Yesterday was a great day. I was joy-filled, content, at peace and rested. Despite the snow (!) in April and the struggles and busyness of life, I felt more reason to rejoice than I have in weeks.
Sometimes you hear something so often you become calloused to its impact and power. At our Bible study this week, we focused on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. With Easter around the corner and all it's an appropriate topic. I've heard since I was little that Jesus died on the cross and rose three days later.
But friends! As we stop to ponder the significance of that, the implications for our life, how can we not be moved to tears and joy?
I shared earlier this week that I'm in a season of life right now where I'm having to truly wait upon the Lord and His timing. I've been reading the book A Praying Life by Paul Miller and it is rocking. my. world. A recent chapter I read talked about how prayer is helplessness. Helpless from a human perspective, aware of our need for Jesus.
As I pondered this, I thought about how busy my schedule was in past months concerning the work we do. A good busy. And now, despite the fact that our efforts haven't changed, our schedule has slowed greatly. And what have I done with this extra time? Walked faithfully with the Lord? Spent hours in prayer and Bible study? Ya. I'd like to say that's the answer.
In general, I truly feel like God has given me the gift of faith–to keep believing even when things look impossible and trust in His promises. And this current situation is the first time in a long time (although I don't doubt it will happen) where I was just frustrated with the reality of it.
This morning I was challenged by how little I've turned to God in prayer. Yes, I talk with Him throughout the day. But to set aside intentional chunks of time where I humbly go before my Father and talk with Him had not been a top priority.
"If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money and talent are all you need in life."
I tweeted this quote earlier in the week and it strikes me every time I read it. Oh, me of little faith! Having "great faith" isn't some positive state of mind. It is a deliberate, intentional decision to choose Jesus, day in and day out–His way, His timing. It's choosing to rejoice when you have no earthly reason to sing for joy. To rely on Him fully.
I felt burdened to spend one full hour praying yesterday. I shared this with my husband and we sat in his office praying out loud for one hour. My sharing this with you is not to boast in my praying, but to share a conviction I felt about how little this has been a true part of my life.
Paul Miller says that prayer reminds us of our great need to depend on the Lord. And the more time we spend in prayer, the less time we can spend making things happen in our own effort, so the more we need Him to move on our behalf. What a beautiful cycle this is!
Later yesterday afternoon, Jordan was feeling discouraged as he left the house for a meeting. I was angry at the devil's attempt to defeat my husband's faith and so I turned on worship music in my kitchen and sang (in my less than beautiful voice) at the top of my lungs to my Savior, arms wide open and kneeling in awe of Him.
What freedom I felt in that moment. A true, deep, knowing of my Jesus. That the same power that conquered the grave–that swallowed up death in victory!–now lives inside of me because I am a follower of the Risen Messiah. What on this messed-up, twisted world could ever take that from me? What do I have to fear? Nothing.
Music has always been a powerful component in my life and some of my most intimate moments with the Lord happen while I'm singing alone in my house or car. In Christ Alone is one our absolute favorites. What a powerful message this song packs.
And as we anticipate Easter in just a couple days, may these words move you. If you've heard them your whole life, I pray God would grant you fresh ears to hear and eyes to see, to not take this incredible message for-granted.
And if you've never heard or really grasped, I pray you'd come to know that God loves you and created you to know Him personally. That although our sin separates us from God, He sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for our sins. We then get a choice of whether we will accept His free gift of salvation and live our lives for Him or if we'll reject it. Oh, how I pray you'd choose the former, my friend.