Tag Archives: pray

What Makes Us Do It?!

A horrible thing happened this morning.  Horrible.

Sampson, my dog, loves to chase squirrels.  He will run them all day long up trees, hoping fiercely to catch one but it’s never happened…until today.

He ran a squirrel up a very tall light pole at the park.  While other squirrels ran for safety in the surrounding trees, Sampson was fixed his prisoner.  He taunted, barked, bounced and badgered the squirrel but he just scurried higher up the pole.  Sampson didn’t move.  He refused to give up.  Suddenly, for no reason at all, the squirrel jumped down off the pole!  He was dazed and couldn’t scamper very fast so Sampson got him.  Can’t be mad at the dog, that’s what dogs do! I stood there, shocked and amazed.  Why.  Why in the world would that critter take such a chance knowing it was a long fall, Sampson was right there and he may not survive it?

What makes us think we can jump into things we know we shouldn’t and not be hurt or hurt those we love?  Why do we think it’ll always turn out ok when the chances are 50/50 – sometimes less – that they will? What makes us lurch into danger giving no thought to the consequences that await us?

Maybe it was fear.  The squirrel was probably terrified.  I reason in my mind that had Sampson treed him he would have never taken such a chance.  Sampson kept on taunting him, the squirrel went up as high as he could but maybe felt he wasn’t far enough away from his enemy that he thought, “If I could just get to that tree, it’s close…I can make it, then he won’t see me and I’ll be safe…” and went for it.  Sometimes don’t we think the same?  We think if we can’t see the enemy he surely can’t see us; we think any decision we make out of fear is an ok one; we have to do something, so we do what we know to do, maybe what we’ve always done: JUMP!  Maybe it was wanting to hide, to get away.  Maybe it was the challenge, boredom, adventure, something different.  I don’t know.  All I know is it didn’t end well for the squirrel and it won’t end well for us if we flirt with disaster thinking we can get away with it.

Jumping into danger (whatever the danger is) in all likelihood won’t end well for us either. Humans (supposedly) have another sense to guide us and perhaps talk us down before we take the plunge and if a Christian, an even greater resource, the Holy Spirit.  Before we move for whatever reason, take a minute to think (yes) but especially to pray.  He has the best sense of what’s good for us and will always guide us, if we let Him.  Always pray before plunging.  Okay?

Isaiah 30:21 “Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”

But Then, I Prayed.

I’m just not feelin’ it.  Early mornings and lots of effort will produce just what it did yesterday.  What’s the point? I think I won’t today.  But then I prayed and before I knew it, my feet were on the floor and the wonderful sounds of a brand new day welcomed me on.

I want what I want. What’s the harm?  No one will know.  I think I will…but then, I prayed and the strength to resist came; the want to, to please The One greater than myself gave me the will, I chose Him and the thought left my mind.

I want to be as mean to them as they are to me.  I want to act out of my rights, my justification – because after all, they gave me a reason to lash out so it’s all good…but then, I prayed and The Voice whispered, “greater love – because that’s how I love you…” immediately came to mind…so I chose love over hate.

It’s as simple as that.  It’s not easy, but it is that simple.  Who will I please today? It’s always a choice.  None can do it on our own strength – at least I can’t.  All the willpower and determination I can muster is never enough; sometimes when I want to choose right and do, I still act wrong. But then I pray – pray for the strength and the want to, to act out right, say right, be right…in His eyes.  Sometimes I think my morning time with Him will be enough to carry me through…then I find myself with another crossroad, another choice to make then I pray.

Let’s be conscious to choose first to pray, then to live in a manner that honors Him today, one incident at a time.

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for your yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15

Please. Do Not Repeat.

I’m sure like me you’re remembering this very dark day in American history, 9/11/2001.  Do you remember how divided we were back then?  Just like now, it was almost brother against brother…race against race.  Although I don’t recall it being as bad as it is now, I do recall how bad it was.

Then the first plane hit WTC…and in a second, right before our eyes, our world changed forever.  We saw a play by play a huge American tragedy unfold right in front of us. Not a single person who was alive that day was untouched.  We saw evil up close and personal like we never have before.

From the moment the first plane hit, it seemed the horror brought us back together as a country.  We saw acts of courage, kindness and consideration like we never had before.  Because of our optimistic nature, we saw lines and lines of people ready to give blood for the survivors.  The faces of the fireman shown on TV preparing themselves to go in those buildings and the Pentagon are forever etched in our memory.  We witnessed Congress and Senate – going at each other then as they are now – come together and sing “God Bless America”.  Churches unlocked their doors for days for people to come to pray.  Many were saved.

With broken hearts, church attendance went through the roof.  People by the droves got saved.  We became one country…one nation under God.  We were solidly united in those days.  Remember?

Now think about today and how divided and angry this nation is.  Social media fuels the frenzy.  We are right back – farther back I would venture to say – than we ever have been.  I cringe to think what it will take to unify us again, to make us remember what is really important.  So many have fallen away from God, there is so much hate and vileness in our country right now.  What will it take for us to turn around again?

My prayer is that it doesn’t take another event like 9/11.  We don’t want to ever go through anything like that ever again.  As you remember what happened 15 years ago, pray for your country.  Pray for God’s mercy to invade us, His mighty hand to protect us.  Show a little love and consideration today and every day after.  Please Lord.  Do Not Repeat.

 

Exercising Hope

One of the greatest delights and desires of my heart this time of year is to see hummingbirds.  As I’ve said many times I believe they’re tiny angels.  I marvel at them.  When I lived in Alabama they showed up in abundance and I had my work area set up so that I could watch them from dawn until dusk.  Since I moved here, sadly, I have only seen them when I’ve visited my friends.  Only ONE hummingbird visited my house and that was the year before last!  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

There are probably several reasons for that.  I moved three times my first year here, all under less than favorable circumstances.  Perhaps they couldn’t find me.  Maybe if I could have consistently stayed where I was, they would have come. I would try putting the feeders here and there – always moving them and always being disappointed.

I remembered this morning reading a story about hummingbirds.  If they live they always come back to where they visited the previous year.  Always. So I place partial blame on me that I didn’t get the blessing of the hummers and yet have to wonder if perhaps they never came to those places.  Last year, I didn’t put feeders out.  I gave up.  I didn’t believe they would come so I made the decision to do nothing.

Don’t ever stop believing. Keep going to scriptures that encourage and help you believe and SEE that God IS busy whether His activity manifests itself externally or not.

I put feeders out this morning and prayed while doing it for two reasons:  1) The Bible says to pray about everything and 2) I was physically exhibiting the HOPE that I would see hummingbirds this year and FAITH that God is going to bless my prayers and those little earth-angels WILL come. HOPE is a VERB – it means to wait, tarry, EXPECT.

Guess what I just saw.  My heart is full and tears flood my eyes as I type this. What a lesson…and a blessing.

Romans 5:5  “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

 

What Do You Want?

Why do you pray?  For something from My hand…for My provision.  Or do you seek Me?  What if I had no hands; what if I can’t, seemingly won’t do anything for you…would you even utter My Name?  Do you give me a thought when you’re not needy?  Do you love Me anyway? Would you love Me anyway?

What if the answer is no? What if I don’t give you what you ask? Does that make me a bad Father?  What if I allow you to suffer, would you still trust Me?  What if you lack, does that make Me less?

What if the one you’ve prayed so hard for isn’t healed? Would you still love Me?  Would you turn away from Me?  When your belly rumbles and your heart breaks, does that mean that I’ve failed you?  Am I still good?  Do you…can you still love me?  When I come back, will I find any faith…any hanging in, seeking Me (when your hands are empty and you feel failed) faith in Me alone? Can you trust me enough to believe all this is for your good?

Will you?

Appearance

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This is a scar from my latest encounter with the ground.  I fell in October on concrete and hit right on my shin where there is very little fat and tissue protection (probably the only place on my body where there’s no fat) so it hurt pretty bad and took a long time to heal.  By its appearance it looks like it’s totally healed but the truth is, I have an infection in that bone resulting from that fall for which I have been on antibiotics for weeks with weeks to go.  To look at it though, to look at me, you would think nothing’s wrong.

The appearance of something or someone rarely ever tells the whole story.  Sometimes good things don’t look at all like blessings.  For instance, when my car broke down and we had no transportation some precious friends prayed for me and the Lord nudged them to GIVE me an old car they had.  To LOOK at this car, you wouldn’t think it was a blessing – it’s appearance is worn and old and doesn’t appear to be a blessing at all! BUT to us, it is provision and just what we need (no more and no less) to get us to our jobs and stores to get what we need.

Many told me when I took the job at a local grocery store chain when my transcription job was outsourced that I was just wasting my time…not enough money…etc., when, in fact, that job has provided for us and allowed me to meet many wonderful people and has been a blessing in more ways than I can say.

Don’t judge by appearance, ever.  I’m learning lots of things and people aren’t what they seem.  Give it time, pray to have eyes like God and you’ll be surprised and delighted by what you are shown.