Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are You Swatting at the Air?

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. One of the things that I enjoy most about it is the beautiful colors of the leaves. I also enjoy the entertainment that they provide for my cat. Year after year he seems to think that he can catch the falling leaves outside our large living room window even though he is inside the house!

It happened again yesterday. It was a beautiful sunny day with a light breeze. The breeze blew some leaves off of the tree in the front yard. As the leaves fell the cat jumped up on his hind legs and started swatting at the window. When he couldn't get through the window to play with them he jumped higher and threw himself into the window. After a good five or ten minutes of this, he finally gave up. All of his good effort was futile.

This got me thinking about the times in my life when I am swatting at something, trying to make it go away and no matter how much I throw myself into solving the problem my efforts are futile. Sometimes it's not even my problem I am battling with, it's how to help someone else. I haven't met anyone yet who hasn't experienced this in one way or another. So how can I get through to the other side of the window so to speak? How do I keep my efforts to help others or solve my problems from being a senseless swatting at the air?

Prayer. Prayer is the answer. All necessary groundwork is laid with prayer. There is no point in tackling my problems on my own. My solutions will only be a temporary fix. God's power to solve a problem produces an eternal fix because He starts the fix where most problems begin, in the heart. He alone can change the heart and from there fix the problem. Because of this there is no point in me bothering to try and help someone else if I don't pray first. If I can't fix my own problems by myself then how can I help someone else with theirs? Prayer is what allows me to get to the other side of the window. Prayer is powerful and it is our direct line to God. When we go to Him in prayer He hears and moves on our behalf or on behalf of the person we pray for.

Unlike swatting at the air, prayer is not futile. The Bible says in James 5:16, "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." So who do you need to be powerful and effective for this week? Who or what do you need to stop trying to fix on your own? Let's stop swatting at the air and wearing ourselves out. Lets hit our knees where we are at our most powerful and most effective, and lay the ground work with prayer. Then we will have broken through to the other side of the window where we can see God work face to face instead of through the glass!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

At His Feet...

I have been feeling overwhelmed lately. You know that feeling of being in a constant fast motion and unable to gasp for air? I go from the time I wake up in the morning until long after the kids are in bed. I don't remember last school year being this way. My weekends are full. I use them to catch up with friends and family. Life has been full. Even the moments for doing household chores have no quiet. These moments do double duty this week as I listen to others share their struggles with me on the phone. This too has made me feel overwhelmed and weary at times. I feel the responsibility of taking these phone conversations to God in prayer. So much to pray about broken hearts, depressed kids, financial struggles, and health problems.

In the middle of it all I hear the same song replaying in my mind. It seems to be calling me, answering the question I haven't spoken out loud but have wondered secretly. How am I going to do all that I have to do, and all that God has put in front of me to do, and do it well? The title of the song is "At Your Feet" it is written by Jason Ingram and Mark Hall. The group Casting Crowns sings it. Here are the words that answer my question:

Here at Your feet I lay this day down
Not in my strength but in Yours I've found
All I need, You're all I need

Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
Oh, to dwell and never leave
Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
There is nowhere else for me
There is nowhere else for me

If I really think about it I have to admit that the most peaceful, refreshing, and joyful moments have taken place at His feet. It's not that I haven't been spending time with Him. I have, but I haven't lingered. "Oh to dwell and never leave" I have simply stopped in for a while on my way to somewhere else. It's no wonder I feel overwhelmed! I am human, I can't do it all and do it well on my own. I need God's help and more importantly I simply need to be with Him. I need to linger. You know, like one lingers when they are spending time with their sweetheart. Savoring every last bit of time together and wishing the time didn't go by so fast. Sad when it's time to go and already excited about the next time spent together. Holding on tightly to the loving words that were spoken, so as not to forget them.

Will you join me in lingering at Christ's feet this week instead of stopping by on your way to somewhere else? Will you savor every moment with Him and hold on tightly to the words He speaks to you? If we do this I am certain that we will be able to do whatever He has put in front of us to do and do it well, without growing weary.