For a person who derives great pleasure in finding the right words to express an idea, I am starting this year remarkably adrift.
After taking holiday time off, I find the discipline to sit and think, to observe and write, requires the same kind of effort as hauling myself off to the gym. (A procrastination I quelled by downloading a good book on my nook and allowing myself to read only on the treadmill. Gotta know your rewards.)
The problem is purpose. Focus. Direction. And for those of us with task driven personalities, losing your purpose is like being adrift in a dingy without oars. You can either wait for a current to catch or start kicking.
I started with prayer. Even that is work. There is a pressing in, a labor of ask, seek, knock, and a trust that even if you haven’t broken through to the experience of God’s pleasure, you are sure of his presence. As Manning says, “When the craving for reassurances is stifled, trust happens.”
So, I am believing the words from my New Year’s Day reading: “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”—Jeremiah 33:3
And I am persevering like the bothersome widow before the unrighteous judge (Luke 18) who is rewarded for perseverance, and like the Syrophoenician woman (Matthew 15), who withstood what could have been perceived as rebuff or offence, and pressed on to receive her reward.
Because there are times when it seems “God has unstrung your bow” as Job laments,
And there are tyrant keepers: The Procrastinator, The Critic, The Judge, and The Taskmaster who delight in keeping you down.
But there are things you can do, small and indirect as they may seem, that can dismantle
these tyrants as surely as David’s stone toppled the giant. (Will talk more about these later.)
Today I just want to encourage you that prayer is the most formidable weapon we have. If only we could gain even a mustard seed sized glimpse of just Whom we are speaking with and how much He values our prayer.
“A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer.”—Oswald Chambers. (This year I am full of the bow and arrow imagery and analogy God use.)
For now, imagine what this would look like in your situation today:
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Lord, would you touch each of those who have paused here and whose lives have briefly entwined with mine, and fill us with the zeal to ask, seek, knock, and find more of YOU.