Challenge Update

On Tuesday I told you I would write again today letting you know what happened during this 3 day challenge.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would have anything to say or what I was expecting from this challenge.  I just felt like I needed to do it.  As it turns out, some really cool things happened through this!

Tuesday was my first day to begin.  I thought it might be a little difficult, but it was actually much more difficult than I anticipated.  I had to catch myself before I asked for a need to be met.  It’s something I do so often, and it makes me wonder how much thought and faith I actually put into the requests because they have become such a habit.

Let’s go back just a little:  I pray every day for finanical provision and to get some speaking events scheduled.  These, of course, were things I didn’t pray about over these past few days.  So I went through Tuesday realizing how intentional I had to be during my prayer time.  It really shouldn’t be that difficult to just spend time praising God and making it about him rather than me, but wow I had such a wake up call during this.  I had become complacent in my prayer life without realizing it.

Wednesday morning I checked my email as I usually do.  To my surprise, the first email I found was one from a church wanting to schedule an event for me to speak!  I was so excited about it, and I immediately praised God.  Isn’t it funny how I prayed every day, and I got something scheduled after 24 hours of NOT praying about it?

In the middle of a conversation between my husband and I about work and finances, my phone rang.  It was my principal letting me know that I was approved to be a full time teacher this upcoming year rather than the part time I had been in the past!  Praise God, our bank account will be able to breathe!!  There were several other things that we’ve been a little stressed about that just happened to fall into place after that.  It’s amazing what happens when we really do just be still.

I had to remind myself that God already knows our needs.  We pray for them because that’s what we’re supposed to do.  However, I think we get confused when we hear pray without ceasing.  Did you know you can pray without ceasing AND pray without pleading all at the same time?  I don’t think that pray without ceasing means to continue to pray the same thing every day until it turns into begging.  Begging and pleading means there’s a whole lot of worry and not a lot of faith.  I think praying without ceasing means more that we pray and have faith that no matter how long it takes for God to answer it, he will answer in the way that is best for us.  Never give up on the prayer, and it doesn’t hurt to pray for it again later, but the need to pray for it every day is unneccessary.  God is holding on to our prayers and will send down his blessings at just the right time.  Our time isn’t always the best.  What am I talking about?  It’s hardly ever the best!  God has a percpective that’s much broader than our own.  He sees what’s ahead and knows the absolute perfect time to provide for our needs.

I hope this makes sense.  There really was so much that all came together on Wednesday and Thursday, but it would take forever to write about it all.  Those were just the first two and the biggest things.  So I am going into this school year as a full time teacher, and I’m meeting with people from a church next week to schedule an event date.  God is so good and faithful.  Always remember that when he let’s you in on his vision for you, it will come to pass 100% of the time!  It probably won’t happen right away, and it will probably start off small, but it’s because he’s preparing you for what’s ahead.  I am so excited to watch and participate in this vision he has for me.  I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.  I don’t know when it will, but I know it will, and I’m seeing the beginning of it this week.

If you did this challenge with me, I would love to hear your own story.  Did God reveal himself to you in a different way than he has before?  Let me know.

Who Will Do This With Me?

Last night I started thinking about my prayer life.  The question came to me, “How often do I pray and not have a request of some sort?”  I’m asking you this question today How often do you talk to God and not request something?  I know we all have needs of some sort, and some of you may feel like you’re living in that pit I mentioned in the last post, so it’s hard not to make a request.

My challenge to you is to take the next 3 days going to God in prayer without asking for anything.  At first it might be difficult, but push through the difficulty and spend time praising and worshipping him.  Don’t ask him for anything.  Remember that your special time with God is also listening to him.  Read his word and listen to his voice.  Let’s all do this together.  I’m starting it today, and will come back Friday to talk about what God did with me during that time.

Who will do this with me?  Send a comment letting me know if you’re in.  Let’s see what happens with this!

Pit of Despair

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
      and he turned to me and heard my cry.
 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
      out of the mud and the mire.
   He set my feet on solid ground
      and steadied me as I walked along.
Psalms 40: 1-2

Reflect on this etire chapter in Psalms.  How many times have you found yourself in a pit?  It seems like the more you try to climb out, the more you slip on the mud and rocks and find yourself weary.  Why do you think that is?

If you’re trying to get out of the pit by yourself, you’re not only going to find yourself overly exhausted, but you’re going to find yourself still sitting right in the middle of that pit.  You’ve accomplished nothing by trying to get out on your own.  This scripture says to wait patiently for the Lord, and he will lift you out of the pit.

When I was young the drama of Baby Jessica was plastered on every tv station and every newspaper in Texas.  Jessica was 18 months old and somehow walked right over an abandoned water well and fell close to 20 feet inside of it.  The opening of the well was only about 8 inches wide, so the rescue team was unable to just go down and get her, and 20 feet was an impossible climb for an 18 month old (or any adult for that matter).  It was impossible for Jessica to save herself from that situation.  She had to utilize the many rescuers working hard to get her out.  Had she refused that help, she literally would have died in that well.

When you find yourself in a pit of dispair and can’t seem to find your way out, think about this toddler.  First, wait patiently for the Lord because he wants to help you out of that pit.  It may take longer than you would like, but he’s coming.  Exodus 14:14 says The Lord himself will fight for you.  Just stay calm.  Some translations say “you need only to be still.”  Let him reach in and pull you out.  Don’t fight him as he does this.  Just be still and allow him to do the work he came to do.

Sometimes you may think you know the best way out, but you’re only digging a deeper hole.  God knows that what seems like the obvious way out might really be more harmful.  It may take him coming in from another side to save you from your despair.  Unfortunately, that sometimes means things have to get a little bit worse before getting better, but he is in control and will get you out.

Baby Jessica fell deeper into the well as rescuers were drilling a hole nearby.  It seemed like it was making things worse, but these guys were experts and knew exactly what they were doing.  They knew they couldn’t get her out by reaching into the well and lifting her out.  They had to dig a hole nearby and come in from below, and after more than 2 days in that well, they pulled Jessica out of her literal pit of despair.

Let God meet you where you are in your pit.  Remember the more you fight and the more you attempt to do it on your own, the more damaged you will find yourself.  Wait patiently and allow him to come in from a different angle and pull you out with as little damage as possible.

 

Baby Jessica information from http://www.caver.net/j/jrescue.html