This is the part of winter where I start to fall victim of SAD. I can only endure so many cold, gray days. My lasting hope is a Florida trip planned at the end of February. I leave in 45 days. Not that I'm counting.
Until then, a few of my winter necessities have malfunctioned. For instance, I only have one pair of warm boots that are wearable on an everyday basis. The other days, I wear flats. I am somewhat of a flat fanatic. I opt for comfort over height so you will seldom see me clicking around in heels unless absolutely necessary. Also, my mustard yellow winter coat from last year has bit the dust. A new one must be purchased. But part of me wants to withhold. What if a warm front comes through soon and stays until June?
Highly unlikely, but somehow, buying the new coat solidifies my reluctant belief that winter is, indeed, sticking around for at least 3 more months.
Enough on the weather. I received this prayer journal for Christmas called "God Calling." It was written by two women who seek to remain anonymous and call themselves the "Two Listeners."
I wasn't sure what to expect, because most devotionals tend to be the same way... nuggets of treasured wisdom here and there, but predictably mild most of the time. However, this book has some of the most profound thoughts in it. I really love it, and look forward to reading it each and everyday. I also love how it is written. There is a charming and mysterious quality about it; it is as if you are starting to read the middle of a really awesome thought process rather than the logical beginning-middle-end setup. It is forthright and gives directives. It is real.
There are lines on each page to then journal prayers. That is another thing that I love to do. It is such a huge testimony of how God works when you have the opportunity to write out your prayers.
Anyway, from time to time I would love to share thoughts from this book. Tonight I will share the insight from January 6. It is titled "Sharp and Ready."
"You must pray. The way will open. God cares and His plans unfold. Just love and wait. Love is the Key. No door is too difficult for it to open.
What cause have you to fear? Has He not cared for and protected you? Hope on. Hope gladly. Hope with certainty. Be calm, calm in My Power.
Never neglect these times; pray and read your Bible and train and discipline yourself. That is your work--Mine to use you. But My instruments must be sharp and ready. Then I use them.
Discipline and perfect yourselves at all costs. Do this, for soon every fleeting thought will be answered, every wish gratified, every deed used. It is a fearful Power, a mighty Power. Oh! be careful that you ask nothing amiss-- nothing that is not according to My Spirit.
All thoughts harmful must be tuned out. See how necessary I have made the purity and goodness of your own lives to you. Soon, you shall ask and at once it will come. Welcome the training. Without it I dare not give you the Power.
Do not worry about others' lives. You must perfect yourselves first in My Strength."
I like the importance the author places on daily devotion to God. Getting in the word, and having a prayerful mind. It is so simplistically (and truly!) stated... God cares... God will provide... God's way will unfold. So why DO we worry?
The other day, I had the thought that perhaps I make life way more difficult then I need to. And perhaps we all do, as humans. So much of self distracts us from the Truth written in those words above. If only I would just cling to what I know to be true, then life would be easier.
If only I would always trust. If only I would remember God's promises. God loves, God provides, God comforts, God's will prevails.
It's like this. Imagine a narrow road. All you have to do is keep walking on the road to get to your destination. That's it. Just straight ahead. But the catch is, there are so many distractions on either side. So many other paths to take that intersect this narrow road. So many different choices, so many other options. Before you know it, you've wasted 1 year on another path, 2 months up a tree, 4 weeks trying to cross a river when the road was all you needed to follow.
God has really made it quite simple for us.
I like the emphasis placed on "love is the key," too. Love IS the key, really. Sounds so cliche, but I have been learning a lot about it. If a word, an action, an attitude is not motivated by love, it cannot result in anything fruitful.
Love you all!