March 25, 2009

Search Me

It’s been hectic these days. Mom was in the hospital for two weeks. She’s home now and making progress, however the two weeks she was in the hospital were trying ones. I’m not sure I handled it with all the grace that I should have. Every night before I go to sleep I say this prayer, “Search my heart O God and see if there be any offensive way in me and lead me to righteousness.” This is my own paraphrase of Psalm 139:23, 24 which says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” After I pray this prayer I wait with the Lord as he takes me through my day and points out those things which were offensive to him or demonstrated a lack of faith, maybe even disobedience. I confess these things to him and allow him to teach me and show me his way.

As I have grown in my faith, I have also begun to pray this prayer not only at the end of the day, but at the end of an event, period of time, or challenge such as my mother’s hospital stay. “Search my heart O God and see if there be any offensive way in me and lead me to righteousness……let’s look at this event, did I honor you in my actions, my faith, my words?” At first I thought I panicked a bit too much while my mother was in the hospital. My prayers were so urgent as if God wasn’t hearing me. But God has shown me that there is a difference between a prayer of despair and a prayer of desperation. With Christ there is no despair, but I may be desperate for his touch. As I pray in faith I seek to have the assurance of what I have asked for, and God is often faithful to bring it. Yet there are those times for whatever reason that I do not have the assurance I am seeking in a certain thing yet God’s word says it should be so, and in these times I hold to the faith of adherence. It is better than no faith at all. God may say something is so in his Word even though I don’t feel it in my soul, so I stand fast adhering to what I know.  What does the word adherence really mean? Dictionary.com defines it this way, “Steady devotion, support, allegiance or attachment.” I will adhere to what God’s Word says even in those times when I don’t feel the assurance in my spirit.

After my Mom came home from the hospital she had been home only one day when I got a call from my sister that they were taking her to the emergency room. I had a long talk with God about my faith that night. I said, “Do you remember (as if he would forget) when Jesus was asleep on the bottom of the boat while the storm was raging? That’s the kind of faith I want to have.” God has pointed out to me that often times when I am praying, I am raising one hand in praise and affirmation while holding the other hand behind my back with my fingers crossed. Ouch, that hurt, but describes so well how I am at times. That’s not acceptable, but God is bringing me forth and taking me deeper still. I see his work in my life more and more each day. I’m thankful for what God is doing for my mother, and I’m thankful for what he is doing in me. His word is true, and it becomes evident in your life when you abide in him.

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