With today being the first workday following the weekend’s “spring forward” time change, it felt like I was up even earlier than what the clock said. It had snowed overnight, so there was no hitting the snooze as there was a lot to get done before the start of the school day. While the snow didn’t add up in depth, it was a wet snow so the leaf blower didn’t do any good today — it was old school shoveling and then putting down some ice melt to help keep the walks clear. After the outside was ready, I turned my attention to the inside cleaning and building prep.
Once the building was ready, I turned my attention to settling in with God to work on the prayer guide for next week. I don’t know if it was tiredness or an accumulation of situations around me, or probably a combination of both, but today was tough coming up with a topic as I seemed to constantly be fighting off topics I knew were only from my mind. Sometimes there are things going on around me that I am tempted to address in a prayer guide, but I know that wouldn’t be right so I’m thankful that I’ve developed a habit and process that commits to listening to God until I’m confident it’s His topic that I’m covering and not my own. As I drew in nearer to God to be more deliberate about listening, a variety of birds gathered in the brush outside my office window. Among them were several pair of bluebirds, including the one in today’s photo that had just plucked a seed out of the sumac head she was perched on.
I suppose for some people they could be a distraction, but watching the birds always helps me to recognize the presence and goodness of God. As I watched and photographed the birds, I spent time in God’s Word drawing into His presence. As I prayed about what God would have me share, the word “saved” kept showing up in my scripture reading and in my mind. Sometimes I think we, or at least I, take being saved for granted. Or we struggle with how we’re saved, what we’re saved from, what we’re saved to do, how we remain saved, and probably other questions depending on our background and upbringing. Once that word was settled in my mind, the prayer guide flowed together as I could feel God’s presence flow into the daily prayer points.
After the prayer guide was written, I did the formatting and scheduling so it would be ready to go out early Sunday morning. Because the prayer guide had taken a lot longer today than most weeks, I ended up working a long day as I spent all afternoon working through some additional writing and ideas for some prayer-based teaching.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Always be ready is a good plan for the uncertain Michiana weather, but it is also what God expects of us when it comes to sharing about the hope that we have in Christ.
- While it can be tempting to use God’s gifting to promote a personal agenda, that is not what God gives it for.
- When it is difficult to hear God, it is important to pursue an even greater commitment to listening.
- If God’s presence seems to be distant, it is good to spend time noticing how His presence constantly surrounds us.
- While it may be easy to carry a verse or two with us that we think define specific theology points, most of the time doing so will cause us to miss the full depth of God’s teaching in that area.
- Sometimes the best thing we can do is to keep at it until God gives the result that He desires we have.