Last night we had a power failure just before dinner. Thankfully it was already all cooked, and so we rushed around getting candles and torches and putting on pajamas in the last few minutes before the sun set. It was our girls first experience of a candlelit dinner. We lit countless candles as they practiced blowing them out, and it was one of those memorable perfect family evenings.
About half way into our dinner (and into a pack of matches) we heard the familiar hum of our old fridge that told us the power had been restored. The girls didn’t notice as they continued to blow out matches and play with the candles and wax. We decided to remain in the darkness to continue teaching them about the light.
As I went to sleep last night, that thought remained in my mind. Although God is so powerful and capable of taking me out of any trial that I pray He will free me from, there are times when I know He will leave me in that trial for a specified time, in order that whilst in the darkness, I will learn about the light.
John 1 vs 5
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Exodus 33 vs 14-15
“And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
I love that this relationship with God is a journey. It may not be easy, and the trials often seem to be numerous and difficult, but it isn’t boring. Life is filled with growth and new places, new people and beautiful dreams.
Moses prayed to God about going to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, he tells God that he cannot possibly go on this journey without God’s presence.
It would be the same foolishness as me strapping my little girls in the backseat of our car and expecting them to get safely to their destination without me.
As I start a new week with new challenges and tasks, my prayer this morning is to remember that I am not the one doing the driving. My prayer is to remember to pray for God’s presence to go with me, and to be encouraged by the promise of rest that comes with His presence.
Whenever we make reference to our youngest daughter being the smallest, she looks at us defiantly and tells us, “I am a BIG little girl.”
I don’t know why she assumes being little is an insult, but I do know that we are born with a deep rooted desire to grow. In the same way that she wants to grow older and taller, (most probably to catch up with her sister), so we long to grow up in our faith and to progress in our walk with the Lord.
2 Peter 3 vs 18
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
My prayer for today, for my family, my friends and myself, is that we will all grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
At the kitchen table last night I was chatting to my girls whilst my husband stood slightly behind them, heating up the last of our supper. The conversation was on being kind and compassionate, and after my eldest daughter said something, my response was to tell her that it was because she had a kind heart. “Kind Heart” being the term I often use to try and show them what is important in relationships and who they are on the inside.
To my dismay, my three year old’s answer was to look me in the eyes and say, “No mom, my heart is an organ that pumps blood.” Over her head I could see the guilty expression on my science loving husband, who has been showing the girls his giant anatomy book.
Psalm 40 vs 8
“I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”
The Bible speaks about the heart being more than just a blood pumping organ. What a wonderful challenge to become known as someone who desires to do God’s will, and who carries God’s law within my heart!
As I read through Galatians this morning I was struck by the verse in which Paul asks the Galatians the question about their joy.
“What has happened to all your joy?”
Whilst his letter to them is referring to the false gospel that is being preached and the way they have fallen away from what was originally taught to them, I couldn’t help but notice that he later lists the fruit of the Spirit, and there among the list is joy.
Galatians 5 vs 22-23
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
When they turn away from the truth their fruit of joy diminishes. What a challenge as I examine that same list and see what is diminished in my own life and why. If I am not joyful there stands a good reason that I am not trusting with a certain topic. If I am not filled with a love for someone then perhaps I am attempting to love in my own strength instead of His. In fact if I am struggling with any of the fruit of the Spirit, then it stands to reason that perhaps I am not been led by the Spirit at all.
The images that comes to my mind at the moment are my lemon tree and my daisy bush. Both planted at similar times, yet in different soil and in different areas of my garden. My daisy bush is already alive with color and bringing much beauty and brightness to my garden. My lemon tree on the other hand seems like it may not make it through the winter.
Which one am I?
Isaiah 61 vs 10-11
“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.”
The last few weeks I have been completely out of my routine as first I was on leave and then I had to work at a different training school for a few days. Finally back at the office yesterday and as I walked through the courtyard I was amazed to see beautiful yellow flowers that had blossomed on several of the bushes. It was raining and the bright yellow really stood out in contrast to the grey clouds.
There are so many things that cause my soul to rejoice in my God. There are hundreds of little prayers of thankfulness throughout my day, hundreds of spontaneous smiles and different situations and things that cause a gladness in my heart.
To be able to sit in our tearoom and look out over the student’s playing field, there is a hope and expectancy in my heart as I witness how the dead and dusty sand of a few weeks ago has suddenly become a brilliant green. It causes me to pray more fervently for the same kind of growth in the lives of those around me. It causes me to examine my own life to see if I am bearing the yellow flowers that will cause others to notice a difference in me.
The good kind of difference.
Romans 15 vs 5-6
“ May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This morning my Intentional Rising was made so much sweeter by one of my friends rising to join me. We would message one another at four am about two years ago, each of us praying for four specific things. Within a few months we both received our answers and as human nature is, became lazy and stopped rising early.
After chatting with her yesterday we each chose four new items to pray for, and rising early this morning was easy, knowing that I was going to be accountable to someone else. My prayer is that God will give us endurance to continue and continual encouragement for one another, that Christ may be glorified.