Good Monday Morning!
How was your Sabbath Rest? What rest, you say? Tell me you haven’t ignored one of God’s greatest blessings that he gave us through a commandment, have you? Remember, you have no one to blame but yourself when your battery runs out, if it isn’t already so. Just sayin’.
I spent the majority of my day worshipping God and journaling. I went to church and heard a song that carried me through some very difficult times years ago. I haven’t heard it in a long time. It just so happens that it was spot on for my life today. The rest of the day I read my bible (worship). I have to admit, I have not been doing this as much as I usually do. It was like meeting up with an old friend. A really good friend. Yeah.
Then I journaled. And journaled. And journaled some more. Funny how time can go by as one disappears into the pages of thought. Like I wrote last week, I have not really done this. I plan to make it a regular routine. It is very therapeutic. Not only that, but it opens the way up to some real, effective prayer. I know first-hand how effective this is, yet I seldom have done it. I know better. Let me tell you a story.
When I was 18 years old, there was absolutely no work to be had in northern Minnesota. The iron-ore mines were shut down which meant the entire region was, too. I travelled to western North Dakota for the oil boom back in the early 80s. As winter approached, I knew I had to do something different. I was working in wet conditions (everything in the oil field is wet), and it was no longer worth it. Some friend and I decided to go to Galveston, TX to find work. One guy had a relative down there. So, right before Christmas, we headed down there only to find that was a bust. Furthermore, even though the economy there was booming, no one was hiring because of the holidays. We were wasting precious time and money. That same one guy had an aunt in Tulsa, OK that he said we could camp with until hiring opened up again. It turned out, she was out of state for Christmas. So, on Christmas Eve, my buddies packed their junk into the one car and headed back to Minnesota. I stayed because there was no work to go home to.
There I was. Christmas Eve. Tired, alone, and broke trying to sleep in the back seat of my car in a truck stop outside of Tulsa for my first Christmas away from family. Talk about powerful sorrowful. Had I a harmonica, I might have come up with a whole new blues album. The only thing I had was a pen and paper, so I started to write. In the dark on Christmas Eve. As I was writing, I started to get a sense that things were changing. When I read it, I was astonished how sorry I was feeling for myself. I decided then and there that I wasn’t going to let this beat me. I had survived a violent, alcoholic father. This was minor in comparison. It was only a matter of a couple days that I found good work and everything was better. I never did hear from those other guys after they left to drive home. It all worked out well for me because I wrote and it changed my attitude.
Journaling works. I know that first hand. I have told that story many times in the past to encourage people. It was 26 years after that when I finally became a believer. I have lived through many other difficult times. I have God now that I can talk to, but I have forgotten how powerful journaling can be. I had even forgotten my Christmas Eve story until today. What a shame. Perhaps some of my problems may have been smaller had I diligently journaled as I prayed. Yes, this blog is very good for me, but I don’t throw raw emotion at it. It’s not the same tool.
Currently, I have a particularly difficult situation that I am working through with my journal. Last night, I was reading scripture and praying while doing it. I was feeling tired and alone, like that time in Tulsa. I wanted to talk to someone, but didn’t want to start a conversation like that on a Sunday night. I’m sure a couple of friends would be disappointed to hear that I didn’t call them, but I just didn’t feel like it. At that moment, I got an email of encouragement from one guy and a text from another that said he was praying for me and asked if I had any requests. Well, yeah, I sure did. He prayed and gave me three verses. I’ll share them with you.
1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
Isaiah 7:11 “Ask a sign of the Lord your God, let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”
Exodus 23:20 “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.
It seems to me that these two men served as a sign that I am not alone. God provided me these two men with messages at just the right time. On a cold, dark, lonely Sunday night.
You can bet I took these three verses to prayer. I most definitely am asking in Jesus’ will and name. I see no reason my request would be outside his will, although I left that decision up to him. My request has most certainly been made. Plus, I asked that it be answered in a way that is unmistakable for anyone, especially me. Let it be like Habakkuk, where God instructed him to write it on tablets big enough that people running by would be able to read it. BIG SIGN, TODAY. That’s what I asked for. Nothing wishy-washy. BIG SIGN, TODAY. One way or the other. Finally, I asked that God send an angel to guard this and bring everyone to the place that God has prepared. Let the power of God himself stop any evil from confounding his plan in any way, shape, form, or timing. Amen!
I really hope that things work out. If they don’t, they don’t. But, I have come to find good in all this turmoil of late – I have started exercising and journaling. I’m hoping God grants my request for much more, but, if not, I do have two very beneficial things through it. Plus, this story to tell. God can be praised for that. Indeed.
Father, thank you for the two men you sent to me last night. Your timing and message was, well, perfect. Thank you. Please answer my prayer as I have requested. Also, I pray that you may use me to touch people’s lives like these two men touched mine last night. Let me not be just a receiver of your good things, but a deliverer as well. Amen.
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers