I have a bunch of random thoughts. They are not going away, so I find myself at the computer on this snowy day, wanting to put down some of these thoughts. Maybe these are things that you already know, but they have been things God has slowly been revealing to me through this journey. I think I am just now making sense of them!
Prayer, it is the most powerful thing we believers have. It is our line of communication with God. It is the Facebook, the blog, the text, the instant messaging of our world with God, our Father, our Savior. It is how we express what is on our heart, the thoughts that are not even formed in our heads, it is a way to get our feelings and frustrations out, to make a plea for our requests. It is how we have a relationship with God. It is how we put into practice our requests for others. It is a powerful thing.
So, often times I use prayers as things that I want. I want it to work out this way, I think this should happen. I am bold in praying often times. I often times pray for things that people say are impossible. Example, for Lydia's esophagus to lengthen. While most times they are things that I think will benefit me, my family, my Church, loved ones, I really have no control, no clue as to what is best for me. I think I knew this before, but I think I understand it now.
So when Lydia was in the hospital, I prayed boldly. Often times, as much as I don't want to admit, I prayed with blinders on. I feel, God, in this situation you need to do this. I would like it, God, if you would make this, this, and this happen. However, that is not how God works, or how prayer works.
While we should make known our requests, all things are going to work for the glory of God and for our good. That means, what we pray may not be for our good, but to bring glory to God. That means that what I pray may not happen how I want. I need to have an open mind to this. I need to really understand this.
So, often times, I have prayed and said, God I would really like this to work out this way, however, I would love it if you could teach me, strengthen my faith, and bring glory to you. I understand that God's ways do not make sense in this world. That the way God would have it done often times seems backwards to me. That is where faith comes in. I need to trust that however God works it out will bring Him glory and will be for my good.
I have been shown this, not only taught it. I see some of my requests that I made about Lydia and if those were answered what a nightmare it would be now. I did not know best, I only knew what was affecting me in the now and speculating what the future was to hold. God is there, He knows, why should I worry about it.
So I have the question mark on the end of the power of prayer because I have been following a little ones story and the mom keeps talking about the power of prayer. She portrays that prayer only works when it is working out in her way. Prayer is working when the child is doing what she wants. When the numbers are how she thinks they should be, when she is able to hold her child, when she is able to get out of the hospital when she wants. I remember those days, and I was probably much like that at times. However, the power of prayer is to open our hearts, to make our requests, but to remember that God is in control, that God will work it for His glory and for our good. Often times we don't even know what our good is. I think about that, when we were pregnant with Lydia I just wanted a healthy child. However, I did not realize that I needed her, that she would complete me just the way she is. God is good...He knows us better than ourselves.
A wise friend told me once that she use to pray and ask God to change her husband. She would have this laundry list of things. Then she changed how she prayed and asked the Lord to draw her husband closer to Him. When her husband is living right with God everything else will fall into place. How that mind set has changed me. It has opened how I look at prayer. I find myself, now, in prayer constantly. A lot of judging thoughts are now replaced with prayer, a lot of confusion is now replaced with prayer. I understand it a bit more, I have a better relationship with my Father. I don't completely understand, but I know what I need to do.
These children that were killed in this deadly shooting just a week ago, many have said were taken too soon. It was all part of God's plan, He allowed it to happen. The reasons are unknown to us, and the parents and siblings, the community or many of us may never really understand. However, I know that it was to bring glory to God and for the good of those affected. A hard concept. One that we don't know how to handle when we are in this world. Thankfully I am not, I believe and I don't need to understand, but I need to trust. I need to know that God is Lord of my life and I am accountable only to Him. God allows it to happen. He disciplines the ones He loves, just as we discipline our children for their good. We all need those boundaries and slap on the hands to know what is expected of us, to grow and to learn. It really is a wonderful thing in the picture of things. Please know I am not trying to minimize what these families are going through. I am just simply applying what I have learned to every situation I encounter.
Random thoughts, yes, but I just wanted to share with you what God has been putting on my heart. Especially with some of the stuff that has been happening in our lives. Lydia's shot continues to be denied, but I don't worry about it. Often times I don't even think about it, God has it under control and I will trust Him. I know that He will bring glory to Him and it will be for our good. Our tenant situation. While stressful, I have been learning about praying for our tenant and realizing that it is not about right and wrong. I am learning how to let God be in control, even when it does not make sense. I know that even in these situations God has been there, He knows what is best for us, and I just need to trust Him. What a great peace I have had because of this. He is so awesome and when I just let Him be, things are so great!
One last thought. Last night we dropped our girls off at Awanas and Ellen's class recited Luke 2:1-7. It is so awesome hearing of the Christmas story, again. Afterward the song Mary did you know was sung. I was just struck, almost to tears. How amazing the Christmas story is. Jesus took on human traits, Mary delivered a Son who would deliver her. How amazing is that. Jesus was perfect while He was here in the flesh...something that we will never accomplish. I just love that song. So as we prepare and hurry around getting the perfect everything, don't forget about Christ. He is the reason for the season....He is the most perfect Christmas present, message, decoration...you name it. It is one amazing story...please share it and make sure to keep Him as the focus of your celebrations.
As Ellen reminded me today, we were baking all kinds of goodies, and she tells me that she missed the time we spend together doing those things last year. She said this is the best December ever because we are together cherishing these moments. I love that girl. How awesome that even at 6 they understand and know that.