April 14, 2012

On being a sponge of Grace

This month, the calendar isn't full.  It doesn't 'look' like I'm 'doing' anything.  But when I reflect on just this past week, I stand in awe of the ways God has orchestrated my days. 
As I awoke early one morning, I began to thank Daddy for everything I could think of.  Then, he and I lingered in the garden long and He drew me close.  The 'happy cry' continued all day.  One of the twins asked me to stop crying because it was making him depressed!  I reminded him it was a happy cry...he reminded me he had no idea what that was and to please stop!

As a sponge can only hold so much liquid, His love began to spill out of me...Sean, the college student that came to the front screen door on Wednesday afternoon was one such recipient of that Love.
At first, I half-heartedly listened as he told me with a very rushed voice that he lived down the street,  played soccer and their team had won the state champions. They were now going to nationals and needed to raise money to go to Hawaii.  The kid, around twenty-one, was lanky, had a cute smile and reminded me of my nephew, Jacob. I was intrigued by his candor, friendliness and determination to win me over.
After he finished speaking and finally took a breath, I asked him to tell me again, but this time a little more slowly.  His story stayed the same.  He told me he was a military brat and that his dad and mom were 'making him' go out to raise money because he would appreciate the trip more and there were a couple of teammates that weren't as privileged as he, so he was helping them out, too.   I gave him money for the magazines he was selling and then I peeked around the screen door and asked him this:

"So Sean, may I pray for you?"  His response, "Can I ask you to?  Funny you should say that, because I am asking all the people that help me to pray that our team wins."  I stepped outside and grabbed this young man's hand and began to pray for him. Did I pray his team win?  No.  I asked Daddy to open blind eyes to see His goodness and greatness. I could sense he felt uncomfortable, but he let me finish and he high-tailed it down the front walk faster than a cat being chased with a water bottle!  I hollered out, "Sean, I got your back covered!"  He yelled back, "Thanks sweetheart!" 

He's now on my prayer list!

Then there's Frank.  He's the plumber that came yesterday. 
Frank is in his mid-fifties and when he was finished with the job, I commented how he did a lot of running around. Somehow, God knows, the conversation turned to his eternity and he said he planned on going to heaven because he was a good person...then he asked: "So how do you know?"  Could I have been handed an easier opportunity?  I think not!  So, in less than thirty seconds I gave him the gospel...

He, too, is on my prayer list!

In the past, I struggled with sharing the gospel because I was home all day, everyday and felt inadequate.  There go those feelings again controlling me.  Well, what I've learned over time is that God loves me.  I mean He really loves me and that love has drawn me to Him with an insatiable desire to know Him and to make Him known.  

There have been many guilt trips when I'd be standing in line at the grocery store:  "You need to share Jesus."  My heart would begin to race, the sweat glands would go berserk and the pressure would be on.  I would say something so ridiculous or religious that it might have been better if I'd have wet myself because then, at least, the individual might have had compassion on me.  But no, it was rather a work of the flesh, attempting to live by the Law and I'd walk away ashamed for blowing it one more time.

Now, after years of flailing, things are different.  I've taken baby steps and listened first.  I am still stepping out in faith, but rather than spewing just words, I'm waiting for His anointing to bring Life.  When the doorbell rings, He is calling me out.  When the plumber shows up, He's inviting me to watch and pray.

It is simple.  So simple I've stumbled over it time and again.  I am just joining Him in His work.  It's a holy work and my everyday living out His purpose for me means that I am available. 

But what good is being available if I haven't lingered in His presence?  What do I have to give if He doesn't give me His love?  And if He hasn't given me anything for the day, is it because I've made everything else more important than Him? 

There is nothing more important than being with Him.

Abiding.  Simple abiding, drawing near.
A quote I wrote in my journal on November 2, 2008:

..."I love removing myself from all possible distractions for the purpose of placing myself in the presence of the living God in a uniquely unfettered way."  

He doesn't need me. 

I need Him.

I am finding such delight in just living in His presence that sharing is as natural as morning glory tendrils stretching toward a fence.

This weekend, linger longer.

His love is attractive and the the fragrance He spreads through you will be eternal.

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