This morning got off to a rough start. Pretty much everything I tried to do ended up going wrong - and almost every person who came in the church had needs I couldn’t help fix. To top it all off, I spilled the cup of coffee that I so desperately needed to drink. The result was that by mid-morning, I was ready to be done for the day, and my desire to persevere in what God has for me today disappeared.
That's not a good place to be, so when I had a break from all the activity, I decided to spend some time praying about it. But this time I decided to take a different approach than I have in the past. Over the past few weeks, we have been facing some big challenges with the ministry - and as I've prayed, I’ve prayed for those situations and needs specifically. But today, I decided to not pray about what was going on around me, but instead to pray for my own response to all of it. It seemed like a good idea because, after all, I'm the one with the bad attitude.
As I did so, some pretty amazing things began to happen. First of all, my frustration with life in general began to ease. Then secondly, my worries about how to deal with the challenging situations began to lift. And before I knew it, I actually began to feel encouraged about today!
Now don't misunderstand me, I'm still aware of the challenges that exist in loving folks the way God has called me to love them today. And I still know that the ministry has needs and challenges which I can’t solve on my own. None of that has changed. But what did change is that now I'm not weighed down by all of that. Instead, I've been able to let go of the worries and concerns and frustrations, and am able to trust God for His leading and provision.
It was a change of heart that happened in about 5 minutes - and it was a direct result of the fact that I prayed. The transformation in my attitude and perspective took place because of that one simple thing. I prayed, and God went to work. But I don't know why I was surprised by what happened because that's one of the main things prayer does for us. Its the opportunity for us to come before God and experience Who He is and how He works. It's an opportunity to open our hearts and minds to Him - and allow Him to imprint His nature and will on us. In other words, it’s a time for us to let God be God.
It's a concept found in Psalm 46:10, where God tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.” That’s what happens when we pray. We come before God and have the opportunity to be “still”, to stop our worrying and fussing and struggling, and instead, let Him be God in our lives. And when we do, our burden is lifted, and His will is accomplished.
So today, let's ask Him to help us do that. Let's take time to pray - to open our hearts and minds so that He can remind us that He's God. Whatever we have that's weighing us down, let's take it to God and simply say, “Give me Your heart and Your mind on these things.” Let's be still, and know that He is God.
PS: I will be traveling all next week, and will be unable to write Plan B's. They will resume the week of September 5th!