Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I used to get very frustrated by prayer.
When I was young, I would get down on my knees in my bedroom, clasp my hands together tightly, and ask God a question. Then I would work my hardest to clear my mind of any thoughts, strain my ears towards heaven, and listen.
And I would wait.
And wait some more.
And I would get nothing but silence.
This would go until finally (usually after about 5 minutes), my frustrated, impatient kid-brain would give up and I'd go on with my day.
After enough instances like this, I eventually gave up listening at all, figuring God didn't really talk to me, and I started talking AT God, because that was all I knew how to do.
As I grow older, I am realizing more and more that God answers prayers (whether they be questions or requests) slowly and deliberately.
For example, a while ago I asked God to show me the needs of a person in my life who is struggling, and how I can meet them. I wanted to see this person through God's eyes and intercede, but I didn't know how. And so I asked God to show me.
And I waited.
And waited some more.
And then, one month later (last night), God gave me a little glimpse of this person's heart, and a small amount of understanding as to how I can support them in their current struggle.
Keep in mind, this is something I have prayed about every day, for a month.
And just yesterday, God opened a door, and a very small one at that...
I think the reason that God works like that with prayer is because to Him, prayer isn't as much about giving us an answer, as it is about the time we spend talking with Him about our questions.
Because God wants to spend time with us.
And God desires a close relationship with us.
And God wants us to come back to Him, Every. Single. Day.
Because that's what people who love each other do.
And so, He holds out on us.
He makes us wait.
Because He wants us to keep coming back. He wants us to feel our need for Him. And He wants to spend time with us.
That's His first priority.
And I want to make it mine, too.
Monday, January 11, 2010
God is so good at TIMING.
Whenever I read things of history, I am reminded of this.
And it's amazing to me how God can put people exactly where they need to be, surround them with the resources they will need, and give them the connections that will aide them on their journeys and further His plan, and do it so well.
Most often too, I don't think we recognize these details until they are already history. The people that are living IN God's timing, often don't get the privilege of seeing the things that He is bringing together for His mission, RIGHT NOW.
Perhaps that is why I have such a love for Biblical history (and history in general). History allows us to see better how God is working now, based on the things that He did a long time ago (because He was, is, and is to come. He doesn't change).
This morning I read in "Walking the Bible," by Bruce Feiler, that during the time the Israelites were going through their Exodus from Egypt, the alphabet and a writing system were just starting to break forth in the ancient world...
Just before God gives them the 10 commandments, establishes (or renews) His covenant with them, and starts them on their journey of becoming a nation of their own, the written word is gaining power.
Think of how important that is?
Writing was KEY to the Israelite nation. It is so important, the timing of this, that it almost baffles me.
It was the beginning. The beginning of The Book. The Text. The Torah.
The Word of God, being written down, remembered, passed down, shared.
It seems God knows what He's doing.
And my favorite? He has placed us in a time when Jewish history is becoming a huge part of Biblical study, which enables us to understand so much better, this faith that we have been grafted into.