Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Life Made Easier Through Prayer

We've all had those weeks where everything seems to converge on us at once. Whether its crises, expenses, scheduling conflicts -- we just can't catch our breath. This has been such a week for us. But it is Sunday, and I'm here to tell you that by the grace of God we have been brought through it.

A couple of weeks ago, one of our children began discussing with us her plans for the rest of her life -- at least, the immediate "rest of her life." This was going to require some big changes, some confrontations, probably some unhappy folks, and lots of prayer. We supported her as much as we could without trying to influence her decision. Well, this week the time came for confrontation #1. As we checked and double checked, trying to make certain she was as ready for this as we were (and double checked that we were as ready for this as we needed to be), we were immersed in prayer. We prayed for circumstances, direction, timing, and wisdom. We prayed for all the parties involved. We prayed for peace. We prayed for God's will above all else.

I had a pretty important engagement myself. A final appointment with one of the doctors who has been treating me over the past year. I was certain he was going to release me. I was certain of the healing God has been working in me over these past few months. But getting that confirmation, having him say those words: "I won't need to see you anymore." That was a rush! Is there something wrong with needing a man to tell me what God has already done? I think that's best left to another post. In short, though, God has made us sensual humans; we see, smell, hear, touch and taste. God uses those senses to convey His goodness. That day, He used the sound of a doctor's voice to tell me He had worked all things to His glory and my good -- something for which many people had been praying.

I also had a meeting with an agency regarding my mother's care. Since I have managed to anger some folks along this short highway of my existence, someone sought to use my position as my mother's primary caregiver as a way of seeking retaliation. I think most people would look at the situation and see it for what it is; I also think most people would hear "government agency" and know what could very well happen. Don't get me wrong, I tend to scoff at conspiracy theories, but I'm no fool either; I can do the math and know what government agencies tend to gain by controlling the lion's share of the little guy's property, life, finances, consumption, etc. (Rant over.) Needless to say, I wasn't taking anything for granted. I prayed. I prayed for wisdom, for the right words, for a compassionate case worker, for the retaliation to cease, for the poor person who did this, for my mother's future, and for anything else I was missing or of which I was unaware. And, above all, I prayed for God's glorification.

God is a Father who desires our heart, and there is no better, more honest way to give it to Him than in the quiet and seclusion of prayer. A soul laid bare before Him, bursting with praise or crying out in loss is what He requires. Some question the concept of praying for your enemies, or even question my faithfulness regarding it. Honestly, it's not always easy, and it's not always my first reaction, but the more time I spend in the presence of God, the more my heart becomes like His. It has become easier to understand those who don't know Him, and pray for them, even when they seek to do me harm. It has become easier to understand the brokenness of life and health in this world, and pray for God's goodness to be made evident in me. It has become easier to rest in the assurance that even when I or others stray outside of the will of God, even when things don't seem to be going the way that seems best to me, God will be glorified, and I can either be a part of that or be removed from it. It has become easier to trust in what God can and will do.

I know well the power of prayer. I stand by it. 100%. In all of these situations, God's goodness was hugely evident. And although not all of our horses have hit the finish line, our needs this week were met. There is still work to be done. There are still many prayers to be said. But right now, there is praise to be given!

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