The more time I spend in the word the more time I want to read it.

Last night I was reading 1 Peter.  Verse after verse encouraged me and filled me to overflowing.  One verse in particular that stuck out to me was 1 Peter 1:8.  “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him.  Though you do not now see Him you believe Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible”.

I have never seen God, yet I have come to love Him.  I have seen His love for me through creation, through His words, through His promises, and through answered prayers.

In recent months Jesus has become more real to me than ever.  Yet even now, I do not see Him.  I have not seen His face or His form, nor have I audibly heard His voice.  With my physical eyes I have not and do not see God yet I rejoice with joy that is inexpressible.  I know He is real.  I know that He loves me.  I know that He loves the world.

My joy at the words and the faithfulness of the Lord simply cannot be expressed except in the very words found within scripture.  Christ surpasses all understanding.  Most would not understand the joy I have found. “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).  In the past several months, I have faced some of the most difficult decisions.  I have been challenged in ways I never dreamed of or even wanted, yet I have come through stronger and more full of joy and the love of Christ.  My own words can never fully express the joy that fills me.  Only God’s word can bring understanding to the joy, the peace, and the love I am filled with.  This joy is inexpressible.  I have indeed “tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:3).

If you are ever wondering what God is doing in your life or if you are facing a situation you simply cannot understand, take time to read God’s word.  Abide in His word.  He has given us the scriptures as a light to guide our steps.  Don’t look for answers in the world.  Look for answers in the word of God which is flawless and stands forever.

Prayer for the Journey

It’s hard to believe I will be on the ground in India less than a month from now.  The last 3 months have flown by.  Seriously, I don’t think I have ever experienced time go by so quickly.  God has been up to some incredible work in my life lately.  He has taken me down a road I never would have dreamed of (and I haven’t even left Washington yet).  God has been showing me the truth of Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”  Planning and dreaming are important, but trusting God for the ultimate outcome is critical.  I have learned that I can dream and plan all I want, but God’s purposes will prevail.

In preparing to go to India, I have been blessed and overwhelmed by the support of my family and many dear friends. It is an amazing blessing to have friends telling me they are praying for me, to have them pray with me, and to have my family pray with and for me.  Prayers are so encouraging and the support I have received is truly a testimony of God’s faithfulness.  I would like to give you all an update about some of the amazing things God has done in my life lately and would also like to share with you some more specific things you can be praying for.

First of all, God is so faithful!  His steadfast love is amazing!  In the past several months I have gained a greater understanding of who God is and have experienced His love and provision in ways I never imagined possible.  God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).  I have learned what it means to praise God for his faithfulness and provision.  As a child, I was often confused about the praising part of prayer.  I knew in my head God was amazing and faithful, because I had been told.  More recently, God’s amazing love and faithfulness have become very real to me.  I have been overwhelmed by His faithfulness and am learning to praise Him in everything.  Here are some specific praises and ways God has shown up in my life:

  1. His provision. When I started fundraising in late February, the number I had to raise was quite daunting.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to be possible.  In less than 2 months God provided more than enough money to cover my expenses.
  2. Completing first year of college.  Normally, SFCC does not get out of class until late June. I was able to complete all of my classes last week and don’t have to worry about getting any more school work done before I leave.
  3. Confidence and Peace. At the beginning of this journey, I was facing a lot of anxiety.  I was nervous about getting vaccines, getting on a plane, and about leaving for a month.  God has filled me with peace regarding all three.  I got the vaccines with no trouble at all.  I no longer tremble at the thought of stepping on a plane, but am filled with peace knowing I am headed right where God wants me.  The thought of leaving is no longer frightening either.  I have surrendered to God’s leading and He has filled me with confidence and excitement.
  4. Family.  My family has been incredibly supportive of my going to India.  I think we have all grown closer in the past few months and I have been immensely blessed by the love and support my parents, as well as each of my brothers, have shown me.

Secondly, there are still many things on my mind as I prepare to leave.  The time is drawing nearer and it is taking some crazy trust to remain calm and trust God through everything.  I would be so blessed if you would keep me in your prayers for the following requests as well as anything else God puts on your heart to pray for:

  1. Pray that God will fill me with peace and calm during the next few weeks. Just thinking about the limited number of days before I leave is overwhelming.  I know this is exactly where God wants me right now, but I am still learning to trust Him daily.
  2. Pray that all the necessary documents will be arranged in time. I found out last week that I would need a Visa.  Shortly after I applied, I received an email letting me know my Visa application had been rejected.  We are not quite sure why, but I still have two more chances to apply before this Friday.
  3. Pray that God will continue preparing my heart for all that He has in store.
  4. Pray for me, as well as for the rest of my team, that anxiety will not take hold. For many of us, going to India is a step way beyond anything we imagined.  I am pretty sure we are all learning to trust God’s faithfulness and protection each day.  Pray for peace and strength in the days ahead.

Before I go, I am hoping to establish a team of prayer supporters. I will, Lord willing, be sending out email updates (at least weekly) with praises and specific prayer requests. I know many of you are already praying for me, but if you would like to get updates and be on the prayer team email list please let me know.  If you would like to get updates starting now and throughout this journey there are two ways you can get them.

  1. Let me know if you would like to be added to the list of people on my prayer team. I am hoping to send out email updates with praises and prayer updates weekly.  You can message me your email addresses on Facebook.
  2. You can subscribe to this blog at the bottom of the page in order to get an email every time I post an update on this blog.

I am so thankful to have the support of so many and would love to include you in all God is doing in my life!

When it’s Hard to Pray

I’ve wanted to write this post for quite some time, but I knew I couldn’t do it unless I took my own advice.  When I started this blog, I compiled a list of topics I hoped to write about.  Most were about what God has been doing in my life or about lessons He has taught me.

One of those lessons was to pray about everything.  If God puts it on your heart, pray about it.  You may not want to, but it’s worth it.

Throughout the New Testament we are instructed to pray about everything.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)”

Whatever we are facing, God wants us to pray about it.  “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. (James 5:13)”

When we don’t know what to do, God says to pray about it.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)”

God answers prayers.  Many times, I have prayed “God show me what to do,” only to wish I could run the other direction when He made it clear to me.  Sometimes, it is when we do know what God wants us to do that it becomes hardest to pray.  I’ve found that sometimes, rather than asking God to show me what to do, I’ve needed to ask Him for the strength to do that which I did not want to do.  I’ve often found myself avoiding what I knew God wanted.  I used to wonder how Jonah could ignore God’s voice or how he could even think of running the other direction.  It’s not hard to imagine now.

At first, when God put India on my heart, I didn’t want to pray about it.  I didn’t even want to think about it.  I didn’t want to allow any room for the possibility that God might tell me to “Go.”  Just as Jonah discovered, ignoring God or running the other direction doesn’t solve the problem.  When I finally asked God what He wanted, He showed me the way to go.  India wasn’t what I had planned and certainly not what I had hoped for.  But, when I surrendered my will to God and began taking steps in the right direction, He gave me the courage I needed.  I was filled with peace.  “The peace of God that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7)” filled my heart and mind.  I was no longer afraid.  In fact, my desires came into alignment with God’s plans.  Instead of being afraid or disappointed, I could hardly contain my joy and excitement.  When I finally surrendered my will to God’s I felt more freedom than ever before.  I felt peace and overwhelming joy.  I thought then, that I had learned my lesson.

More recently, I felt God leading me to give up something very precious to me.  I held on tightly, not wanting to acknowledge the choice I knew I would have to make.  For a time, I was able to push thoughts of surrender aside.  Soon, I could bear it no longer.  I poured out my heart to God.  As I prayed, His leading was evident.  I caught myself complaining to God “It’s too hard, I can’t do it”; a futile argument, I knew.  Even as I prayed those words I was reminded that Jesus went to the cross for me.  It was hard, He didn’t want to, but because He loved me, He went to the cross for me.  As He prayed in Gethsemane, He sought any other option, but He knew He didn’t have one.  When I prayed the other night, I knew I only had one option.  I finally surrendered my will to God.  Instead of praying for a way out, I began praying for the strength and courage I needed.  God was again faithful, as He always is.  He gave me the strength I needed to face what was ahead.

I surrendered my will and my hopes.  Instead of clinging to the things I wanted or loved, I am learning to cling to God.  After surrendering to God, there was nothing else to cling to.  When we surrender to God, we are not admitting defeat.  Instead we are allowing God to fight for us.  In surrendering, there is freedom; instead of loss, there is victory.

As I came to the realization of the freedom surrender brings, I was again filled with peace and joy.  A short time after I surrendered my will completely to God, I had the opportunity to discuss 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 with one of my AWANA girls. “Pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  God’s timing is so perfect.  The verse was the reminder I needed.

Whatever God puts in our path is meant for our good.  He wants us to take everything to Him and to focus solely on Him. Whatever we may be facing, it is a part of God’s plan for our lives.  We may not like it at the time, but it is meant for our good.  God has out best interests in mind; we just have to trust Him.  “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)”