Posts Tagged ‘trust God’

flame of loveListen, God! Please, pay attention!
Can you make sense of these ramblings,
my groans and cries?
    King-God, I need your help.
Every morning
    you’ll hear me at it again.
Every morning
    I lay out the pieces of my life
    on your altar
    and watch for fire to descend. [Psalm 5:1-3, The Message]

Have you ever just prayed and prayed for something in particular? And prayed. And still the heavens are silent. We’re waiting for the fire to descend, the fire of the Holy Spirit to step into the situation, to alter it, to heal it, to divide it, to just manifest! Darn it!

I believe in the fire of heaven. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the God of the Universe, sweet Spirit, in all and through. But the longer I keep my God alive within, the more sure I am that no desire on my part will bring the fire. I don’t have the timetable.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t pray, even fervently, but the prayer has to be without that one eye open – the eye that is looking for results. The more we look for the fire, the less likely we will see anything. Besides, it’s more likely that the miracle, the answer, the fire of God, will come in an unlikely form. In the same way that the Israelites looked for a warrior Messiah and a conqueror; instead, they got a mild-mannered carpenter who carried no obvious weapon, hired no bodyguards, and enlisted no troops. And yet, that Jesus and that ragtag dozen turned the world upside down.

Paul writes, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” [Philippians 4:12, NIV] And yet, he was also a mighty prayer warrior. He believed he was living out, each and every day, eachHoly spirit dove and every trial, answers to his prayers.

After all, there is still the simplicity of Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” The fire is in every day, every hour, every minute. You don’t have to “see” the fire to trust. Holy Spirit, flame of love.

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Pay Attention

desert-streamSee, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. [Isaiah 43:19]
First, while visiting my friend, Mary, who has pancreatic cancer, she introduced me to a wonderful song called, “Pay Attention” by the Miserable Offenders (funny name for a group). Then last week, I went to a Chamber luncheon, I ran into our Chief of Police and her parting words to me were the same, “Pay attention.” For the Chief, the message was about danger in our midst, for my friend the message was awareness and sensitivity to the wonder of life (because life is fleeting).
Now, in this scripture passage, I hear the same message again, “do you not perceive it?” Pay attention!
You see, God is doing that “new thing” every day. All around me, there is something to see, to hear, to feel, to touch, to taste. Each day is a wonder. Each moment is a gift. Oh, I worry and kvetch without really looking, without understanding.
To trust God with my life, to surrender my will completely, then I must respond with a “yes” to every experience, both difficult and easy. Naturally, I’m speaking of circumstances that are outside of my control (that includes other people). Our children come to us in a variety of versions, some are smart and quick, others are quirky, while still others are broken. But each child is still a gift and part of my journey, part of whole. The weather, the illness, the accident, the villain, or the animal, whatever, I cannot know ahead of time their impacts on my life, but when those moments happen, can I embrace the pain and the sorrow, knowing them as part of the paradoxes of life?
And even when I do choose, when I do “control” the times and then, perhaps, suffer regret, isn’t it time to let go of those disappointments? After all, it’s done. The minutes are still passing. And the “new thing” or the “new way” is still to come, maybe like a flash flood in the desert.
It’s the fractured dreams that are often the hardest to release. Those dreams of childhood or even our early twenties, when we imagined our success and notoriety, our personal paparazzi, our brilliance. I know I focused more on the results and the fruit that could have been instead of the process, the gifts I had to give. And so I kept plowing the old field, not realizing and not noticing the field beyond, the path beside, the hanging vines.
But all that being said, I am paying attention now. Right now. In this moment, this day. I see.

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