Learning Wrestling Prayer in a World of Instant Gratification

learning wrestling prayer in a world of instant gratification #prayer #followingJesus

I like things to be instant. Well, everything except pudding. Nothing beats a slow cooked custard pudding. But for the most part if I decide something, I want to go right then and get it done. I’m just like that.

Yet, I’m learning that things don’t happen this way in the Kingdom of God.

For some reason God seems incredibly concerned with persistence.

From the story of the friend who got what he needed because he wouldn’t stop knocking, to the widow who gets the justice she desires because she won’t stop bothering the King— Jesus, himself, gives us permission to pound on the gates of heaven with our requests. Continue reading

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When Life Turns Out Different Than What You Expected

when life turns out different than what you expected
Some stories don’t turn out like we expect them to.

I’m sure Mary would agree with me. She said yes to God’s plan, despite her limited understanding. She put her hand right in His and followed the path laid down for her.

But I somehow doubt she ever expected where all it would lead her.

When my husband and I were first contacted about adopting a little unborn baby, we went right to our knees. We were Gideon with all his doubts. We weren’t strong enough, wealthy enough.

Four times I stretched out a fleece. Not just the twice that Gideon did. Four times.

Are you sure, God?

Every time He laid my fears to rest. This was His battle, His decision, His plan. Continue reading

what I learned from the Shepherds

what I learned from the Shepherds

I’ve never seen an angel (that I’m aware of, though I’ve often wondered about a few people who moved in and out of my life very swiftly—and left huge blessings in their wake). To be honest, I’m not sure what I would do if I saw one.

From Scripture it seems that perhaps they are more terrifying than we tend to think. The pretty gal with the glowing hair and fluttering wings? Not so much.

Since one of the names we are given in Scripture of the Creator is “God of Angel Armies” I would guess that an angel might look a bit more like an army general.

In the book of Luke (Luke 2:8-21) we hear about the angels who announce the Messiah’s birth to a group of shepherds. Apparently this was a surprising turn of events as the shepherds were the unlearned of the Jewish society.  Continue reading

Lemon Bars and Love

It was a lemon bar. Nothing of great importance. The only thing that mattered was that it was taken without permission. We have a pretty common saying in our house, “If it’s not yours, don’t touch it.” She forgot.

It’s crazy how the things I think are a big deal, often fly right over my child’s head. Then along comes this little thing, and for some reason it catches her right and she ends up heartbroken over her decisions. “I just wasn’t thinking, Mommy,” she cried into my shirt. “I just wanted it so I ate it and now Daddy won’t have one.”

I’m patting her head, trying to catch up with a simple reprimand turning into a huge ordeal, when she says the words.

“I just feel so dirty.”

I pause. My first reaction is to correct her. “That’s silly,” I want to say. “You’re not dirty, you’re beautiful and we love you more than any old lemon bar.” But something stops me. Maybe this is a whole lot deeper than the lemon bar. Maybe God is doing something. Continue reading

Our Father

IWord-Snacks: bite-sized devotionals for your hungry moments forgot my Bible when I left the house. I usually keep it in my purse, but we were in a hurry, running late.

During these moments, I often return to the simple verses I memorized years ago.

“Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”

My father. Whose name is holy.

A father who cares intimately for His children. A  holy God who is perfect, just, righteous, loving.

It is Your will, Abba, that I pray for. Your will I hold to. Your will I trust.

Today and every day.

Bitter Sweet

I don’t know how many times I’ve prayed for healing. Begged. Pleaded. God, if You see me, take these broken pieces and fix them. Please! 

One of the things I’ve never understood has been the way God allows things to fester over time. To build up pressure until I’m sure I cannot handle one more thing.

Except, maybe– maybe I do get it a little.

At least, this morning I did as I read through the story of the bitter waters at Marah. Continue reading

Finding Him

This morning I read the story of Jesus showing up again.

He already had once, you know. He could have said, “Well, y’all had your chance.” But He didn’t. He just kept showing up, over and over. It was after his death and resurrection that He walked right into the disciples lives again.

They were back in the fishing boat. Back where they started. Their few short years of traveling with the miracle-worker skidding to a sudden halt. Continue reading