I made a commitment to write a blog post about a Scripture passage from my devotions every day this year.
And I am half way there! Before I comment on today’s reading, I want to report that Jesus has started picking up the phone. God has graciously started to answer the phone.
Besides the many times Scripture has touched my heart this year, God also led me to start a women’s Bible Study with a new friend (a long-desired kindred spirit in my town) and to mentor a woman from the “hood.” These two activities have poured life into my soul as well.
And the Word has moved more deeply in. Recently I have been convicted of two primary sins:
- Seeking the glory of man (for myself) rather than the glory of God (for Him) – thanks in part to John Piper’s talk at the Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference
- Not gratefully acknowledging God’s presence, even His blessings, in the rough times of life
These lessons are by no means new to me, but God showed me places in my heart where I’d either forsaken the truth or where it hadn’t penetrated.
I believe that the dusky hour of my soul (my version of the dark night) and the seasons of doubt I endured were partly God’s gift to me (talk about suffering with Jesus!), but also the result of me closing off parts of my obstinate heart (an unwitting but real sin).
One more blessing: the discovery of A Praying Life, the book that got me back on the prayer track by showing me things like:
- Prayer has to be hard since we are fallen creatures, speaking, as it were, a foreign language. It helped to know that prayer isn’t supposed to be easy – that my constantly wandering mind during prayer is OK!
- God wants me to approach Him as a child, pouring out my heart like children do with parents. Even though God knows what I think and want and need, He desires me to tell Him anyway, just as I enjoy my girls sharing their hearts with me.
- I have acted like a functional atheist by not coming to God with every need, every decision, every pain. It’s the height of pride to think I can find healing or make decisions or move forward without His help…
Having experienced these past years what felt like the removal of God’s presence and doubts I thought I’d never have, I walk tenderly forward. I am not so absolutely sure of my faith (and just about everything else!) as I used to be. I occasionally still ask, “what if…”.
The good part of all this is that more and more I throw myself on God’s mercy to show up, to lead, to guide, to empower, to heal, to effect change in my life and those around me.
I don’t trust me as much.
I just finished my daily reading. Acts 10 talks about the first Gentile convert, Cornelius. Here’s part of the story:
An angel of God came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at the angel. He became afraid and said, “What do you want, Lord?” The angel said, “God has heard your prayers. He has seen that you give to the poor, and he remembers you.” vs. 3b-4 NCV
That’s how I feel right now.
God heard me and remembered me.
He did not hang up the phone.
Today’s Readings: 1 Chronicles 26:1-27:34, Psalm 78:56-64, Proverbs 20:4-5, Acts 10:1-23a. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).