"Pray for each other" James 5:16I had planned to post a short devotion earlier today but never got around to it. I had several thoughts running around in my head about a particular passage I've been studying and wanted to dive deeper into. But when it came time to sit at the computer no words came.Now, here I sit hours past my bedtime with a heavy heart. Tonight was hard. Some days just seem to weigh more than others and today was one of them. It seems like everyone I came in contact with was carrying a load too heavy.
This weekend I went to see Brave with my almost 18, senior in high school, about to leave the nest, teenage daughter. No one warned this momma that I would be in serious need of some Kleenex as I watched this coming of age movie with my almost come of age daughter sitting beside me.If you haven't seen the movie yet I'll try not to give any spoilers. But from the previews you can tell that Merida and her mother, the Queen, see life a bit differently.
Yesterday should have been my twentieth wedding anniversary. I had planned to be celebrating with a cruise to the Caribbean or something of the like. Instead I found myself surrounded by waters not so tropical. After a long day at work I came home to an empty house and a shaggy lawn. Hot as it was I got out the mower and tackled it. By the time I was done I was sweaty and approaching grumpy (heat does that to me) so I grabbed a floatie and jumped in the pool.Normally our small pool is not relaxing. Fun? Yes.
I grew up in the South where Snipe hunting was a rite of passage. Unfortunately for me I was a rather gullible young girl who fell for the challenge of capturing my very own snipe.For those of you not familiar with Snipe hunting let me enlighten you. According to Urban Dictionary, Snipe hunting is: A North-American prank and rite of passage wherein older adolescents take younger adolescents into the wilderness for the supposed purpose of "snipe hunting." Snipes are an imaginary game bird purported to resemble quails or pheasants.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trialsknowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may beperfect and compete, lacking in nothing.James 1:2-4 I've just started Beth Moore's study on the book of James and this passage is my current memory verse. I've been trying to learn it for the last week or so. Not just memorize it, but understand it."Various trials" I understanding.But "all joy"?That's a mystery.Consider it all joy. All? Really? All as in: sickness, death, severed relationships, job loss, rebellious kids, broken dreams, flat...
I confess... I stole the title from the amazing Anne Jackson who wrote a beautiful post about the slow and inefficient work of God. I stumbled back across it today and took a minute to sit with the truth of her words. I ran my fingers across the once jagged, broken places of my heart and felt a smooth surface where cracks and fissures used to cut my fingers open. It took time to get here, to this place of healing. A long time.I believe with all of my heart that God can do in one moment what I cannot...
When I woke up this morning my first thought was that tomorrow is Easter. Resurrection day. Time to celebrate Christ's victory over sin and death. In between Good Friday's reflections of the price he paid on the cross and Easter morning's celebration of the empty tomb sits a quiet Saturday.For you and I today is a day of preparation for the celebrating tomorrow brings. For the disciples I have a feeling today looked a lot different.I wonder what that Sabbath day was like after they wrapped Jesus and buried His dead body.
This week isn't turning out like I had planned. The kids are at their dad's for a few days. Normally I fill any time they're away with distractions. But this time the two friends I rely on to distract me are out of town, out of the country actually. So I've spent the last few evenings on the couch watching mindless TV and eating junk food.That wasn't my intention. My intention was to spend these few days with God. Every year I take a few days to get away and go on a prayer retreat.
This following Jesus thing is hard.I used to think that at some point I would reach a place of spiritual maturity and it would no longer be hard to follow Jesus. That I'd wake up one day to sunshine and blue skies and skip through the remainder of my days because I'd figured out the magic formula and was now immune to "hard".It seems as if my daydream is nothing more than just that, a dream.The longer I follow Jesus the more I realize... the hard isn't going away.I'm not the first person to find this following Jesus thing hard.
The fan spins round as the house settles in for the night and I lay here on my bed waiting for sleep to come. As I wait I am overwhelmed. For He is here with me. His presence, His peace, is almost more than I can bare.The children whisper to one another from their beds. One makes a last trip to the bathroom, then to get a drink. Slowly quite comes. Breathing slows and steadies. A hush falls all around as laughter and chatter fade to silence. And He is here with me, with us.