Tuesday, April 19, 2011

and I will give you rest... and whatever else you ask for

(this photo cracks me up and will make sense to you, the reader, momentarily)

About a month ago, I asked a friend for prayers. We had a need that was becoming stressful and I asked for prayers of peace and assurance. She and her husband did more than pray, they also helped to fill the need and ease our burden. The kind-gesture (and "kind-gesture" doesn't even begin to scratch the profoundness of this gift) was intended to be done anonymously, but since she and one other person were the only one's I told...it wasn't hard to figure out. When I thanked her, she humbly said this, "we felt led to do something more than pray." I think volumes could be written about that statement and it has consumed my thoughts for weeks now.

While Rodney and I are plotting our sneak-attack paybacks (and we've been hysterically giddy just imagining what we could do to pay them back) we've also been moved in our souls as we've pondered this whole idea of doing something more than praying. When we are informed of someone with great suffering and need, the standard response is usually, "we'll sure be praying for them". And, while I absolutely know the power of prayer, it just seems like the easy thing to do. It's almost like a way out, "we will pray for you"...the end. So, I decided to ask God very specifically to open my eyes to the needs of others and to lead me to DO something. "Give me a job. Put me to work. I'm your girl".

Matthew 21:22 - If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer

This scripture should not only serve as a great blessing for those in need, but I also think there should be some kind of warning or disclaimer attached to it. That whole "be careful what you ask for" thing is crazy-true. I've not been this busy in years. I mean, I'm always "busy" but, lately, have been overwhelmed with the needs of others. God opened my eyes wide. He has led me to do and do and do...and do. Just the realization of the oppressive hardships, the gut-wrenching heartbreak, the loneliness and grief of the people in my very small community has been almost more than I can bear.

The reality is, sometimes there is nothing to do but pray. Even when I want to swoop in and rescue somebody, there is nothing that can be "done". God has shown me that there are lots of things I can do but He has also shown me that it is only when I'm given permission that I can move. It isn't always easy to see. You jump in and give a hand up in this situation... but don't dare touch this person's issue with a ten foot pole. It is becoming easier to know where I'm needed and where I am to simply pray and surrender it to God. The peace of knowing that He is who He says He is, the calm assurance that it isn't my burden to bear (even when I really want to bear it), is liberating.

Sometimes I think I'm oblivious for a reason. Maybe the world needs people who are bordering on lunacy and smile and wave at the plight of the world. It could be that those who are wallowing in pity and doubt need look up from their grief and see some idiot skipping through the daisies. I'm quite aware that they are going to laugh at me and probably think me foolish, but I bet they forgot their worries for a moment. And, perhaps, it will give them a thirst for freedom as well. Not that I profess to be living in complete liberty, just a little oblivion.

So, as I cautiously continue to pray for God to lead me to do something, I pray that it will always be with a happy heart. That I should never forget my blessings. That I can continue to be who God made me and use this "gift" for good. He is the creator, I'm the creation. He is the potter, I am the clay. Coming to a knowing that He is doing a good thing with my life is humbling. I've been blessed beyond measure in just the past few weeks that I have not been able to hold back the tears. I threw my arms open-wide and asked God to fill them with work and He piled it up so high I couldn't see over it. Maybe He thought I would see the amusement in it all, and I have. And now, I'm tired. Graciously, however, He also invites me to rest which is what I shall do today. But, fear not, I'll be back to skipping through the daisies again tomorrow with a freshness of spirit.


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