Monday, December 28, 2009

Every day He has something to teach me

This morning I slept in until 7. It doesn't seem very significant unless you realize that i haven't slept past 5 in probably 6 weeks. Most days I wake up at 4 (no alarm, just awake). My body must have needed the sleep today; I didn't have much to do today anyway. One of the great things about waking up at 4 or 5 am is that the house is very quiet. I am the only one and there are no distractions from my running and prayer. Like I have said before my time running with God is the most treasured part of my day. I am very much a creature of habit. I also tend to be pretty obsessive compulsive. I like things the way I like them. I am learning to be flexible, but I am not a huge fan of change. I have come a million miles, but I think I probably still have a hundred million miles to go, especially in this area.

When I got up and climbed onto my treadmill, I figured that Chloe and her two friends would wake pretty quickly. They did and began to makes noise and move around. My first instinct was to get tense inside; I could feel the irritation begin to rise inside of me. I was thinking, "Well, this prayer time will be wasted. I will get my exercise in, but it won't be the same." The thing you must understand is that, while I enjoy running, it is really the time I spend with God while I run that makes me so passionate about working out every morning. Then, very quietly, God spoke. "Your prayer time does not have to be ruined. It will be different, but change is good for you, my child. Let me show you. Let's do it a little differently." So, I am not stupid. When He speaks, I have learned to listen. He knows and always has something in store. If I am open He works through everything, sometimes quite unexpectedly. I began to prayer that God would help me love and embrace the chaos that having a house full of children brings. I began to prayer for love, tolerance and flexibility. I prayed that God would help me begin to be able to filter out and function with the noise and chaos, so that it wouldn't make me tense and cranky. I prayed that God would help me let go of control and needing for everything to be "How I wanted it." Loving people is messy and chaotic. One of the greatest desires of my heart has been, for a very long time, to have a house full of kids. To have the house where everyone hangs out. That I would be able to love and impact all of my children's friends. I want to have tons of food to feed them, room for them to hang out, and lots of supplies for them to come and be creative with. I have not really walked in that desire. The catch is that lots of children around means noise, chaos and mess. These things are not pleasant to me. These are things I try to avoid. Well, its no wonder that this desire has not been fulfilled in my life. I am too much of a control freak to allow it. The kind of house my heart wants is not the kind of house my flesh wants. God is going to have to change me, heal some things, and teach me to let go and be at ease with a different kind of environment. He will have to teach me that being in a less "controlled" environment is okay and won't kill me. He will teach me to see beauty in the mess and chaos, to begin to hear the beautiful music in the noise, and to flourish in a house filled with people.

I cannot bring any of these changes about in my life. A counselor cannot bring me to this place. God, on the other hand, can transform me into that person. He gave me the desire and He will bring it to pass. He is so good and faithful to point out to me what He wants to work on and what needs to be taken care off so that His plans can come to pass. He makes me able to pray for help. He gives me the desire, shows me my lack, causes me to be willing to ask Him for help and even to ask him to make me willing to ask Him to makes me willing, then His precious Holy Spirit prays for me, through me, and finally He answers the prayers. The thing about my time on the treadmill is that somehow the exercise combined with the prayer short circuits my mind. Its like my mindsets and notions are taken out of the equation and I can pray from the heart in a way that I don't when I just pray. He gives me the courage to pray things that my flesh finds scary; He allows me to utter prayers that I might not otherwise utter. I don't know what your view of prayer is, but I believe when we utter a prayer it flutters about like a bird until the time when it is answered. Sometimes prayers are answered almost immediately and sometimes they are not answered for years. I have uttered prayers in deep times of prayer and then totally forgotten about them. Then later, sometimes 5, 10 or 15 years later, God brings them to pass and reminds me that I prayed them. Prayers are never wasted. They are out there, somewhere, in the heavens, who knows where, but they are out there waiting for fulfillment or working the fulfillment out. I read something profound once in an amazing and very old book called All things for Good. If you can find that book; read it; it will definitely impact you. It is an old book though, so you will have to special order it. I used to have a bunch of copies, but I have given them away over the years. Anyway, the book was talking about prayer and how prayer is used for the good of the saint. It talked about how every prayer is used and that even when we pray things that are not His will or with the wrong motives, or whatever, the Holy Spirit takes those prayers as a mother takes a bunch of flowers picked by a child and removes the weeds, binds them into a beautiful bouquet and hands them to the Father. What a release of pressure that gave me. What peace it gave me. When I pray or someone prays for me, there is no need to fear, the Holy Spirit makes those prayers what they need to be. He cleans them up and presents them to the Father.

Have I been transformed this morning into that person who is flexible and willing to let chaos happen? Definitely, not. But I am a step closer. God helped me pray what I needed to pray to see that come to pass. Those prayers went out, and "the prayers of a righteous man avails much." God used this mornings situation to bring me to the place that I would see the need and ask for His help. For that I am so grateful. I am so glad that He is always at work. What an amazing, wonderful, gracious, wise, loving, perfect God we serve. What a miracle that God would use children, who are completely unaware of what He is doing, to work in me today. I can only hope that God uses me that way. That, in His graciousness, He would use me to touch people's hearts as I just live my life daily. I hope that as I live my life would be like a pebble dropped about and that the rings that emanate from it would go further than I could ever imagine.

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