I had a completely different blog post slated to release today but after spending time with my Father, I knew he had other plans. You see, God has taught…is still teaching…me a very important lesson. If you would allow me to share a bit from my heart, I firmly believe that for someone he will begin to teach you too.
A few years ago I was really struggling, struggling with breaking through in prayer. I was praying. I was asking God to move. I was journaling. I was doing everything I was “supposed to do” as a Christian. I was in a spiritual lull and experiencing, what felt like, prayers only reaching the ceiling and falling back down as brokenness and anger. I started getting mad at God. I had hit my boiling point. I was done.
Like God always does when I act like a two-year-old throwing a fit, he picked me up and held me. I broke. I completely and totally broke. It was only then that I realized my prayers hadn’t just been hitting my prayer closet ceiling. In that moment, I realized my spiritual strife was created of my own doing. It was in that moment when the Father was holding me that he began to teach me a lesson with the sheer weight of the look of grace and mercy and disappointment I found in his eyes.
Can grace and mercy coexist with disappointment?
Yes, overwhelmingly and resoundingly, yes! I can recall seeing that same look as a child after I had done something I knew my parents wouldn’t like. Receiving that look from my heavenly Father…. Well, that enough to make me curl up in the fetal position in his arms and just weep. It is the look of “you’ve done wrong” and “I forgive you” and “I’ll take that” rolled into one and it is powerful.
I knew, in that moment of undoing, all along my prayers weren’t being answered because of me. I wasn’t willing to move out of my comfort zone. My prayers I found myself writing with my pen were only soaking into paper and not flowing through and from my heart. My prayers weren’t being answered because all I was doing was going through the motions and even the emotions of being a Christian in a prayer closet when all along I hadn’t even stepped foot inside it.
God was teaching me something significant about prayer, about communicating with him and here it is – communication involves two parties and not one. You see, I had gotten so caught up in speaking to God and telling him my issues with my life and his timing that I wasn’t taking the time to listening to what he was saying to me. I wasn’t sitting at his feet to hear his voice and let him show me his heart and his plans and desires for me; his daughter. Instead, I was busy. Busy with being busy like Martha when all along he wanted me to sit at his feet like Mary.
If I could leave you pondering one thing it would be this…
Are you a Mary or a Martha? My guess is that more of us are like Martha than we would like to admit. We would all like to claim to be at the feet of Jesus like Mary and listening to his voice. And my guess is that most would like to think that our ear is finely tuned to the voice of God, but how would we then explain all of our asking this and that of him?
There is a balance. We must have the diligent work ethic and prayer life of these two sisters, I believe. There is a time and a place to be about the Father’s business and to sit at his feet. There is a time and a season for everything, remember.
In light of all I have said, I encourage you to learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of so many others like me. I don’t know everything, but what I do know is this; my God is faithful and he will teach those whom he loves. So, whether God teaching you sounds like a loud thunderous voice or a gentle whisper…remember that his teaching you means this – he loves you.