“I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
Heavenly Father, I release to you the burdens that I have been carrying, burdens that You never intended for me to carry. I cast all my cares upon You-all my worries, all my fears.
Father, calm my restless spirit, quiet my anxious heart, still my troubling thoughts with the assurance that You are in control. I let go of my grip upon the things I have been hanging onto, with opened hands I come to You.
I thank You for Your promise to sustain me, preserve me, and guard all that I have entrusted to Your keeping. Protect my heart and mind with Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Father, may Your will be done in my life, in Your time, and in Your way.
(By Roy Lessin, DaySpring co-founder and writer)
Theatres, recording studios, and even home media rooms have all had a lot of time and money perfecting the acoustics. From special wall treatments to ceiling panels, and probably a host of other “things” of which I have no idea! All techniques and tools to enhance the art of listening. The aim of bringing clarity, purity to the sound being made.
I’m no sound expert or even remotely interested in the science of it, but as always it has me on a tangent. Learning to hear from God is a lifelong journey of discovery. God is constantly speaking to us in a myriad of ways. He doesn’t restrict how He speaks to us today by how He spoke to us yesterday. And as much as people spend time creating spaces with special acoustic treatments we need to create an atmosphere for listening to God in our lives. Jenn Johnson of Bethel Music said this “My life is worship; I stay connected to the Lord always. Sometimes we can all feel when the connection is not as strong, it’s ok because it’s life. Even if you have 5 seconds in your car when you are driving, turn your affection to the Lord. When you are shopping for groceries just say, “I love You so much”. Stay in your connection with Him throughout the day.”
Builders might be armed with acoustical foam, diffusers and panelling, but all we need to be armed with is a heart that is set towards God and an expectation that God is speaking to us.
Whatever you are doing in your day take time to incline your ear to God.
It’s all breathtakingly beautiful, glorious, magnificent. From the Hall of Mirrors to the vast gardens. The reception rooms with vaulted ceilings. Chandeliers, tapestries abound. The Palace of Versailles is althogether a breathtaking experience. Each room as glamourous as the last. Rich panelling and gilded furniture, murals painted in great detail on the ceilings. Paintings the size of walls. Portraits of Kings and Queens staring down at you, paintings of battles and victories. Everywhere you walk your gaze alights on beauty.
There is much to take in. Yet it was not the Hall of Mirrors or state rooms that had me captivated. It was not the magnificence of each room. Instead, it was a part of a large painting that transfixed me – Sacre de l’empereur Napoleon et le couronnement de l’imperatrice Josephine – (Consecration of the emperor Napoleon and the coronation of empress Josephine) by painter Jacques-Louis David. What captivated me was not Napoleon but his wife Josephine praying as she is crowned Empress of France. I spent ages looking at it. Taking in the detail of this larger than life painting.
What was it that drew me to linger on the praying Josephine? Her serene countenance? How in amongst the huge historic event, with all the people surrounding her she seemed focused on prayer. Praying for strength perhaps for the position she was to hold? Praying for courage, for wisdom? As much as people stand in front of the Mona Lisa seeking to understand the mystery behind her smile, I stood before Josephine.
For me, I placed my own interpretation on the artwork, on Josephine – the call to prayer. The call to turn aside from all the glamour, busyness and distractions of the day and focus on God. That in amongst a room of courtiers, ladies in waiting and nobility she could bow her head. That I, in amongst the busyness and distractions of my day, can also bow my head in prayer. That I can ask for courage, that I can ask for wisdom.
An excited son arrived at the car after school. His wiggly tooth had fallen out! He reached into his pocket to show me, and his happy face fell as he realised that he had lost it. Running down the hill from school to meet me, it had fallen out.
What to do? I saw his eyes begin to fill with tears, so quickly suggested that perhaps we should walk back up the hill to school gate looking for it. I must say I held little hope of finding the tooth, and this was merely to placate him. I knew it would be no mean feat discovering the tooth on the long path he had just run down.
As it turned out, it was like a salmon going upstream as children and parents poured down the hill. Did I mention it was also an uncannily windy day, so the probability of the tiny tissue wrapped tooth being blown onto the road or under a car was high. Nonetheless we perservered, gathering younger brother enroute, all the while looking for the elusive tiny piece of tissue with a tooth inside.
Nearing the school gate, just as I was about to turn back, a glimpse of white caught my eye, and yes the tooth was found! Phew – crisis avoided. And then my son said something that undid me. “Oh yay, I prayed to God that we would find it.” My seven year old, in the midst of his disappointment and sadness, had prayed to God to help find the precious tooth. And on finding it, the first thanks went to God too. His prayer and faith is now part of his testimony of God hearing and answering prayers.
Finding a little tooth wrapped in a little piece of tissue on a hill outside of a school….a miracle I say!
Little boy, big Faith!
It reminds me of another little boy. One who had faith to surrender his lunch to Jesus. Knowing how hungry little boys get, I am sure that this was not an easy sacrifice. He would have not known what would be done with his lunch. Could he have foreseen 5000 being fed? I think not. But he knew it was best to be in the hands of Jesus and he had enough faith to do that. His sacrifice is forever now the miracle of the feeding of the 5000.
Little boy, big faith!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)