We have to make a choice at such times. We have to recognize that there is a choice for us to make, and we must respond by choosing one or the other of two options. We may choose to focus on the tragedies themselves and become so overwhelmed that we can only see the ugliness of sin and its effects. Or we may choose to focus on God and trust in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. I would caution you that my experience personally is that the choice must actively be made daily; if I fail to choose to focus on God, I wind up only able to see the ugliness and be overwhelmed by it. Sadly this seems to be my default setting!
Recently I was crying with a friend who has been overwhelmed with trouble and sadness in her family and in her life. We talked about the fact that perhaps Satan is trying to use these things to distract her from something that God wants her to see. Obviously it is important, because the devil just keeps trying harder and harder to distract her from whatever it is. I challenged her to stop and ask God what it is that He wants her to focus on, and to listen carefully for His answer. She said that she went to bed praying and begging God to show her what it is that He wants her to see. When she woke up in the morning the answer was crystal clear; God's goodness. I would challenge you to make a similar heart-felt plea to God. When you are overwhelmed, ask Him what He wants you to see. Ask Him what is so important to Him that the devil will do anything he can to prevent you from seeing it. It may be as simple as His goodness. It may be more complex. Whatever it may be, rest in His answer.
This week please keep the following in your prayers. But before you spend time with these things, please spend time this week focusing in your prayers on God. Acknowledge Him for Who He Is. Praise Him for His goodness and mercy and kindness and justice and wisdom and all-sufficiency. Honor Him. He IS GOD.
- Young Gid suffers from debilitating lung disease. He is not doing well. Please pray for Gid, his brothers, their parents, and all their extended family who love him so well.
- Police Officer Derrick Couch in Clarksdale, Mississippi was shot on Sunday and is in critical condition. Please pray for him, his family, and his department.
- After 52 days of life in the NICU, baby Ben died yesterday. Please pray for his heart-broken family.
- Today Denise and her little son Caleb will have a funeral for their husband/father Alex. Please pray for them today and in the dark days ahead. Pray that their church will take this opportunity to minister to the many and very real physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
- Baby Ava has been very sick. Please pray for her and for her young parents.
- Pray for the suffering marriages.
- Pray for the wayward children.
- Pray for the pastors who are serving these marriages and families with wayward children. It is painful and exhausting work. Pray for your pastor. Pray for his family. Pray that he would balance the work of caring for the people God has given him in the church, and the people that God has given him in his home.
God's peace to your hearts and homes.
|Image courtesy of Church Prayer Leaders Network|