Tonight I went for a walk, a quiet interlude after a busy day. I listened to the sounds as I walked. First it was the crickets singing their nightly tune. Then it was the rustling of leaves as a breeze lightly lifted and touched them. Next it was the cat who has adopted me, meowing its contented complaint as it lazily stretched in leisure at the bottom of the steps hoping for some attention. My heart was feeling full of peace as I walked. I'd met with three friends over breakfast at "Mom's" a restaurant in downtown near the university, talking past noon as we chattered in non-stop delight. My afternoon had more of the same, a conversation with a recently revived friendship. She and I went deep, talking about some of the struggles we've known, the power of God and our self-will to overcome certain injustices and issues that one doesn't like to speak about except with trusted friends.
I came home and had an ice cream sandwich, comfort food that speaks my language! I made a salad that had just about everything in it but the kitchen sink, packed full of dark greens and vitamin-rich veggies (to make up for the ice cream sandwich). And, while doing all of this, I was considering God, how He meets me during the times when I need an immediate answer. We read the words in the holy writ that say we have not because we ask not, and if we should ask, we ask with wrong intentions, incorrect motives. But, God tells us to ask, and to ask in faith, believing that God will act on our petitions. Yes, I have asked for a lot of things which I never received. Sometimes it has been very confusing, those times when I have not been discerning in a spiritual manner even though I was seeking to be discerning. In some ways it almost is like a dog chasing its tail, seeking but never quite receiving that which is being sought. And, you wonder why. It is the kind of thing that turns many away from following Christ. I suppose it goes back to motive. If the thing is from God, then we can let it go if He wants us to, and, if it is of God then that means it can not really be ours to claim and possess or manipulate (back to our belief system). Deep in his heart biblical Job understood this principle. He knew that everything that a person has is from God, and it is God's to do with as He should please or will to do it. If we believe God is good (as I do) then we can accept that He does what is right, always, even when it seems contrary to the very thing. Faith can be very weak. We should pray for greater faith.
I made the statement that God meets me during the times when I need an immediate answer. This was especially true when I had several teenagers in the household! It was a roller coaster at times. Something would happen, a problem or challenge would present itself, needing immediate attention. Something I couldn't ignore or be passive in my parenting. In these cases, I wouldn't always know what to do. A petition to God for an answer would be sent up^^^^. With my prayerful petition I would ask God to give me an answer through a scripture verse or a Christian song. And then I'd wait. Within twenty-four hours I almost always had my answer. A verse or a song would present itself in vivid clarity. With the answer I'd make a second petition ^^^^, I'd ask God to provide the time and opportunity for me to address it with my child, and that it would be natural and non-confrontational. Often, the child and I would be talking about something else and a segue to the issue at hand would come into the conversation. With no anger or anxiety, I would be able to bring up the current concern in a conversational way. I put my trust in God with these petitions and He answered me in a way I could access. I can't think of a time when God didn't give me what I needed. I also found that the times I acted first in my haste to deal with it, and prayed later after the thing imploded, it rarely had a positive outcome. Some of these issues were difficult, hard to address, embarrassing, but God always gave me what I needed when I asked Him to help me in the midst of the crisis.
The bigger decisions, the ones that are life-changing, I have asked for peace to accompany a right answer. I have also asked God for confirmation through His Word (scripture verses), His people (ones I respect in the faith), and through His direct leading. When the confirmation doesn't come, when there is no peace, and when there is no validation that something is of God, I have learned that it is best to drop the thing, even if it has seemed to be right or advantageous. Because something seems to be right doesn't mean it is right for us. Understanding and wisdom is in direct contrast to impatience and hurry, impulsivity. Waiting on the Lord to answer the petition (the wait is active), and seeking peace during its process and fulfillment, will bring us in closer union to God and in increasing dependence on God with those critical things in our lives that matter the most.
The sky tonight was lovely. I share the picture with you of how God said "Good Night," to me this evening. #God bless you.
|Good Night to you. Thank you, Father-God.|
Video of night sky: