Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Nosy Neighbor


When I was little we lived across the street from a house in which the kitchen was at the front of the house. The kitchen sink was right under a window that looked out basically right into our house. My mom and I used to comment on how it didn’t seem possible that one family would have all those dishes. The woman that lived in that house would frequently be looking out her window at our house. Basically we figured she was a nosy neighbor.

A year or two ago a childhood friend and I were talking about praying for people who didn’t know we were praying for them. She commented that she had run into my neighbor recently. The neighbor had asked how I was doing. When my friend commented that I was doing well and I had become a Christian my neighbor was very happy. She had been praying for me all these years.

For the past while I have been thinking about how much God is doing that we don’t know about. Even when I didn’t know Him, God sent someone to pray for me. I hold onto that when I can’t sense His presence.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Signs


One day I was talking to a friend in our church’s prayer room. I confessed some of the things I was struggling with to her. She asked if she could pray with me. We held hands and prayed together. Both of us cried. At the end of the prayer we both heard angelic music – as if heaven had heard our prayers and wanted to give us a glimpse of reality from their vantage point.

As part of the technical team I knew that the music came out of a speaker in the room that is designed to allow nursing mothers to be able to hear what is going on in the main room. I also knew that someone at the sound board had put the CD in as a way to set the mood for what was about to happen. I even knew who was doing sound that day.

All of that knowing did not diminish God’s message to me. He had heard my prayer. Just because He had used something ordinary to do that doesn’t change the divine nature of that moment. We said Amen and the angels sang.

For the past two weeks when I have been at church the earth has been shaking while we pray. Yes I know that the train going by is causing the building to tremble. I also know that the God who created all things could use a train going by to let us know that the earth is moving when we pray.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Belief

I have been thinking about the whole concept of Christianity. It is kind of weird. The premise of Jesus being the Son of God – God incarnate is pretty unlikely. Being redeemed from our sins by an act of terrible violence and sacrifice seems impossible. Often I am struck at how it just doesn’t make any sense.

Yet I still believe. I still attempt to live my life as if it were all true. I think it is because it is so unlikely, impossible actually, that I do believe. I want to believe in a God who would die for us. I want to believe that something that is impossible is possible for an infinite God. I believe partially because it is so unbelievable.

Monday, October 09, 2006

First Will Be Last


For the past couple of days I have been somewhat frustrated. I am sick of being weak and needy. I want to feel better yes but more importantly I want to be better. I want people to look at me and see strength. I want to be the type of person who people rely on to be there for them. Lately I have had trouble even taking care of myself.

I had thought that things would get better as this week came to a close. Yet I find myself waking up feeling the same way. There is still that struggle to choose things that are life giving. I am still tired. I am still weak.

This morning I felt lead to read a little more in a book I have been reading since winter off and on. It is called Jesus: Safe, Tender, Extreme by Adrian Plass. It is a wonderful book and the fact that it is taking me so long to read it is no indication of the quality of the book. Some books I just end up reading like that. I seem to get a leading to read certain parts at the right time.

The chapter I was reading quotes this verse:

But many who seem to be important now will be the least important then, and those who are considered least here will be the greatest then. (Matthew 19:30, NLT)

And then I also remembered this verse:

"God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them. (Matthew 5:5, NLT)

All of a sudden I remembered that it is not only okay to be weak but the Bible says that things are in my favour. I am not holding onto these verses because of the promise of a better life in heaven. I am holding onto these verses because of what they say about my life today. I have a certainty that where I am is okay. I am certain of this because I can feel God’s leading every day. I don’t need to feel better to be certain of that.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Choose Life


Over these past couple of days I have only been able to pray in bits. Most of my prayers have been something to the effect of “Help me choose life.” When I say this I don’t mean life as in the opposite to a literal death. I have just been asking God to help me find my way through all of this and to do it in a healthy way. I don’t want to live a life in the shadows where I numb all my feelings and hide away. That is the kind of death I am trying to avoid.

Yesterday was a particularly dark day. I found myself questioning how bad things were going to get and whether I was going to make it through all of this. I started to assume that my life was going to get much worse before it got better. I forgot to take care of my physical needs. I started to feel really sick. Then all of a sudden God spoke to me. He said, “Choose life.”

Now it was 11 pm and it is pretty hard to do something tangible at that time of night to choose life. I did send out a couple of logistical e-mails and went to bed. When I woke up in the morning I didn’t feel much like choosing life. I felt like staying in bed. I slowly got up and got ready. I managed to make it to the second church gathering about ten minutes late. When I arrived I seriously thought about turning the car around and going home but I pushed through.

You know what? I feel better right now. It’s not like the teaching specifically addressed where I was at. I didn’t have a profound ‘ah-ha moment.’ I feel better. I think that God has helped me to draw a line in the sand and choose life. I don’t really deserve credit. I don’t even deserve having God speak to me through all of my anger about where I am at right now. But there it is. God spoke to me last night and told me to choose life. I am grateful for that.