I don’t know about you, but I knock on God’s door multiple times a day asking for His show of favor. Patience, provision, peace, understanding, wisdom, endurance, empathy, compassion, strength— I need it all, and I approach the throne of God unabashedly, requesting this and more for myself and for my loved ones.
As a parent, I fret over the small stuff. Oh, I invest plenty of hours praying over the major details. But I major in the minors, as they say. I police the perimeters, knowing that prayer, my attentiveness, and a whopping dollop of grace goes a very long way indeed in cultivating spirits that eagerly desire to live and serve the Lord, and others. “It’s not the eruption,” I tell myself often, “It’s the tremors signaling the build-up.”
There have been exactly seven times in my life that I have wholeheartedly embraced the pain God put in my path. The other million and a half instances of hurt, I have kicked and fought and wrestled under the weight until finally, the ache came to an end.
Sometimes we have to stay focused. Sometimes we need to think bigger, and to forget the small things for a season.
About six years ago, I realized I had fallen into a trap. I had become an avid consumer of devotional materials… and a very poor patron of my Bible.
I spent a decent amount of time pondering theology and thinking on the meaning of God’s Word. But there wasn’t a whole lot of real reflection taking place because, to be honest, I wasn’t reading more than a verse or two at a time— and those verses had already been chewed for me.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life. —Francis of Assisi
The two lines weren’t supposed to be there. You took the test on a whim. If anything, you thought, Murphy’s Law would come into play and you’d start your period as you were waiting for the seconds to tick by on the timer.
One of the projects I was most excited about this summer is one of those purely delight-driven, purely fanciful little endeavors that make the best kind of memories: a sunflower house. We attempted one once, years ago, in Washington. I probably should have just hand-fed sprouts to the slugs for all the good it did me. I think we grew three sunflowers that year, which was lovely, but it wasn’t a house. It didn’t create the sweet little hideaway I had hoped for. Call me a pessimist, but I never tried again.