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I once saw a cartoon of a woman lying on a sofa in a psychiatrist's office. The caption read: How can I relax when this couch would look so much better in the other corner?
For many years when ancient pain awakened I'd lull it back to sleep with activity. Imagine, God seeks to heal an old wound--a wound that if left unhealed is likely to destroy the relationships I hold dear. And so the Divine beckons. He allows a painful memory to surface.
Tears swell beneath a watery surface so calm it resembles glass. "Deep calls unto deep" (Psalm 42). Meanwhile, an under current of inadequacy circles my feet, and I fear being swept away. I'm compelled to draw near. But wait, I have things to do! And with that thought, I resolve to cry and feel in God's care after I've mopped the floor. Within twenty minutes, my mind has successfully hijacked my senses with the smell of lemon pine-sol and a job well done.
I add a check mark to my to-do list though nothing meaningful has been accomplished. My spirit longs for so much more.
A Prayer for So Much More:
God of all comfort, I ask for comfort when the tide rolls in and the memories flood the shoreline of my capacity to suppress pain. Forgive me for all the times I unknowingly deny your outstretched arms and kick against the natural flow of your plans for me. Fine-tune my ears to hear your voice and unite my heart to rely upon you. Direct my steps, and help me to recognize the ordinary moments you use to accomplish extraordinary works within my heart.
Altogether now: Be still, and know. He is God.
Published on Friday, January 15, 2021 @ 2:30 PM CDT
In John 6:12, Jesus tells His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." If you remember, he'd just multiplied five barely loaves to feed the five thousand.
Nothing is wasted in God's economy. Nothing. Not broken relationships, finances, or hearts. Christ gathers the fragments, makes us whole, and multiplies our stories to feed those who hunger for hope. Even in times of physical isolation, we are not alone.
Wherever you stand on the path to healing, chances are you have something to give to someone who's not as far along as you. It's also likely that if you're open to receiving help, God has placed someone in your life willing to come along side you to lend a helping hand.
Who can you encourage today? Who will you allow to encourage you?
A word about seasons of isolation.
There have been times in my life when I've reached out for help, but it didn't come from the human hands I'd hoped for. Times when I was all but sure I'd go insane from loneliness AND being alone. I've learned during those seasons that God was beckoning for my full attention. If you better relate to this scenario, I encourage you to take the time to talk to God each day. Talk, or journal.
Read Bible stories that tell of God's servants during seasons of isolation. Notice how they respond to God. Note the raw emotion they share, the insight they gain, and the grace at work in their circumstances. Ask God for the wisdom to apply this same insight to your circumstances. And rest assured--isolation is only for a season.
Almighty and Eternal God, I trust You with the fragments of my heart. Each day I move toward wholeness. Guide me today. Help me to recognize there is purpose in my life. Provide opportunities for me to be a source of encouragement to others, and grant me the courage to be obedient to what You ask of me. If You want my full attention, let Your very presence be my comfort. I am not alone. I do not suffer in vain. And I am tired of wearing a mask everywhere I go. Amen.
Peace and good,
Published on Friday, November 13, 2020 @ 9:34 PM CDT