Sunday, March 27, 2011

like elijah

"And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He said, "I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, thrown down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life to take it away." 1 Kings 19:12-14

Elijah at this point in 1 Kings is afraid for his life. God has used him to defeat and kill all of the priests of Baal. The wicked Queen Jezebel wants to kill him and Elijah flees for his life. Talk about a stressful situation. Talk about being alone.

Even though I have had no reason to fear for my life like Elijah, I have felt alone in the world (think work). It can be difficult to be the only Christian, the only God-fearer in a place that is sometimes swamped with darkness. Recently though, I have heard the voice of God.

"Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him." 1 Kings 19:18

Lately I have been having faith conversations with people at my job. I cannot say where each of them are at in their path to Christ, but I know now that I'm not alone like I thought. The last couple weeks at work I have had two of the girls tell me they would be praying for me. It was like a breath of fresh air after nearly two years of feeling like the only one praying. It felt like God rolled back the clouds around Mt. Horeb and showed me His people, "Yet I will leave..."

God is working in more ways than we will ever know, even in the darkest situations like Elijah's, He is always present. May we never forget that though we feel alone, He is with us and His body of believers is still present in the world.

"And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

everyday joy

Today was a real doozy. The afternoon at least. On the way home from work Tim and I decided we would put a little distance between ourselves and the day. I debriefed with him and then we prayed for everyone involved at work. I felt lighter, and I feel so much love for the people I am privileged to spend each day with... each one of them a unique member of God's creation. This reminded once again why prayer is amazing. God can change any circumstance into something beautiful.

Tim treated me to dinner at Portillo's and a little date to Barnes and Noble. Per family tradition I had a hot dog; the Brooklyn blood lives on! For dessert, Tim had a chocolate shake and I had a caramel latte. I learned something new today- caramel syrup at Starbuck's does not have corn syrup in it. Boo ya.

We sat and looked at some magazines, and after thoroughly enjoying "Country Living- British Edition" and the French "Marie Claire Idées" I considered the following things:

1. I can't wait until Tim and I go on our dream trip to Europe (time of arrival yet undetermined)
2. I love gardens and I can't wait until we have our own little plot of earth (maybe a rooftop garden someday?)
3. I love the color blue- I love it on walls, dishes, clothes, everything. Calm colors are always a good choice.
4. I like sitting in the cookbook section.
5. I'm so grateful to be alive and spend an evening relaxing with my best friend.

I found a lot of comfort today in the knowledge that God made everyone and made every good thing- art, food, design, gardens, language, love, and on and on.

God has created so many good and lovely things. He is so good, I'm very thankful that He abides with me and knows me. May we all know Him better each and every day. Our ever constant, everlasting source of joy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the discipline of prayer

How strange is it that the thing that has the greatest power to make me feel whole and at peace is the thing I choose less than anything?

Why is prayer a struggle, so often grappled with in repetitive prayers of need?

Why do my prayers at times seem to hit the ceiling?

Why am I distracted in prayer? "My words fly up. My thoughts remain below: words without thoughts never to heaven go." King Claudius in Hamlet

Why am I reluctant to listen?

I'm afraid to hear something I don't like, something that is difficult. There is nothing Jesus can't ask of me. Prayer brings me closer to the sacrifice, to the giving up. But it deepens love, just like spending time with someone you care about.

Being "face to face" in prayer is intimate and holy. Prayer is a way to communicate with our Creator, our Father, our Savior, the Holy Spirit.

If I truly understood the power and purpose in prayer, I don't think it would be such a struggle to spend time talking with God. I would find myself along side the saints of history, spending hours upon hours on their knees communicating with the Lover of their souls, praising Him, thanking Him, and interceding for others.

I want to be a woman of prayer, but more importantly I want to be so in love with God I can't stop talking to Him. Everyday, without ceasing.

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7