Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Loved and Prayed For

In light of the stress of this week, and the ending of the semester, I wanted to send some prayers your way so that you may be encouraged this week. Here’ goes:

Dear God,

You are so sweet, and so good. I come before You in the name of Jesus. I lift up to you each and every student who needs some extra help this week. Lord, You know intimately the stress each one is facing. You know how difficult it can be to juggle all of the class-work, the jobs, the relationships, and everything else that piles up. Lord, in the midst of the pressure, I pray that each person who reads this will experience Your grace and power revealed in his or her situation in a special way. I pray that You will grant added strength, wisdom, motivation, and help where it is most needed and least expected. I pray that somehow each one will experience Your special touch that lets them know You are with them, helping them to face whatever comes their way.

Lord, where the exhaustion seems to overwhelm, I pray that You would provide rest. I pray that You would calm nerves and give a correct perspective when worries threaten to rob them of peace. I pray that You would give them a sense of joy that pervades every aspect of their lives, not just this week, but everyday of their college experience, so that this special time in their lives will bless them, so that they won’t miss the blessing it holds. I pray that You will wrap each one in Your love, that Your Divine arms will carry them when they are too tired to walk. Keep them healthy, keep them safe, watch over them in every way.

And for all of the travel next week, I pray that this Spring Break will be everything they need it to be. Refresh their minds, hearts, bodies, and spirits. Help each one to rest. Fill each day with special joy and new discovery. And in the midst of it all, reveal Yourself to them in a way that draws them closer to Your heart. Help them to understand more clearly Who You are. Be with us each mile that we travel. Send Your Holy Spirit ahead to prepare the way. Keep everyone safe and protected under Your wings. It is in the sweet and precious name of Jesus that I pray. Amen.

So y’all take it easy, and know that you are loved and prayed for. I want to hear all about your wonderful Spring Break adventures. Let Jesus go with you wherever you spend your break.



Thursday, March 04, 2004

Being Rest-Full

So, have you rested lately? I’m talking about more than zoning out in front of the TV or Video Games. Have you really rested?

Today I spent quiet time with the Lord, something I’ve neglected lately. Seems there was always something else that pushed God’s time out. It was just so good to be quiet, to open up a Psalm (notice I said “a” Psalm), and ponder what it means for God to be described the way David describes Him. Afterwards, I just sat in my (now peaceful because I rearranged it) office. I just was. I probably even fell asleep for a little while. I just rested.

Why is it that we think to be close to God we have to do a bunch of stuff? Like read a whole book of the Bible. Recite long prayers. Journal for pages on end. Today I didn’t do much except be quiet, and I feel closer to God’s presence than I have in a while. And very refreshed too.

Sometimes it’s hard to get quiet because we lack a good environment. Rearranging my office, creating more open space, and cleaning it up really helped it become a place where my spirit could rest. I realize dorm rooms and small apartment are not always the most conducive places to be quiet with the Lord. Now that the weather is nice, how about a refreshing walk outside? Sitting under a favorite tree? Relaxing on a quaint bench in a public park? Finding a favorite chair in the Library?

I know, sometimes finding a quiet, peaceful place takes a LOT of creativity! Have you ever considered coming and sitting in the Wesley Foundation chapel?

I want to challenge you to rest in the Lord, to simply be quiet in God’s presence, to not focus on what you want to say, but to allow God room to say something to you. And God may not even speak. God may just say, “Take a nap.”

Isaiah 30:15 says this:

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved;

In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

Isaiah wasn’t kidding, and neither was the Holy One of Israel. If you want to kick your life into super-gear, try resting in the Lord. Allow God to be God of the universe for awhile. Take a few moments off from being in control.

After my time of silence with the Lord, this is what I learned: The silence restores my trust in the Lord; it puts my worries to rest.

Hoping you have a rest-full afternoon.