Slow down

I had to choose a song that was meaningful to me to present to the congregation for worship this week. It took me a while to settle on one, but God put “Stop the World” by Matthew West on my heart. Life gets so busy that it can be so easy to slip into the habit of just rushing from task to task, forgetting to pray or listen for the still small voice of God leading me.

Putting together a testimony to go along with my song choice was a blessing as I stopped to spend time in prayer and study, which was exactly what I’ve been needing desperately – more time with God.

And I was blessed again when a lady approached me after service to express how she was touched by what I said and felt the same strain of busyness. God is so good – its so nice to hear direct how he’s using your testimony to work in the lives of others. 🙂

Stumbling through my faith

I’ve been feeling more and more out of sync lately, just stuck in a funk, and God keeps showing me again and again that I’ve not so much lost the what, but the why. When habit takes over and I’m left with doing things because they’re what I do, or because it’s kind or thoughtful, but my heart isn’t behind it, then it’s empty and unsatisfying. Love should be what drives me – love for my Lord, and love for his children, not just duty or habit or whatever.

So here I am, at a crossroads, so to speak – I’m in a funk and I can just wallow in the mire, or I can get up and move on… I choose to move – but the thing I keep coming back to is that God wants me to turn to him in my need, not just buck up and soldier on… which is why this poem spoke so strongly to me:

I got up early one morning
and rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish,
I didn’t have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me,
and heavier came each task.
Why doesn’t God help me? I wondered,
He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

I wanted to see joy and beauty,
but the day toiled on, gray and bleak.
I wondered why God didn’t show me,
He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

I tried to come into God’s presence,
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“My child, you didn’t knock.”

I woke up early this morning,
and paused before entering the day.
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray.

– – – written by Grace L. Naessens

I’ve learned, and re-learned and forgotten how important it is to start my day with prayer and study – to turn to God before beginning my day, so I want to start again, with the help of my amazing, all-powerful God, who loves me so much, that he wants to help me with my every need. He wants to show me in little ways that he’s there beside me, helping me through, if only I’d be aware enough in my struggle to see his hand at work.

~ God, I realize that I’ve turned from my first love. The fire and passion I once had for getting to know you and serve you has waned to a smoldering ember of duty and habit. I ask that you help me to fan that ember back into flame. I seek your will for my day and to serve you with love and joy in my heart. I’m knocking on the door of your presence, let me in so I can feel your nearness again, like when I first came to know your love. Thank you for loving me so much and being so patient with me, I know that no one but you could keep on loving me despite my thickness of head and stubbornness of will. In the awesome name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior I pray, amen.