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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Build, Pray, Keep.

 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,  keep yourselves in Gods love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joyto the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Jude 1:20-22;24-25


This isn’t the story I thought I’d write. This weekend, I planned to attend a gallery showing honoring artists whose work helped them overcome personal challenges. Since writing saved my life, since learning to write myself through and out of scary places by lighting my own candles in the darkness, I wanted to participate in the many ways God places beauty in the hands and hearts of fellow sojourners to carry them through their personal storms. That was the story I planned, but that wasn’t God’s plan. (Remember “man appoints, God disappoints?)

My day was full and busy, but, as is often the case when we are wanting to see God’s Hand in our plan, things kept falling in line. I’m already in trouble with no malicious intent, because I am suffering the dangerous effects of a faulty premise. About this,  author L. Vincent Poupard writes,
God does answer every prayer...
just not always the way that we want.
Build, Pray, Keep. 
TWEET SOME KNOWLEDGE

When we pray, we all hope that all of our prayers are answered in the way that we want. We do everything that we can to promise God that we will do whatever is wanted as long as we what we are asking for.
Sometimes we believe that God is not answering our prayers because we do not see our lives changing. God does answer every prayer that we make, just not always the way that we want. 

Our daughter had plans for the evening, we made arrangements for our son and we headed into the City. We headed into the City on a Saturday night; traffic was light. We headed into the City on a Saturday night, neither congestion nor construction, and found free, legal parking just half a block from our location. A friend working on the event, was texting regular updates. My beloved and I felt young, carefree, happily together. Arriving at the location, I checked my phone. Final update, “the elevator is broken. We’re on the 10th floor.”

Calmly, still feeling in control, we looked for the freight elevator and Plan B. You see, I’d been invited to write about the event, and that hadn’t happened before now.  I was only 10 floors away, but that wasn’t God’s plan. I’d looked forward to meeting new people, and thought maybe this might be a door God opened for me to walk through. That wasn’t God’s plan. Luke warns us to beware ambition (Luke 9:25). Here I thought my writing was about to get a big shot in the arm. Only 10 stories above where we stood might be my next big thing. That wasn’t God’s plan.

Clearly my beloved was not about to walk 10 stories in a pre-war building. Clearly I wasn’t going anywhere without him. And that was that.

Sometimes the test is “how much do you want it?” Sometimes the test is “what will you do to make your dream come alive?” Sometimes the test is...“How much do you Trust Me?”

I was clear in an instant. You see, this is my year to surrender to The One. This is my year to declare that if a blessing comes, in whatever form it comes, it comes straight from My Father’s Hands. While there might be times to give prayer a push, when every now and then we’ve got a right to channel Jacob and put up a fight, this wasn’t that time. This wasn’t that plan. SURRENDER. In big letters, just like the Wizard of Oz.

Hand in hand, we strolled out of the lovely pre-war building where magnificent people and their powerful works of art waited 10 stories up, but not for us. We ambled slowly, deeply in love and delightfully happy to be together, into a New York summer sunset. We had a lovely evening. Alone. Just my beloved, and me, and God.

My dream is still there, waiting to be chased. I will build, and I will pray. I will also keep…
·         ...precious moments close to my heart
·        ... my eyes on the wonderful things HE has already placed in my path
·        ... enjoying my right now(s)
·         ...my eyes on Him
·         ...myself in His Love as I wait

So, as Miss Scarlet might say, “tomorrow is another day.” I will chase that dream until He lets me catch it. Or until He sends something better instead. Meanwhile, I will chase Grace, and Peace, and God.

So, as said Jude,

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.



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OneWord 2015

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