Last night I spent a couple of hours on the phone with one of my favorites. We talked a lot about life, regrets, addictions, sin, God, grace, I guess you could say we covered more than we planned too. I shared my weaknesses and the core of my strength. I did my very best to put into words what God has done for me. Only to realize that it is impossible for me to explain the impact that my salvation has had on my life. But I tried. I wanted to crawl through the phone screaming SURRENDER!! TRUST ME IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!! I wanted to dance and scream and laugh and cry. I wanted to yell "Look at me. Do you see me? Do you see my flaws and my failure?! HE LOVES ME ANYWAY!! Just like he will love you!!!" Oh how frustrating it is to love someone and want them to have what you have but know that they have to want it enough to ask for it.
|If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.|
-- 2 Chronicles 7:1
I went to bed and pray fervently for my friend. I asked for wisdom, I asked for words and Proverbs 3 is what He gave me. Now this sounds less exciting if you know Proverbs 3. It is actually a great book and chapter to turn to in a conversation like the one my friend and I were having. What makes Proverbs 3 a gift in this case, is that I had no idea what it said. ;) Which proves my earlier point that my bible knowledge is less than pathetic and at the same time it shows us that the Lord answers if you ask, even if you are a poor student. If you don't believe me, keep reading.
Wisdom Bestows Well-Being1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a]
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.[b]
13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.
21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the LORD will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.
31 Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
32 For the LORD detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
33 The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks proud mockers
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor,
but fools get only shame.
This is my God. My God that answers, my God that rewards even the relatively faithful, my God that wants so badly for us to bring people to Him that He gives relevant scripture to unversed, spiritually lazy housewives at 11:30 PM because they ask. So proudly, I text my friend with this beautifully relevant scripture taking full credit for knowing just what was needed. NOPE, that is not what happened. I am not a spiritual genius, but I do give all credit for this one to God. So I sent a text saying, "I prayed, He answered, read this".
I prayed, He answered. I prayed, He answered. I prayed, He answered. How much clearer, how much better, how much easier can it get? This was the exact message that I had been trying to relay ALL NIGHT. If you will pray, He will answer. And so He proved it once again to me as I fumbled with words and prayer for someone I love that did not need me, but needed Him.
As a friend, a sister, a wife, a mother, a daughter I want to love and support the ones closest to me. I have always wanted to be someone the lean on and someone they turn too. What I realized last night for the first time ever, is that what I want is selfish. What I want is out of pride and self worth. My desire to help and give sound advice and be the person they need in tough times is just that, MY DESIRE. And as I spoke last night, so badly wanting to lead my friend in the direction that I wanted for them, the place that I wanted them to be, the life that I wanted them to have I realized that what I REALLY wanted was for God to do the leading. I realized that I loved this friend enough to put my pride aside, to not give my own advice and to let God do His work, in His time. So I fought against myself and against the sin which is pride and I prayed for words as we spoke. I lead my friend towards Jesus and advised my friend to lean on God, to ask God, to let God. And then we prayed together.
When the conversation ended and we hung up the phone I have no idea how my friend felt, but what I do know is that I was closer to God. My relationship had been strengthened in my efforts to strengthen His relationship with someone I love. Wow. How He can change my heart while I am trying to change the heart of a friend is beyond me. But I will tell you that last night, it was one of my earthly rewards and I was beyond blessed by the conversation. To sit and share my faith and love and dependence on my Lord with someone that I care about was such a blessing for me. To be able to show my passion for my Savior openly and boldly was a gift. To pray out loud for someone who doesn't know where to start was an honor. To end the evening able to share relevant scripture only because I asked for it was a miracle. Blessings, gifts, honors and miracles.....this is my God.