August 21, 2010

Hope

Posted in Hope tagged , , at 5:50 pm by Katie

I was sitting here, catching up on email and online stuff that seems to go by the wayside during the week, and I came to the UpWords with Max Lucado devotion from yesterday (you can visit his website to get various email devotions throughout the week – UpWords comes every Friday).  It was about hope, specifically discussing Luke 24:13-24.  You can read the full devotion here (which I highly recommend – it explains it much more eloquently than I can).  But basically, two disciples are walking along the road to Emmaus, discouraged at the fact that Jesus has been crucified and would not, in their eyes, be redeeming Israel.  Jesus, disguised as a stranger to the disciples, inquired of their discussion.  Jesus stands and listens to them describe the painful last few days of his own life.  In verse 21, the key phrase of this devotion appears:

“…but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” (NIV)

Max Lucado emphasizes this, and how true it is – how often do we say those words?  How often do we get discouraged because we thought, we hoped something would happen, and then it doesn’t.  The most powerful part of this devotion for me came at the end, with these few lines:

“Our problem is not so much that God doesn’t give us what we hope for as it is that we don’t know the right thing for which to hope.  Hope is not what you expect; it is what you would never dream.  It is a wild, improbable tale with a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming ending. . . . Hope is not a granted wish or a favor performed; no, it is far greater than that.  It is a zany, unpredictable dependence on a God who loves to surprise us out of our socks and be there in the flesh to see our reaction.”

I know this rings so true for me.  It’s so easy for me to get discouraged when things don’t work out as I had planned or wanted.  It takes that second to stop and remember that it’s not about me.  It’s about God and his perfect plan for my life, one that is so amazing that I could never even come up with it on my own.

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August 16, 2010

Bold Prayers

Posted in Prayer at 10:45 pm by Katie

I realize I need to post updating y’all on my life here in Columbia.  It’s going on the to do list (that is on my laptop, on my flash drive, and uploaded to Google Docs so I can access it on my iPhone…yes, this is my life right now).  But I finally got to sit down and have a good, solid quiet time, and I felt the need to blog about some of the things God is telling me currently.

You see, my quiet times have really struggled since I’ve been here.  Part of it is adjusting to a new schedule of craziness.  Part of it is not being surrounded by 40 other people to ask me about my quiet time.  Part of it is my never-ending struggle with the self-discipline to set aside time to be with the Lord in His Word each day and not spend that time sleeping or doing mindless things.  I really miss personal reflection nights from project, and as I’m planning out my fall schedule (which is currently a color-coded Excel spreadsheet of madness), I’m trying hard to build in some solid time there.

But tonight I was able to sit down, spend some quality time in the Word, and re-read over today’s P31 devotion (which you can read here).  It was on praying bold prayers, which is something I can honestly say I don’t give much thought.  One of the reflection questions was, “What limits you from praying bold prayers for others or for yourself?”  My immediate answer was toward myself and that I don’t want to be a “selfish prayer,” so to speak.  My prayers for myself typically revolve around my unconfessed or undiscovered sin and the need for self-discipline (see above).  But I never think to pray about God’s plan for my life.  I never pray for Him to move in my heart and show me things that I may not have ever thought of.  It’s honestly something I hadn’t thought about until I re-read that devotion and thought about the questions tonight.

The other part of the question, praying bold prayers for others, left me thinking as well.  So often, when I’m praying for others, it’s when they are in a hard situation and asking for prayer.  It could be an illness, a death, a hard time, etc.  But how often do I sit back and pray for the lives of others around me?  I really don’t.

I love when God’s Word and other people move me to think in ways that I never would have thought of.  I hope that I continue to remember these things when I am praying, and I would love to pray bold prayers for each of your lives =)

Updates on life in Cola coming soon!  The short version is that I’m crazy busy but loving it!