Page 57 was a Sunday that began early as I headed into work to clean bathrooms, glass doors, and hallways as I needed to make sure the building was ready for the morning. As I arrived at work, I was greeted by the beauty of the sun illuminating the back tree line before it made its way over the horizon. Sometimes it is easier and more peaceful to head into work early on Sunday rather than stay up late on Friday night making sure everything is ready. Today was one of those peaceful mornings when quiet time with God accompanied each step of my work. As I stopped by the office before Sunday School, a cardinal stopped by outside my window so I took his photo for today’s page.
After the building was cleaned and ready, I headed to Sunday School class where we finished up our study of the book of Colossians. As Paul closed out his letter to the Colossian Christians, he stressed the importance of being devoted to prayer. Part of the key to living a lifestyle of prayer is to be watchful and thankful. As we open our eyes to our surroundings, we will find plenty of things to pray for. And as we pray, we will find more and more to be thankful for.
During our morning worship gathering, David shared a message from the end of Luke eight as we considered how to deal with “Desperate Times”. While the desperate times in the text dealt with a man whose daughter was sick and dying, we have our own desperate times as we face circumstances that are unsettling and beyond our control. As we understand the actions taken by Jairus in his attempt to overcome the desperate situation he faced, perhaps we can learn to implement those actions in our circumstances before desperation sets in.
- The first thing we need to do in times of desperation is to come to Jesus — and the sooner, the better. Too often, we reserve prayer and a turning to Jesus as a last resort after we’ve tried everything else to resolve whatever problem we face. Perhaps we would have fewer times of desperation if we learned to come to Jesus with everything before the molehills turn into mountains.
- Not only do we need to come to Jesus, we need to stay with Jesus in our times of desperation. Sometimes when things look desperate, we frantically try anything and everything, including turning to Jesus, but we often don’t stay long enough to receive the answer we need. Throughout the Bible, we find God instructing His people to wait. Often times our pace doesn’t match the pace that God is leading us on. Scripture teaches us the incredible value of waiting on the Lord, but experience tells me that most of us would rather do anything except wait. Staying with Jesus means that we move through life, and through our time of desperation, at His pace rather than our own.
- Probably the greatest key in both coming to Jesus and staying with Jesus in our times of desperation is found as we learn to trust Jesus even when it seems like there is no hope. Many times we fail to come to, or stay with, Jesus because we have lost hope and fail to trust Him to meet us in our times of desperation in a way that benefits us. The writer of Hebrews says that it is impossible to please God without faith because we must not only believe that God exists, but we must believe He rewards those who diligently seek Him. We come to Jesus because we trust Him. We stay with Jesus because we trust Him. And we trust Jesus because we know He rewards those who come to Him, and stays with Him, in faith.
After the worship gathering, I headed to lunch and then spent the afternoon relaxing and trying to optimize my home computer as it keeps giving me problems. The hope is that I can figure out what keeps bogging it down so I can keep it going for some time. I eventually got it running consistently for now and then began the writing of today’s page.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- God’s timing is always better than my timing.
- While I enjoy seeing the sunrise, I know it will rise even when it can’t be directly seen.
- Some days God’s presence seems more visible than others, but I know its existence doesn’t change according to how much I do, or don’t, notice it.
- Being devoted to prayer means that prayer has become a way of life for us.
- Our thankfulness should increase by our observance of God’s working in our life and in the lives of the people around us.
- They say desperate times call for desperate measures. So, when those times come we would do well to come to Jesus, stay with Jesus, and trust Jesus to carry us through.
- Sometimes our life becomes so bogged down with the cares of this world that we need to stop and allow God to restore us.