My hubby and I have been doing our fair share of seeking lately, and not just for the matching socks in the laundry. What shall we do? Where shall we go? What gifts do we have? How should they be used?
When we prepare to lead the praise team for church we ask what songs to do.
When we are leaving youth group we seek out how that worship session went, and we ask for direction for next week.
When you seek you will find.
A few weeks ago I was feeling pretty low. I had come under the attack of the usual lies; that I am inadequate, that the work I do is worthless, and that my days have no purpose. The day had not been great. The beauty of the world and the beauty of myself had hid from me that day. There had been a fight, of course I can no longer remember what it is about, but there had been some tensions. Nothing major. It had just been a rough day for the both of us and neither of us had done a great job at building the other back up.
As I crawled into bed, ready for the welcoming rest of sleep and the possibility of a better day coming with the dawn, I prayed. I prayed that God would break through this fog of lies that surrounded me. “Why, God, why would you love me? What worth is there in me? What good can I do? What are the good things you see in me?”
As that last question was asked silently in my head, but loudly in God’s ear, James walked into the room. He looked at me and said, “Kristin, you are awesome. I love you so much. You are amazing. You really are. You are wonderful and inspiring and a great writer and a talented singer. I just love you.”
. . . . . . . .
They days passed like they always do. And another tired and stressful day found me at its close and attacked me with worry and doubts. So many things to do, so many things to think about. Tomorrow I should go into the office and work, but there are those cake pops I have been planning to make and I really should do something with those apples that we picked from the in-laws house. I should make apple crisp. . . hmm. . . I need a recipe. But then I would have to buy ingredients. That costs money. Do we have the money? I should go over our budget tomorrow. Tomorrow . . . what is tomorrow? Oh I have kickboxing class to go to. Yes, and we should run. It is almost a month until our next 10k races. But I should really go into the office tomorrow . . .
My mind was racing and my chest felt constricted. This was all too much. I just cannot do it all. I tried to forget about the list and calm my mind so I could sleep. I closed my eyes to both sleep and pray. I thanked God, I blessed others, I express concerns, I asked for forgiveness, I asked for protection over our sleep and that we may be well rested for the beautiful day that He would have for us tomorrow. When I prayed for all that I wanted to pray for I went in to a newer thing that I have been doing. I have been asking God if there is anything that He would wish to say to me before the end of my day.
Tonight, before I asked that question, I also asked if God had any songs for us that would be good to use for praise team practice. I had spent time earlier that day selecting songs for next Sunday. I had my selection, but was definitely open to any changes. I asked. I seeked. I knocked. I found silence. I waited. Silence. I continued with my prayer.
I asked God if He had any words for me and then I waited and I listened. Most nights when I seek for God this way I do not feel like I find anything. But that is okay. I know God is there, maybe His silence is His answer or maybe my mind is too crowded to hear Him. If there is silence I do not stress over it. I thank God for all of His words that He gave us in the Bible and for the guidance and encouragement that we can find there.
Tonight as I quieted my mind I heard, “Peace.” Was that my mind? Was that me just thinking? Or was it more? I definitely needed peace with my mind all humming and turning as it was. “Peace.”
“When peace like a river, attendeth my way. When sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say. It is well, it is well with my soul.”
The song rang in my head. A picture of a diamond shined behind my eyes. I smiled, opened my eyes, rolled over, and looked at the picture of my blue and purple diamonds hanging on the wall. My mind quieted. “Peace.” I slept amazing that night.
Jeremiah 29, A Letter To The Exiles.
“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says . . . seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper . . . I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.”
Matthew 7:7-9, Ask, Seek, Knock.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”