Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Don't move...yet

I'm still looking for the best spot for internet reception in the house. Out here on the lake, we have to use a USB card to get internet service, and it can make a big difference in the speed of downloads if you're sitting in the right spot. When I do find a place where I've got 3 of 4 bars–I've yet to find a spot that has all four–I don't move. I stay put. (So what if my left leg has to be on top of the refrigerator?)

But internet connection wasn't why I didn't move this morning. I don't know why, but clearly I wasn't supposed to follow my own agenda. I had a plan, but was preempted by distractions. What's funny is, I'm ok with it. Because these "distractions" have been in regard to eternal beings, not stuff to be checked off a to-do list. (Which, to be honest, can be a source of joy for me - I love marking things "done"!)

Nevertheless, my heart has been burdened this morning for people. People I care about deeply. Like Beth, who just last week was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors are saying it's inoperable because of the tumor's proximity to blood vessels and other vital organs. And people like Doug, Kathryn, Laura, Jeff and Kimberly who are so far from their homes in Texas, yet are redefining "home" for themselves as they seek to make Christ known in places where his name is unknown or used only for cursing and vanity. And other people like A and G, who are hurting over broken relationships, and precious friends J, S, A and S who are struggling with disappointment in life circumstances.

So, I haven't moved. Because the connection in prayer for these precious friends has been so sweet. I know it has everything to do with my heart's reception - I must have found a spot to run on all four bars - and I'm sure it has everything to do with the fact that I've "be[en] still and [known] that He is God" (Psalm 46:10).

I'm so thankful He said its ok, even necessary, to be still. And I love the reassurances of the remainder of that verse: "I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth." His exaltation doesn't depend on my running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Certainly, we can't remain still forever. Jesus modeled the balance most perfectly. He knew he needed moments like I've had this morning as he prepared to deal with numerous eternal beings who had needs too many to count. And even when he'd hung out with Moses and Elijah on a high mountain, he knew he couldn't stay there and get accomplished the purpose for which he'd come. (By the way, I love Mark's commentary on that event (9:5-6): he says Peter suggests memorializing the place "because he didn’t really know what else to say." Since according to tradition, Mark wrote from Peter's recollections, I find it hilarious that Peter is essentially confessing: "I opened my big mouth like a idiot, 'cause I was scared snotless.")

But, I digress.

I'd forgotten intercessory prayer can be so rich, so meaningful. So often, I treat it like my "to do" lists: "ok, prayed for #1, #2, #3 and #4 - check, check, check, and done." Or I hand it off to God as if to say, "Do what you can about these, and I'll get back with You later to see how it's going."  He will be exalted in spite of me, I realize, but how much more blessed will I be to have been a part of seeing Him exalted through the lives of these I love as I lift them before the only One who can do anything and everything for them?

... the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him (Deut 4:7). Thanks for that. Be near, O God.