Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Drawn...

     Drawn...like a moth to a flame. There are times in life when we feel the pull so strongly that we can't help but be drawn to whatever or whoever the force is. Our curiosity is piqued. Our senses are heightened. We can't explain it. We are just compelled to head right to that which has captivated us. Those around us may not understand. They may even express concern. Still, we push forward compelled to see what lies just over the horizon. Being drawn is also a  part of the great adventure of following Christ.

     My husband and I find ourselves back in the season of uncertainty. He will receive his Master's degree in the mail in a few weeks and then what? We have no idea what God has planned. The only thing we know for sure is that it will involve applying for jobs. We don't know what job God has waiting.We only know that we have finished one leg of this journey with college behind us, and now we find ourselves on the next one. Even though we don't know what God has in store we feel drawn.

     We feel drawn to something bigger than ourselves. We feel drawn to community and to helping others. Pieces of things are starting to fit together. They tell the story of where God has taken us on this journey and how it all comes together to prepare us for...whatever is next! The organized part of me has had some regular questions about these pieces, but no concerns. My questions come from a place of anticipation rather than apprehension. This is truly a God thing! I find myself less concerned about specifics and more concerned about being ready and able to hear God's direction. In fact, the only time I felt mildly concerned was when a well meaning relative decided to express their desires for our future and tried to persuade us to head in a specific direction. After bringing that conversation before the Lord in prayer, we received a note in the mail from a ministry that we support. Hand written on the note was this verse from 1Thessalonians 5:24, " The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it."
 
     "He will do it"!!!  This is what I am being drawn to. I am drawn to the idea that God is going to do something. I guess I feel like there has been so much waiting in our journey since my husband's job loss, that I am excited that something is going to be done! Perhaps I am like that kid in the back seat of the car on a long road trip that is always asking, "Are we there yet?".  Isn't that how it is with God? We can choose to look at our walk with Him as a long journey or we can choose to look at it as a great adventure and anticipate. Prayer is a good way to anticipate. Right now I am anticipating what God will do by praying for His will to be done.

     I've always been told to be careful what you pray for. I haven't always remembered to heed that warning. I prayed for patience once and was put in charge of three very hyper four year old boys at a daycare. I haven't prayed for patience since. Another time at the end of a wonderful  Beth Moore Bible study, I was so inspired that I asked God for peace like a river instead of a pond. In Bible study we learned that ponds are stagnant but rivers have rapids. The idea was  not to desire a stagnant, comfortable life (pond) but to allow God to take you on the ride of your life through the river's rapids. People often equate being comfortable with having peace. My life has been an adventure ever since I prayed that prayer and even in the rapids I have had peace! In this case I am thankful that I didn't remember to be careful what I prayed for. Currently, I am being drawn to the words of a song and I find myself praying them. The first time I caught myself praying them I stopped. I stopped because I realized that what I was praying was powerful and there would be risks. Yet, there is no adventure without risk. There is no personal growth without risk. I don't want to miss whatever it is that I am being drawn to because I was afraid to turn the words of this song into my heart's cry. Most importantly, I don't want to miss the opportunity to grow that much closer to my Savior.

     I am compelled to pray these words from the song Oceans; " Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior."  Ultimately, this is what I am being drawn to. I am being drawn into a deeper and stronger faith in God through the plans and purposes that He has for my life.  The excitement and the risk is in not knowing what exactly those plans are. The peace I have is found in knowing He is with me. The song goes on " I will call upon Your name keep my eyes above the waves. My soul will rest in Your embrace. I am Yours and You are mine."

     What are you being drawn to? What has God captivated your heart with? Follow Him and anticipate what He is going to do even if it involves risk. What are you really risking anyway if you belong to Him? 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mindful...

       "What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" Psalm 8:4.  It never ceases to amaze me that the same God who measures the ocean in the palm of His hand, is mindful of us. He is God of the universe, one would think He would be too busy!  Yet He continues to show us that He is mindful of us in an infinite number of ways. As I ponder this, one question keeps coming to the forefront. Am I mindful of Him?

     Am I mindful of Him in my home? Am I aware that He is the unseen guest at our dinner table? He is present when we watch a movie. He is right there with me when I lose my patience with the kids. He is the silent listener to every conversation I have. He sees first hand how I am spending my time and what I am doing with my money. Even my thoughts are not hidden from Him. He is all knowing. There is no escaping Him. My thoughts might as well be said out loud because He knows them anyway.

     I put some thought into my life. I am mindful of my schedule, mindful of my bills, and mindful of my spouse and children. Am I mindful that I am minute by minute living life in the presence of the God of the universe? He isn't some far off God sitting on His throne viewing me through a security camera. He is the God who takes thought of me and cares for me!  He doesn't just take thought of me, He takes notice of every detail. I am not alone. He is this attentive with everyone. 

     In Matthew chapter ten when Jesus is speaking to His disciples He says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear you are more valuable than many sparrows." (verses 29-31)  Did you catch that? Not only does He take thought of you and care for you, He has taken the time to number your hairs. If you lose one He knows it!  It fascinates me that this is our God. He is all powerful, all knowing, the King of Kings, holy, and yet He is tender, loving, thoughtful, and attentive. This brings me to another question... now that I am reminded of this how does that change how I live my life? Will the way I live my life show that I am mindful of Him?

     It's easy to live life on autopilot. We have regular schedules and routines. There's nothing wrong with this but I think sometimes it can hinder us in being mindful of God. We become prone to living life with Him on autopilot. We think of His presence in our lives only in the context of our morning devotions, small groups, or Sunday services. If we were to live our lives mindful of Him it would change everything.  Think about it for a moment...

      Our conversations would be edifying instead of full of criticism and gossip because we would be mindful that God hears what we are saying. We might not watch certain television shows or movies anymore because we are mindful of His presence and wouldn't want to displease Him with what we are viewing. Perhaps we'd use our time and money more wisely because His presence makes us aware that this life is temporary. We would be more interested in things that have eternal value.  Our thoughts would change too because being mindful of Him makes room for the renewing of our minds.

     This is quite a challenge! I am up for it are you? Let's love God the way that He loves us. Let's be mindful of Him. Let's live our lives mindful of His presence and by doing so show Him that we take thought of Him and care for Him.