I realized that in recent time I’ve become rather visual in my prayer time with our Creator. It began when I answered a phone-call from a friend who, out of the blue, called to “check-in.”
The last time I saw this friend, or even had a good conversation with him was in November of 2008…at my young brother’s funeral. Shortly after hearing of his passing, Josh booked a flight immediately to help my family cope with our loss. Josh has been a childhood friend to my entire family and lacks none of the stellar qualities of anyone’s idea of a good friend.
He showed to offer his condolences, and more importantly, his strong shoulder to my younger sister, my mom, my dad, my youngest brother, and myself. Josh is a true, true friend.
We spent a week in the mountains of Northwest Montana reflecting on childhood memories, and building new ones. Little did Josh know, but for the year to follow, my faith in Christ would be extremely challenged. However, after the challenges of 2009 (of which I’m sure to write loads on) I came across the blessing of 2010. God is so good!
In 2010 I began to walk a walk of faith I had never imagined possible. I noticed that the more of myself I gave up, the more God returned. For example, even though it was tough, I actually started tithing like I had never tithed before. It was actually easy to set the money aside, but dropping it in the bucket was the hard part. Most of 2010 I tended bars to make a living–no, it was actually a good thing! As a bartender I was free to spend time with my children during the day, and, of course, I was able to make my living only working, on average, about 25 hours a week. In short, I was making what most people make working 40 hours, in just over half the time — and having more fun doing it!
So, habitually, at the end of the shift, I’d count my tips ($140), take the first ten percent ($14) and stuff it in my sock drawer, and then proceed into the evening. On Sunday morning, while getting ready for church, I’d grab the stash of cash, count it real quick and write a check for the amount addressed to the church. Again, simple process, until the last part. It’s hard to drop a check for $80 into the bucket at church when you’re struggling to keep the gas tank full, or the kitchen cupboard stocked, or when you have to tell your daughter, “no, no toys today.”
But, I did. Not because I knew God would provide, but because I wanted to know.
See, God’s not always going to give us the answers. In fact, I find that many times he doesn’t, or, maybe I’m asking too many questions!? However, God does answer every prayer with either;
or, not yet.
And, actually, my favorite answer is: not yet. Isn’t it better when we wait? Remember as a child, waiting and afterwards realizing that your parent was right? It was better waiting.
Consider how many people regret losing their virginity? If you could go back, would you wait?
After spending a great year growing in the Lord, I noticed everything changing.
My faith. My desire to serve. My comfort in life. My love for people. My willingness to praise. My overall concept of beauty.
Even my diet. Yes, I spend more time reading labels and opting for the healthy option in efforts to live a long, healthy, vibrant life for my Savior, whom I desire to serve, all of my days. (In short, it’s kinda hard to serve our Lord sitting on the couch, chomping on chips).
My prayers changed, from “I need,” to “thank you.” Today, I woke up, thanking Our Creator, for another day. Another, miraculous day! Miraculous at how fragile, yet how marvelous this world is. This life is. This day is.
“Thank you Lord for thinking of me! Now, please fill my empty cup with what YOU desire me to drink. I love you!”
Start every morning with an empty cup before the Christ, Jesus.
Verse to consider: Psalms 147:6 “The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. “