Archive for January, 2017

Refusing to pray 

(Please excuse the formatting and any typos in this post. I’m writing it on my phone, which is all I have right now. But that is a story for another post.)

When it rains it pours. And tonight it is pouring. To the extent that I felt the urge to pray but then almost immediately I dismissed it. But I was/am desperate so I prayed. After I finished praying I asked myself if God would hear me. I doubted whether He is moved enough by my cry to change His mind and let His will be subservient to my will. 

It’s been almost two years since I prayed. How is that possible you might ask. Especially if you know me; I’m very active in the church, always preaching, teaching and ministering to others. So maybe I should qualify my statement. It’s been almost two years since I’ve genuinely prayed for myself. I can easily pray for others and know God will hear me but a part of me thinks that God doesn’t hear me when I pray for myself. Or that my prayer won’t change anything about my circumstance. 

As soon as I think these thoughts I’m reminded about the words: “prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us.” Or I think about the fact that we are supposed to pray for “God’s will,” that somehow, some day our will, will align with His. And I truly want all those things. But sometimes I find myself reluctant to pray because I wonder if God cares about the things I care about. If they bother Him the same way they bother me. I think about mothers who lost their children to sickness, they must have prayed. God must have heard? But what did that change? Miracles happen. But more often than not they don’t. Those are the stories that don’t get told. The testimonies that don’t get sung. 

I think about my own prayer two years ago, I was night and day on my knees. I prayed in faith. Knowing God would do it. Trusting Him, claiming the victory. A victory that never came. I have since come to terms with that loss and even now see the gain in it, but today when I really needed God to step in and do something for me I found myself hesitating. Hesitating to ask God to do any miracles on my behalf. Why would he? Why should he? There are a million people more deserving, with more pressing issues they’re facing. 

But somehow I managed to pray for my own miracle. I don’t know at this moment if my cry will move God. But I am reminded of stories in the Bible when Jesus said, “your faith has made you whole,” or when Jacob fought with God and said “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Thus I will hold on to God a little longer. And whether or not this prayer is answered, my tiny prayer has already changed me, and my will is slowly learning to become subservient to His. 

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Chilled

Right now I would really love to cling to self-pity like a blanket on a cool day. I try and wrap myself up in it, but somehow either it is too short or I am too tall and my toes end up peeking out. When everything is going well, something, one thing has to just completely fall apart. If I cover my feet, my shoulders get exposed if I cover my shoulders the chill grips my feet.

 

Why can’t everything just be perfect all at once? The bad definitely doesn’t outweigh the good. But like a persistent and painful bug bite the pain that targets one little spot can shift the equilibrium of the rest of the body. We never get a bug bite and say “thank God” the bug just bit me right on my foot, or just on my ear, it could have bitten me all over. No instead we swear that we got the cursed bite in the first place!

 

It is true that we don’t know what we have till its gone, and we don’t appreciate the simple things till its absence reminds us of its importance. This is the same way we can focus so much on what is wrong that we don’t appreciate all that has gone right. Yeah tonight the proverbial blanket has left my toes out in the cold, but I will try and be thankful that in this chill I find myself blessed with a warm thick blanket that covers the majority of my body in the first place.

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