Monday, November 2, 2009

Come Walk With Me.

It's time for my nightly "God time."

God time is a new policy in our house. My husband declared it three weeks ago, after we met with our Pastor. Each night, we set aside one hour. During that hour, we separate - he has chosen the basement, and I stay upstairs. We don't answer the phone, don't read emails, don't play with the cats. We spend that hour with God. It is good. Very, very good.

Tonight, I am having more than a little trouble focusing. Thoughts are racing, and distractions are competing for attention. I'll start a thought, and before it's finished, it's gone. I could "fight it out" alone and probably benefit. But instead, I am going to ask you something.

Will you walk with me? Tonight, I'm giving you an open invitation into my time with God. As I pray, as I read, I will write. I will share my heart here, in the hope that doing so may give you a glimpse of God's heart for you.

Lord, I love you. You are holy. You are awesome, mighty... omnipotent. You are awesome. Indescribable, uncontainable. Amazing. Wonderful. Perfect in every way. I am humbled by Your majesty, thankful for your grace. For all that You are, for all You have done, I give you praise. I come before you with thanksgiving, Lord.

Tonight, my heart hurts. Tonight, I find myself dreaming of what might have, could have... should have been. What should have been is a little girl. A little girl named Annaliah. She would have been three next month. If she had been born here on earth. If we had gotten more than 14 short weeks.

I remember being on my knees, begging God for comfort. Asking Him to help me through. Aching for something to hold onto. Something to remember. Some part of her. And I remember the dream I had that night. I believe with all my heart that it was from Him, of Him. In the dream, I saw her face. Her beautiful, sweet face. Her brown eyes. Perfect cheeks. Her daddy's mouth and her great grandma's nose. Downy soft hair. I held her in my arms. I felt her warmth, her weight. Felt her breathing. Saw her flex her tiny fingers. The image faded. It was replaced with light. Amazing, all consuming light. And in the middle of this light... was Him. The King. He held the hand of a little girl. Brown hair, dancing eyes. She was looking up at him with an expression of awe, of love, and of total trust. He smiled, and bent down a little to speak to her. He pointed at me. She broke into a grin, and ran toward me. I awoke, filled with comfort. With peace.

I have never shared that second part. I have cherished it in my heart, relished it as my own. But tonight, I'm sharing it with you. Not for judgement. Not so that you can ask God for the same thing. But so that together, we can thank God for loving us. For knowing us. For comfort that He and He alone can give.

Thank you, for comfort. For peace. Comfort. Unchanging, unyielding, and unending love.

Proverbs 2:1-15
My child, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair - every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicket men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.

One thing that I have done many times, and will continue to do... one thing that helps, that makes a tangible, immediate difference... is to confess the Word of God. I'll take a passage, or a verse, or a chapter, and speak it. Out loud. Usually, when I do that, I personalize it. For example... instead of saying "My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity," I say "I do not forget His teaching, and I keep His commands in my heart. They will prolong my life many years and bring me prosperity."

Make sense? Good. This is the final exercise I do each night. Read them with me. Out loud.

Psalm 91.
I dwell in the shelter of the Most High; I rest in the shadow of the Almighty. The Lord is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

Surely He will save me from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He covers me with His feathers, and under His wings I find refuge; His faithfulness is my shield and rampart. I do not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand my fall at my side, ten thousand at my right hand, but it will not come near me. I will only observe with my eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

Because I make the Most High my dwelling - the Lord, who is my refuge - no harm will befall me, and no disaster will come near my home. He commands His angels concerning me, to guard me in all my ways; they lift me up in their hands, so that I will not so much as strike my foot against a stone. I will tread upon the lion and the cobra, and trample the great lion and the serpent.

The Lord says that because I love him, He will rescue me. He will protect me, for I acknowledge His name. I will call upon Him, and He will answer me; He will be with me in trouble, and He will deliver me and honor me. With long life will He satisfy me, and show me His salvation.

Ephesians 6:10-17
I am strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. I put on the full armor of God so that I can take my stand against the devil's schemes. My struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore I put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, I can stand my ground. And after I have done everything, I will still be standing.

I stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around my waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with my feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, I take up the shield of faith, with which I can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. I take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

I hope that in walking with me for just a short while, you have been blessed. And now may the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.

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