I have an urgent word for us regarding the lawlessness at work in our nation. Please take 4 minutes to watch this video I made, (if you haven’t already watched it on YouTube or IGTV) and finish up here with a few thoughts.
I believe this weekend, across the nation and globe, we are facing a pivotal point in power, strategy, and responsibility.
As we look at circumstances, we see: masks covering mouths required, separation from others required, stay at home orders, innocent lives taken, cries ignored, violence rising, hatred brewing, rebellion demonstrated and lawlessness expanding.
Each of those things listed above are the exact opposite of the will of God for Earth and the people there!
That is why I am urging you to pray. Use your mind, heart and mouth to pray THE TRUTH. Declare the opposite of those evil characteristics. Speak the Word of the Lord. Find verses to war with, and if you can’t, then open up to Pslam 119 and begin speaking and praying these verses about the Word and law of the Lord.
It is on us, believers in Jesus, to raise up a standard, and the standard is always the Word of the Lord.
I challenge you to join with Jews and believers around the world, to reclaim the power of The Torah, the Law, the Word and to speak it out in prayer and intercession against the lawlessness at work in our nation.
This is the year of the mouth! (5280, 2020) It’s time to speak out His declarations!
Thank you for listening and reading my heart, please share your reactions… leave me a comment.
Let’s turn the world RIGHT SIDE UP through the power of the Word and our declaring it in prayer.
This is a beautiful short story, whose author in unknown.
A young man was proud of his healthy and beautiful heart. One day, standing in the middle of town, he proclaimed that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered to have a look at his heart. His heart was smooth, shiny, and looked very healthy. Indeed, the man had the most beautiful heart in the valley, everyone agreed.
The proud young man felt delighted and boasted his perfect heart which everyone admired. Suddenly, a voice from the crowd said, “Your heart is not as beautiful as mine.” The young man searched for the person behind the voice and an old man appeared in front of him.
“Show us your heart if you believe you have got a more beautiful heart than mine”, said the young man. The old man carefully showed his heart. The crowd and the young man looked at the old man’s heart. The heart was beating strongly and healthily but it was not smooth and shiny as the young man’s heart. Instead, it had scars all over it. It had places where some pieces of the heart had been removed and other pieces were put in. The other pieces didn’t fit perfectly and there were several uneven edges. In some places, there were even deep gouges where some pieces were missing.
The crowd laughed at the old man’s heart. “How can he claim that he has the most beautiful heart when it is all scared and uneven,” they thought.
The young man looked at the old man’s heart and laughed. “You must be kidding. Compare your heart and mine. My heart looks perfect and smooth and yours is a mess of scars and tears.”
“Yes, your heart looks perfect, but I would never trade your heart with mine,” said the old man. “Every scar in my heart represents a person whom I have given my love. I tear a piece of my heart and give it to them. Often, my loved one gives me back a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart. Since everyone loves each other in a different way, their piece of heart may not perfectly fit in my heart, so you can see some rough edges. These scars and rough edges remind me of the love we shared.” he continued.
“Sometimes I would give a piece of my heart, but the other person may not return a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges. Although these gouges are painful, these remind me of the love I have for these people too. So do you now see what a true beauty I have?” asked the old man.
The young man and the crowd stood silently with tears running down their cheeks. The young man walked to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, ripped a piece out of it and offered it to the man with trembling hands. The old man gratefully received his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old heart and placed it in the young man’s heart.
The young man looked at his heart, it did not look shiny and smooth like it used to. But, it was now more beautiful because he could feel the love from the old man’s heart flowing into him. They embraced and walked away side by side.
May today mark the start of generational healing and binding together.
May today mark the binding up of broken hearts and a recognition of the beauty that radiates from brokenness.
May today mark the reality that nothing in our lives is wasted and serves a useful purpose in strengthening our heart.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV
This weekend, for many, we celebrate Mother’s Day, and by just walking into a grocery store we see that is obvious.
But I would like to take this time to drill down into a slice of Mother’s day, that may not be so obvious. It begins with a story.
There was once a woman who found herself surrounded by a disorganized throng of people, pressing in to see Jesus. In the midst of that crowd, she lifted up her voice and yelled out, “Happy and blessed is the womb or matrix that bore, carried you.” Luke 11:27 (I have transliterated this verse according to the original Greek word meanings.)
This crowd scene and the woman’s yelling out a blessing on Jesus’ mother seems kind of crazy, and a strange thing to blurt out in this particular setting. Yet, it’s significance cannot be overstated or lost.
The focus was on blessing the one who gave birth to Jesus. Why?
Let’s review what matrix means –
” Matrix – the environment or material in which something develops.”
The cry of this text is for us to see that no matter the environment or material of our birth, upbringing and nurture (or lack of it) it is blessed. It is by design. It is by mercy. It is by purpose. It is not by mistake. Everything surrounding your birth was perfectly aligned to bring you into the world into that situation to be and develop into the you that you are today.
It is the mother’s matrix.
Each of us were born into a situation by a mother. Period. We all share that.
It matters not whether the situation was good or bad. Whether we were raised by a present mother or absent mother. Adopted or surrogate mother. Abusive or affectionate mother. Nuclear family. Single parent family. Mixed family. Incestuous family. Imperfect, healthy, godly, evil, rich, or poor, family. Abandoned, embraced, loved, mocked, nurtured or neglected.
The situation into which you were born, by the mother that bore you is blessed. Not because it was a good situation but because that situation and that mother gave birth to YOU! And you were PLANNED.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at some examples of what I am talking about.
Eve, in a nuclear family, bore 2 sons who lived in anger and animosity toward one another and the one eventually killed the other. A “perfect family” produced killing.
Hagar – in a runaway, abusive family, yet, in her misery bore Ishmael, a great and powerful people
Lot’s 2 daughters -an incestuous family, both daughter’s bore sons who became great nations
Rebekah, a miracle pregnancy, bore twins boys, Jacob & Esau, who fulfilled God’s promises
Israel, who had 4 mothers ( Leah, Bilhah, Zilpah, Rachel) to his 12 children. Talk about a mixed family! With issues galore! And what a blessing came from those 12 kids and their upbringing in that crazy, mixed up family.
Elizabeth, a old, barren woman who bore John the Baptist!
Pharaoh’s daughter, an adoptive mother, who raised Moses
King David’s mother, a scorned and mocked mother who raised her son in shame and ridicule from siblings. (read Psalm 69, it is so sad!) Yet, David became a man after God’s own heart.
There are so many more stories, of other mother’s matrix and the amazing outcomes in spite of, (or shall we say because of ) the environment into which their child(ren) was raised.
Look, too, at the women who actually are listed by name in Jesus’ genealogy, which generally lists only men – Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary.
You see, the situation into which you were born, and the woman who bore you are blessed. Without that environment or building material for the structure of your life, you wouldn’t be the person you are now. Let’s be real, there are probably things we wished would have been different, perhaps a lot of things and maybe even everything. But that would truly change who we are.
There is nothing that cannot be healed, used, strengthened, improved upon and built on in our past. There is nothing that is useless or wasted. We are all still in process on this road of life and the broken pieces are being mended. We are being made whole.
But this weekend, I truly would love for you to be encouraged that although imperfect, you are exactly who God designed you to be. He has used everything in your past, including your mother, and that situation to mold you and bless you.
That is why, I believe the story we started with, in Luke 11 is there. To make obvious to us, this slice of the Mother’s Martix.
So I will say to YOU, Blessed and happy is the womb or matrix that bore YOU, for it made you the remarkable human that you are today. You are blessed!
Please take 13 seconds and look at this very cool and rare video
These lit up waves are the product of “red tide” and it indicates an algal bloom. It happens at sunset during these blooms by photoplankton releasing biochemical light. But not just phytoplankton release it, so do fireflies and deep sea fishes.
Bioluminescent tides are rare, red by day and blue by the darkness of night.
I remember being in Catalina sometime ago, and we were atop a hill on a night hike overlooking the ocean and shoreline. That is when I first saw the bioluminescence of those photoplankton as they lit up the shoreline.
It is a stunning display, almost eerie because you are surrounded by darkness yet you are seeing a brilliant blue-white light from the waves. then the waves crash and light is disperses.
At almost the same time these waves were on display on land, in Newport Beach, CA, the same skies were lit up as well. It is the season of the Lyrid meteor showers. In April, every year, around the 21st, these showers are seen in the dark skies and are also a stunning sight.
My son and I set our alarms many years ago to go out and watch them. (I don’t remember how many we saw, I just remember the alarm part.)
These lights show up yearly, yet still only in complete darkness.
The simple and encouraging pivot here, to me is this –
Each of us have been entrusted with a light. A light of hope, a light of positivity, a light of faith, a light that burns deep within us. It’s illuminated our own private lives, attitudes, needs, and even brought beauty and stunning vibrance to us, individually, and privately.
We are currently surrounded by dark times. Darkness has replaced many once well lit places. Darkness has replaced hope, faith, and even tried to extinguished our little light. (I hear a song in my head we sang as a kids…)
But I am here to tell you, it’s time to SHINE. It’s time to allow what’s been blooming within you – your algal bloom – to break forth on the shores of your life and spread beauty, light, hope and awe to those you touch. (metaphorically speaking, of course. )
YOU ARE THE LIGHT, you are the living organism that carries that biochemical emission of light into the darkness and hopeless areas of your family, your city your sphere of influence.
You are that meteor of blazing light, hope, strength, soaring through the darkness, bringing hope and illuminating the foreboding skies.
It’s time to SHINE dear friends.
No longer consider the smallness of your light or it’s lack of wattage. In dark times, the smallest of lights brings illumination and dispels the darkness wherever that light burns.
So burn dear friends. Let your light shine. Illuminate the dark skies and shores and bring beauty, hope, awe and calm to every onlooker.
This will be the first of a weekly series, that I feel impressed to share called “Sunday Sermons”. It will be intentionally Biblical and decidedly spiritual in nature, meant to feed your Spirit.
I trust you will find nourishment and encouragement by it and will check in each Sunday.
Sunday Sermon 4/19/20
The Apostle Paul, the guy who once tried to kill Christians, imprison them, torture them and stop their preaching of “The Way”, has had an about face, and is now just as fervent in his defense of “The Way” and in his efforts to spread its message.
He is speaking here, at the height of the Roman Empire to believers, mostly Gentiles (like me, not Jewish), who live in Rome and are trying to make their way through persecution, misunderstanding, strong secular influences and crazy heresies. (weird and false teachings).
It is in this context that he says:
“I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs.”v. 18, 22 The Message paraphrase
Birth pangs? What?
He was saying, the signs they were seeing were actually birth signs. Signs of birthing, signs of new life forming and getting ready to burst forth. Just like a pregnant Mom, facing labor pains before the birth of that precious new life.
He was encouraging them, that hey, what you’re going through now, the pain, uncomfortableness, the stretching, etc. is nothing compared to what is coming! I promise you. It will be worth it. Hang in there. Then he says –
“But it’s not only around us; it’s within is. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs.”v. 22-23 The Message
Not only is something getting ready to burst forth in their present hard times, but something within them was being formed and it was about to burst forth too.
He identified it as a spiritual life being formed in them. The Spirit of God was actually forming new life in them. Awakening them, arousing them, stretching them, preparing them as individuals to bring forth this new life. What they were feeling was the preparatory birth pangs of what the Spirit had been developing in them and was nearly ready to deliver.
“Waiting does not diminish us… We are enlarged in the waiting. We don’t see what’s enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.”v. 24-25 The Message
Here they were in the midst of hard times and pain themselves, carrying something inside of them, planted by the Spirit, that was growing and enlarging within them. As their wait increased, so did their growth and in kind, so did their expectancy of what would be birthed.
They were seeing within them, something of a spiritual dimension growing, increasing, enlarging and becoming bigger and bigger. As they saw it inside of them, their own excitement of what they were becoming grew! Their expectancy too was growing.
” The moment we get tired of waiting, God’s Spirit is right there alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us.” v. 26-27 The Message
Just like that weary Mom, after nine looong months of carrying that bundle of life grows weary in the wait – so too do the believers. But God’s promise here is that His Spirit, will be right there, helping them along as the birthing coach, even praying for them and helping them to pray!
Today, I see a tremendous similarity between those Roman believers and me and you. I hear Paul’s message to them, being perfectly suited for us. Don’t you?
Here are the take aways.
There’s no doubt the times we are living in are painful and there is suffering. It’s not good, but it will bring about good. They are birth pangs, signs that something new is about to burst forth in our world, across the globe.
And not just in the world/society – BUT IN YOU. The Spirit of God is growing inside of you, enlarging inside of you. Stretching you, preparing in you new Spiritual life, strength, vibrance, depth, and reality. The Spirit of God is growing inside of you and is about to burst forth from you.
It matters little where you’ve come from spiritually, whether this is old news or new news to you. What matters is that you are carrying a Spiritual seed that is growing inside of you.
Let it grow. Enlarge you, arouse you. Feel it kick inside you. Recognize the labor pangs.
And let your expectancy arise, for soon, the life of the Spirit will burst forth from you.
It all started with a discussion about the size of 2.2 trillion (dollars).
While listening to and trying to digest it all, I realized, I had no real understanding of the number 1 trillion. Much less 2.2 trillion. So I did what every serious scholar and academically driven researcher does, I googled it. 🙂
After much mind numbing reading about zeros, exponents, and viewing diagrams of stacking bills on pallets, here are my 2 take aways:
1. If you spent $1,000 a day, it would take you 2.7 million years to spend 1 trillion dollars. And you would still have lots left over!
2. If you stacked $100. bills to equal 1 trillion, the stack would be 789 miles high. That is equal to 144 Mount Everest’s stacked on top of each other.
Bottom line for my mind, a trillion is incomprehensible.
But it really got me thinking about other things that are incomprehensible.
The universe, for example.
Scientists don’t even use the term universe. It’s been more accurately described as the “observable universe” because there is more than what we actually see. It’s size, they say, is 93 million light years in diameter. (For those that slept through Science class, remember, a light year is the distance light travels in a year or about 10 trillion km! (Really 9,500,000,000,000 km!) There’s that trillion again… Incomprehensible!
We live in a galaxy we know as The Milky Way. And to us, it’s really big. But geesh, we live on ONE of it’s 4 arms, called Orion, in a system called The Solar System, on a planet called Earth, on a continent called North America, nation called America, state called _____, county called _____ , city called _____, on a street called _____, and finally to OUR house at _____ . The size of all that is incomprehensible.
Consider too, our galaxy is but one of 350 billion large galaxies in the Milky Way! It houses 30 billion -trillion stars. (30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.) To put this in perspective, if you were to go out of the city and look into the sky, you would maybe see 2,500 stars. But there are actually 80 million times MORE STARS in the Milky Way and beyond.
There are actually 28 times more stars in the galaxy than the 7.2 billion people on the Earth. Another comparison, there are 1 billion cars on Earth – for every car there are 200 galaxies in the observable universe. Plus, there are 40 billion, Earth sized planets that could sustain human life. (Maybe we’re NOT alone in the universe???)
Again, all of these numbers are incomprehensible! My brain hurts.
One last incomprehensible thing for you to think about.
The very Creator, who made all those galaxies, stars, planets, universe, both observable and beyond; the One who gives man the ability to deal with trillions of dollars and understand what he is doing; that God – LOVES YOU and me. I’m floored that he even notices us, with how small and insignificant we are compared to the details of a universe. But he does notice us, knows us and loves us. THAT is unfathomable, inscrutable, and yes, incomprehensible.
” …I pray that you be able to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…”
The Apostle Paul
Other writers have described God’s love this way:
slow to anger
will never leave you alone
no barrier can separate us from God’s love
God’s love for us is so unimaginable, incomprehensible that He sent His only Son into the world, that we might have life through him, who was our sacrifice. I John 4:9-10
Jesus coming to Earth was a demonstration of God’s love for us. Jesus’ living here and brutal death on the cross was a demonstration of God’s incomprehensible love for us. Who would do that?
The suffering Jesus endured before crucifixion and later suffocating as he hung on that cross was pure and simple torture! It is incomprehensible.
When you have time, check out this video I made, about just that. (9 minutes)
God knows you, everything about you; strengths, weaknesses, good, bad, likes, dislikes, ups and down – AND HE LOVES YOU. Without measure, everlasting, carefully, caring, patiently, completely and unconditional. THAT blows my mind and is truly incomprehensible.
So, this weekend, as we celebrate Easter, I hope that you will celebrate the incomprehensible love that God demonstrated for you by sending Jesus to Earth; who lived, died and returned to life after three days! Who spent 40 days after the resurrection on Earth, was seen by over 500 people and after that was taken back up to heaven, (which was also witnessed by hundreds) where He is to this day.
Yet, to those who trust in Him, He comes to reside in their hearts as well.
Talk about incomprehensible???? My brain is exploding but my heart is overwhelming with gratitude.
Have a Happy Easter, because YOU ARE LOVED BY OUR IMCOMPREHENSIBLE GOD.
Butterflies are such beautiful and delicate creatures that most of us have taken the time to enjoy their movement, colors and mannerisms. Their wings are massive compared to their bodies and don’t even need to be so big for them to fly. They can actually fly with a damaged or broken wing.
They don’t flap their wings either, like birds do. You know – up and down. Butterflies create a figure 8 pattern motion with their wings by constricting their bodies thus moving their wings and propelling them through the air.
Their large wings act like a rudder. The larger the rudder, the faster you can turn a ship. With butterflies, their large wings enable them to turn faster and thereby not become someone’s dinner.
But that’s not all, let’s not forget how butterflies start out… as catepillars, then cocoon, then butterfly!
As that caterpillar is in confinement in his cocoon, the time grows near for his emergence. But that will never happen without a struggle, without pain, without a difficult fight. Without that struggle his transformation is incomplete.
As he pushes through the small hole, his swollen body and small, shriveled wings rub and rub and rub on the cocoon, until his struggle is successful and he emerges, nearly at the point of exhaustion. His body has been resized and is no longer swollen and his wings are dried, strengthened and he is NOW ready to fly.
Without the struggle, he will never grow or fly! This whole process, by the way, takes 5-21 days. Hmmmm.
This struggle that we now face, is not unlike the butterfly’s story.
We have allowed ourselves to become “swollen”, filled with excesses, and accumulation of things. Our ability to spread our huge wings and fly over it all has not been sufficiently developed, partially because the difficulties and frictions of life have been few and manageable.
” As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people.”
” Storms make trees take deeper roots.”
” All flowers grow through dirt.”
In this time of “struggle”/confinement – let’s embrace the rubbing, reduce the excess, enjoy the process, persevere, and emerge with gigantic wings to fly above all that is earthbound.
Resist the urge to flap up and down at the same old pattern of your life. Let your wings develop a new pattern of flight and find their strength in practicing this new way, while still in your seclusion. For soon, you will be free to fly and turn quickly in your new found life.
Who knows what “Butterfly Effect” you are destined to cause?
There are 7.77 million species of animals on the planet now and according to the Int’l Institute for Species Exploration 18,000 new species are discovered every year.
So I thought we could take a look at the Animal Kingdom and glean some advice from them and their “adaptations’.
Here’s some advice from:
The cow – with 4 stomachs and a special digestive system that allows it to chew things just enough to swallow, then bring it back up as cud, and chew it again. ADVICE: take time to digest all that’s happening these days but make something useful out of it. (milk)
Leeches – these segmented creatures have 32 brains and 102 segments. Within their internal structure of 32 sections, each section is controlled by a brain. ADVICE: Stupid leeches can’t do anything more than stick to something and suck the life out of it. Surely we can do better than they with our one brain!
Goblin shark – it’s mouth moves out of it’s body and moves independently ADVICE: Let’s not allow our mouth to be out of control and move independently of our brain.
Star nosed mole – looks like it has 3 sets of hands but its star shaped nose is 6x more sensitive than the human hand. ADVICE: Things aren’t always as they appear and sensitivity is required.
Tufted deer – it’s fangs are funny looking but this guy isn’t well studied because he lives at high altitudes of 4,500 meters/2.7 miles above sea level. ADVICE: live above it all. Keep your head up and feet on the rock.
Glass frog – green on the top but it’s belly is transparent, so it’s organs can be seen. ADVICE: staying transparent and revealing what’s inside us is vital among those we’re close to.
Japanese spider crab – grows to 40 lbs. and 13 ft. long at the bottom of the ocean. ADVICE: Although crab is yummy, let’s be careful what we allow to grow in our seclusion. Darkness breeds bad stuff sometimes.
Parrots – selflessly help each other out, regardless of previous relationship or friendship. ADVICE: Ummm… pretty clear. Be parrots. Help.
Slow lorises – the only venomous primates, they secrete a toxin from a gland in the creek of their arms. Their bite causes anaphylactic shock and can cause death in humans. ADVICE: Watch out for toxic people and deceiving hugs – they can do you harm.
Capuchin monkeys – wash their hands and feet with their urine, perhaps to attract the female. UCK!! ADVICE: Keep washing your hands.
Tasmanian devil – make friends for life and share their dens with friends ADVICE: be loyal and supportive in your relationships
the housefly – this pesty creature that annoys us so, actually flys around buzzing in the Key of F! For the non-musical, that means that they are actually buzzing music on pitch and in tune. ALWAYS! ADVICE: don’t let anything swat away your song. Keep singing!
We are all in this thing together. Let’s be wise, stay healthy, and take the advice from our fellow animalia.
The significance of surprises, coincidences and mistakes cannot be ignored or undervalued in our lives. They create opportunity to think creatively and solve problems. Fear and frustration constrict our brain from creating. So send those boogers on their way.
Today, I felt impressed to share with you some of my favorite, remarkable stories of things that didn’t go as expected but turned out pretty, darned good and even world changing. All are true stories and you will recognize the products and probably even use some of them.
A Russian chemist, who forgot to wash his hands upon returning home from work, picked up a dinner roll & took a bite. It was sweet. As was each item he ate. He realized what was happening chemically and SACCHARINE, the artificial-sweetener (Sweet N Low) was invented. (See, good things could come from not washing your hands)
A restaurant in Saratoga Springs had a very hard to please patron who 3 times sent back his thickly cut French style potatoes. The third time, the frustrated chef, George Crum, sliced the potatoes as thin as he could, over fried them and covered them in excessive salt. To his surprise, the patron loved them and ordered another round. The POTATOE CHIP was created. (Who knows what good can come of frustration)
Percy Spencer was testing a new vacuum tube when he noticed the chocolate bar in his pocket was melting….welcome to the world… the MICROWAVE.
Charles Goodyear, a struggling businessman had no commercially successful products and his family was starving. After throwing stuff in the air, he invented vulcanized rubber- RUBBER CAR TIRES.
QUININE, the malaria medicine was discovered by a sick Andean man drinking water at the foot of a Quina Quina tree.
Even VIAGRA was an unexpected discovery. It was intended to be a heart medication. It helped other things instead. 🙂
Finally, a walk in the mountains brings about unexpected events too. Enter George de Mestral and his dog, who upon returning home from a walk in the Alps noticed burrs stuck to his clothes and the dog. Looking closer, he saw seeds covered in small hooks. He didn’t realize it, but he was about to invent a revolutionary new fastening system called VELCRO.
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that most heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” but, “…that’s funny…”.
Scientists have long said that “the best innovations come from the unexpected.“
Keep in mind that all of these inventions were unexpected and none of these accidental discoveries would have happened without the person realizing its value.
I believe, in this new day we are living, there is arising from the unexpected, opportunity. Opportunity for creative minds to think creative thoughts. Opportunity for needs that arise to be met with new and better solutions. Opportunity for long standing problems to be solved. Opportunity for old ways of education, shopping, selling, serving, to be improved.
Therefore, let us recognize the value of these unexpected times and allow our brains to be freed to create, discover and even fail.
Your experience just might lead to a wonderful new discovery. Really!
Cheers to you.
(Please drop me your thoughts, or comment below. I love reading them.)
It would be easy to say “Prayer changed (es) nothing”, or “I see no change”. We had a National Day of Prayer, so what? Big deal! No change.
Let’s be real. Your state has probably amped up it’s restrictions and guidelines. You most likely have family members and loved ones affected in some way. The places you frequent may be closed and your vacation plans are pending major change. Shoot, my son’s wedding, in Hawaii in May is in jeopardy! AND, this what we found at the store today!
But prayer is not an Amazon order. Place your order and have it delivered in one or two days.
The results of prayer are sometimes obvious and other times not. Sometimes immediate other times delayed. Additionally, the results of prayer are not always outcome driven, results orientated. They often have much more have to do with the process, development, personal growth and increase.
That process is most often linked to growing in faith and reliance upon Someone bigger than me, more powerful, trustworthy and really in charge. Because, even though I am driven to be in charge, I really am not. I do not control it all. I must therefore learn to yield my perceived “in charge” to the One who really is.
I believe we will see results, obvious ones, outcome driven ones as a result of the National Day of Prayer. I will share more about that in a moment.
In the “inbetween” time, what do we do?
“Ask and keep on asking. Seek and keep on seeking. Knock and keep on knocking.”
Matthew the disciple, chapter 7 verse 7
Again, prayer isn’t a one time shot – like the famed “hail Mary pass”. It’s a process of trusting in Someone bigger than myself and learning to lean on that strength and understanding. It is having faith in something I don’t see. (Like results). It’s trusting His process in and through me.
With all that being said, I do want to share a personal experience or result that came to me yesterday, on our prayer day.
I was impressed to go the beach and stand on the shoreline and pray. So, guess where I went? On the way, I was reminded of Job’s encounter with God in chapter 38, when God basically blasts Job for his know it all attitude and pelts Job with question after question about creation, nature, weather, and affairs of the man. It is in verse 10 & 11 where God says,
“… I fixed limits for the sea, I said this far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt.”
And in that moment, I knew, those words were God’s words to us. In this time. This season. His promise was, that just as the ocean has been appointed limits and boundaries set, so too this virus had set limits and boundaries. AND, as we unite in prayer, those boundaries could be affected and even reduced. Therefore, I was to pray at the beach, on the boundary where sea meets land, “This far and no farther o’ virus. You are under the control of the creator and His limits.”
So what happened? Did the virus miraculously dry up and die? Did it physically leave the bodies it had entered? Did those we lost because of it return to their families? Did the panic and fear disappear?
I dunno. I didn’t see those results. But what I did see (hear and read actually) was increased measures being taken to CONTAIN the virus. Calls for a 15 day containment plan/period. Calls to 65 and older community, to restaurants, movie theatres, libraries. All with the purpose of tightening the lasso on the virus. Enforcing it’s boundaries. Limiting exposure.
“This far and no farther.” Containment. No further infections.
This is again where that whole results thing comes in. I cannot control the results. But I trust and keep on asking the One who does control them. Stop this virus, reel it in, arrest it. I don’t stop or quit. The results are His, but in the process my own life benefits and I grow personally.
So, just maybe there are some pretty miraculous things growing in you, in our nation, in the world as a result of prayer. Let’s keep on asking and trusting Him for the results.