If you’re anything like me you love it when progress is being made. There’s nothing better then checking things off of your to-do list and having a sense of accomplishment. You simply watch your tasks disappear! Even typing about that feeling right now is making me feel calm!
However, is growing as a follower of Christ always measurable? As much as I want to say “unfortunately” no I’m learning more and more that the better answer to that question is “fortunately” no.
Our family is in the middle of some big transitions. You can see our latest announcement here and as you can guess it, working multiple jobs, while planning to move to a new city, can take quite a toll. Don’t get me wrong…I’m LOVING where God has our family headed, but I’m also being challenged in my faith in terms of what “progress” really means.
While traveling lately to visit some close friends I noticed something while on the plane. In the middle of this storm, this happened…
We’ve shared about apps before and I just want to remind everyone that this is not a paid sponsorship or anything, but rather every now and then an awesome resource like this comes along and I’d regret not sharing this with you.
The Echo Prayer app is by far the best app I’ve come across so far that really can help you pray, remind you to pray, share your prayers with others, walk you through a prayer time with timers, etc. I know there are some other tools out there, but this is excellent and it’s 100% free, you’ve got to try it out.
These are just a few things you can do with this app:
We start the week wrought with prayer needs.
- Our friends on the Texas gulf coast
- The friend or family member diagnosed with cancer
- The wayward loved one
- You name it
And yet, our nature may want to focus on self.
- Getting through another Monday at work
- Obtaining The new thing or situation we want
- Receiving The attention or recognition we seek
- You name it
A focus on self limits prayer.
It’s the driving force behind our anxiety, our angst and our anger.
It’s a distraction to keep us off balance with God’s purpose, disengaged with God’s people, and out of step with God’s will.
If our attention on self increases while our relating to God decreases, we fall straight into the hole of ineffectiveness for God and what He has for us to do.
This is not to downplay suffering and situations arising in our lives that cause us to pray continually about our circumstances. There is nothing wrong with praying for our own situations.
But do we pray enough for others? We say we will. Social media overflows with promises and declarations of prayer. But does it really happen and if so, what does that look like?
Do we spend 10 minutes? 1 minute? Or do we type it and forget it as the next prayer request comes along? Or does the keyboard playing cat video completely push the promise to pray from memory?
Intentionality is our friend when it comes to praying for others. What can this look like?
I admit I’m a beach snob. I’ll drive thousands of miles to enjoy white sand and turquoise water. That’s why I’m surprised it took the Texas coast to give me the better picture of God’s daily provision.
My family vacationed at a Texas beach this summer. I hadn’t seen the Texas coast in the light of day since childhood. Other than a shorter drive and water more brown than what I’m used to, I didn’t know what to expect. Having access to a private beach afforded us no crowds, well-groomed sand, and plenty of seashells for my five-year-old daughter to find. Breathing the salt air, stepping into the pushing waves, and searching the sandbar for crabs, I had to stop and wonder if we were really still in Texas. Gratitude toward God for this valuable family time came easy.
A raised, wooden boardwalk connected the condo property to the beach over several hundred yards of tangled, green marsh grass. The grass looked like a perfect place for something slithery to hide and I was glad to see the boardwalk ran the full length. The sign adjacent to the fenced off area before the boardwalk read, “Do Not Enter-Rattlesnake Habitat”.
As our footsteps creaked over the boardwalk, I looked below into that expanse of green, expecting to see or hear a rattlesnake, but to no avail. One morning as the wind picked up, I did see a couple of floating tubes caught up in a gust and sent into the marsh. I asked a security guard if anybody ever went in to retrieve lost items. He chuckled and said, “Nobody smart.”
This past week has been pretty challenging to say the least. It started off with me going to the ER for dizziness in my head and my heart racing. What felt like a heart attack didn’t end up being a heart attack and the progress to investigate what’s going on in my head continues to play out. There are still no answers while dizziness remains every day since this all happened. Through seeing multiple doctors, having multiple tests done, and still not getting answers…it’s caused me to wrestle in my walk with The Lord. To wrestle with the unknown.
It seems like things are going every 5 minutes and I’m choosing off and on to trust in God’s plan and provision for my life. In one moment I know I’m content in whatever it is He has planned for me and in another moment I’m worried, scared, anxious, and questioning.
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. – Psalm 94:19
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6
I’ve been reminded over and over again this week when I am weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). In a strange way, when we are at our most desperate stages in life, it’s in those moments and those responses that determine what is most important to us. I’ve battled this week. Thoughts of family, friends, heaven, regrets, reminders, remembering what’s most important vs what doesn’t really matter, etc.
At the same time I feel I’ve never been closer in my walk with The Lord. Not because I’m “doing all these great things” but because I’ve become desperate enough to just want Him and Him alone. He’s all I need and in my darkest hours this week I know He’s been right there with me…every second…through His Word, through His Church, through His Peace.