My favourite scene in the movie Facing the Giants is where, following a period of rapid spiritual growth and answered prayer, the main character Grant Taylor comes home from an intense, emotionally exhausting day, and his wife tells him she is pregnant with the baby they have been praying for for years. Grant falls to his knees, tears streaming down his cheeks and cries “O God, I am overwhelmed!”
In Psalm 5:3 David says “In the morning, O lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” I don’t know about you, but I often find that when I do pray, it’s just some spiel that I’ve learned by heart and recite without thinking before my head hits the pillow and I think about everything except God. I was struck by the last line, where David says he waits in expectation. C.S. Lewis said in The Weight of Glory that sometimes we are "like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." And from what I can see around me, we seem to be like that while we're praying. We are content with so little, and expect almost nothing. If you read through the Psalms you'll see there's some pretty weighty emotion in there. David goes through unimaginable trials, yet time after time God answers his prayers.
|"[We] cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at the sea."C. S. Lewis|
God has been showing me in my own life and in the lives of those around me that he does answer prayers. Time after time. Sometimes it’s the small ones which brighten up your day, and other times it’s the huge things that make you want to twirl around grinning like an idiot. And then there are the days when you can do nothing but sit there in wonder saying “O Lord, I am overwhelmed!”
I went to a party at my friend’s flat not long ago. Most of the people there weren’t people I know well, and yet we sat around on couches chatting like old friends. It was evident that everyone in that room loved Jesus, and there wasn’t the slightest touch of awkwardness. In that moment it struck me how amazing it is that as brothers and sisters in Christ, we all have the most important thing in common. Meeting doesn’t have to be awkward because no matter what our differences, as those who serve Christ we are all heading in the same direction.
I thought about that a lot as I was deciding what to guest post about. Unlike a lot of the people Jess has lined up, I don’t know many of you at all. But it doesn’t have to be awkward because like those people the other day, I have that same vital thing in common with most of you. And for those that I don’t have this in common with yet, I hope that one day I will!
|Relevant, you ask? No. But it's pretty...|
So as those who have something in common even though we’ve never met, and maybe never will this side of heaven, be encouraged that we all serve a God who listens – a God who answers. Be encouraged that you can pray like you mean it, and then wait in expectation. It’s hard and it takes discipline, but it’s all worth it when you reach that moment where you can’t stop the tears from flowing and you are overwhelmed by the awesomeness of our God.
Hi! I’m Lise! I’m 21 years old. I had the privilege of living next door to Jess and her family for a number of years when they lived in NZ, so we grew up like sisters. We did all sorts of crazy stuff, ate far more sugar than was good for us, and watched Pride and Prejudice (also far more than was good for us). We used to write each other letters, even though we lived next door. It was awesome. The letters are a lot longer now of course, and far too much sugar has been replaced by far too much caffeine. But kindred spirits will always remain kindred spirits, and several thousand kilometres of land and ocean hasn’t put a damper on anything.
If you’d like to check out my blog at thecornerandthefire.blogspot.com, that would be just grand :-)