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I wasted time a few weeks ago waiting for my daughter to finish work. Walking a few shops down, I found a wall hanging with this statement, “Until God opens the next door praise Him in the hallway.”  My first reaction was, “Yes, Lord I am in the hallway, but there aren’t any doors to open.”

 

I smiled to myself with tears rolling down my cheeks.

 

I’ve stepped out temporarily from ministry, which started a strong tug of war. The two sides pull hard with the intent of winning. On one end of the rope, confidence.  I have made a good decision to rest.  One the other end is busyness and the need to be back in the race.  As I talked to a friend about this struggle, he mentioned a devotional by L.B Cowman Streams in the Desert which gives a wonderful illustration of the periods of rests in our lives.  This is the author’s take on the period called rest:

 

 “There is no music during a musical rest, but the rest is part of the making of the music.  In the melody of our life, the music is separated here and there by rests.  During those rests, we foolishly believe we have come to the end of the song… He (God)* brings a sudden pause in the choral hymn of our lives, and we lament that our voices must be silent.  We grieve that our part is missing in the music. The process is often slow and painful in this life, yet how patiently God works to teach us! And how long He waits for us to learn the lesson.”  (Cowman pg.43,44)

 

Resting periods in my life (a masterpiece) is part of the grander piece. Sometimes these come as hardships, illness, struggles and trials or the everyday mundane.  These rests are times of silence and solitude in which He uses to grow me in my relationship with Him. God is the composer and conductor of my life and He creates rests for reasons.  Some reasons I see some I don’t, but all are for His glory and honor.

 

I love what Margaret Feinberg said in her book Fight Back with Joy, “Always be suspicious that God is up to something.” Even in the resting there is the hope that God is going to do something wonderful through it.

 

For me there are a couple of reasons for my rest: 1.  to grow closer to Him which in itself brings about rest  2.  To understand better who I am in Him, and how He sees me.  There is probably more to it, but that is what I’m observing now.  How cool is that?

 

Yes, I’m in a hallway right now that has no doors. I sit and wait in expectation when not only a door appears but opens and I walk through.  Praise God.

 

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Psalm 46:10 (The Message)

 

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Last year I attended the Experiencing God Bible Study at our church. I would highly recommend it to anyone. One of the exercises was to do a “God walk”.  We were to go to a park or beach and talk to Him and listen for His voice. By the way, listening is hard.

While I walked and prayed I met up with my niece and her third grade class. I had forgotten that they would be there. My niece had asked if I would go and I told her no. The leaders asked if I wanted to join them and again I said no, that I was there for a Bible Study assignment, a prayer walk. The leaders were gracious. One even said, “Tell Him I will talk to Him later.”

I didn’t get more than a few yards, and guilt overwhelmed me. I felt God prodding me back to the group. I didn’t want to. He reminded me that I had asked a few minutes prior why I was doing this. What did He want me to do or say? I gave in and turned back. In the end I apologized to my Father and the leaders for my prideful response. I also made my niece’s day.

I tried to do a “God Walk” every month. Needless to say it went by the way side.

Fast forward a year. A few months ago, I was struggling in every area of my life; my priorities, being  a mother, a wife and as a writer. I felt in my spirit I needed to take a “God Walk”. Strange how God works, the day I made the decision, I started a new Bible study entitled “The Circle Maker”. That night the assignment was to find a place, and time to pray every day for twenty-one days and pray for one situation or person (my personality won’t let me do that so there were several people/issues I chose).  Through this study we learned how to pray hard (persistence), bold (asking for the impossible) and pray for God’s sovereign will.

I chose seven in the morning and to walk around the block (less likely to be distracted). It reminded me of Genesis, and how God walked with Adam and Eve and the intimacy they had with the Father. The first time I poured my heart out. When I got back I felt renewed and excited to see how the Father would answer in unexpected ways.

The “God Walk” is becoming a new habit. When I don’t do it, I find that my day is miserable. It has provided me a new way of connecting with God. I am beginning to recognize His voice, praying scripture and trusting My Father will answer even if it is the impossible.

Do you spend time just praying and listening? He desires time with us to grow our relationship with Him.

Set up a time or place (it doesn’t have to be a walk) to just talk to the Father.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6:18

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