“As the deer pants for streams of living water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” [Psalm 42] Your presence is an essential to my life, your guidance what I live by, your healing and transformation my joy, your insights into loving you carry me, your inspiration that I depend upon for my blog enrich my life, the beauty that you created I seek out everywhere, your “whispers” change my life. I have no life without you, witness how driven I was by being outer-referenced and anxious all the time as if I could never fit in, before you came into my life. Now I am secure in you and in who I am and in your leadership. There are still some issues I deal with from time to time, but, with just a nudge from you, they go on the bucket list of healing needed.
From people who have no experience of being “born again” and the transformations within that can follow that whole-person decision, there seems to be a craziness to submitting to God’s laws and love, there is total resistance to surrendering control of one’s life to God, there is insanity and an obvious kind of slavery to being obedient to His commands.
The reality, once we have submitted ourselves to God, surrendered so many things to Him, and sought obedience to the Spirit of all of God’s laws, is laughable, because it is so easy and free and light and peaceful and life-changing. What once seemed like death of the self in being obedient to God now seems like freedom, not a duty at all. What once was clearly beyond my ability to give up being outer-referenced and in the world, now comes so easily. And whatever outer-referencing and worldly calls still reside in me are now very quietly voiced, not the noisy, insistent voice of the ego.
Once I began to sense the changes in me, the healing of much suffering from my past, and the emergence of a truer self, I was engaged for life! There is that sense of freedom, of joy, of belonging, of being true to oneself. It’s amazing! And that is just the beginning. Sometime later there is the permanent sense of always being in God’s presence, of needs being met with little prayer, of my life being arranged so that it works for me and for the higher good.
I have just been to California earlier this month for a short trip to attend a family wedding in Southern California and to see my two sons and their families in the Bay Area. I was jet-lagged and tired the whole trip, but for every meeting and every event, I would just ask Christ to be with me, and I could be present and engaged and not tired at all. With Him I was able to be present without fail, not on my energy, but with His. When the meeting or gathering was over, I’d become aware of the fatigue again.
That is how I experience His help every day. It is the answer to so much prayer; it came when I least expected it. And now I count on it always.
I have been writing this blog now for ten years. And for seven years I have posted every Monday without fail on my website, and now on FB every week day for the last four years. I have never run short of ideas. At any given time I have six to twelve weeks-worth written ahead(in various states of completeness). When I look back on these ten years, I see that my commitment to post every Monday has been met by the Holy Spirit’s commitment to make it happen.
I am now starting to write my third book on helping the poor and needy, a major theme in the Bible. I want to explore what God’s insistence that we take care of the poor and needy among us means in this day and age. I was going to write a video script about this topic sometime in January, but as I did the research for it, I realized that the topic was multi-faceted and needed a much longer treatment than a 700-1,000 word blog post. And so the idea of this book was born in me.
I am currently reading “Letters from a Modern Mystic” by Frank C. Laubach who was a missionary to the Philippines in the early 20th century. And he writes about thinking of God one second of every minute of every day. And how that changed his whole life. And so I am working on this—I’m a long way from achieving it but I am setting this intention, a focused kind of prayer, so that the Lord can achieve this in me.
For a person without a career in her life, being a spiritual director, a supervisor of directors, a blogger and an author after retirement age is a tremendous blessing. The joy and gratitude I feel in doing my work now sustains me. That I am partnering with the Lord in my work at my age is amazing!
Questions to ponder over the week: What song or line(s) from a Psalm or other book of the Bible best expresses my love for the Lord? What prayer do I want to offer up to God today? What gratitude and praise do I experience in my life for all that I have been given? If I don’t experience any gratitude and praise, why not? What else do I long to experience with/in/for the Lord?
Blessing of the week: May we be the people of God who sing our songs to God loudly and clearly. May we be aware of our longings and our loves and our blessings and grace. May we express our longing directly to God.