Surprised by joy


Here I am Lord and I’m drowning
In your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don’t want to end up where you found me
And it echoes in my mind
Keeps me awake tonight

Jesus can you show me
Just how far the East is from the West
Cause I can’t bear to see the man I’ve been
Come rising up in me again
In the arms of your mercy I find rest
Cause you know just how far the East is from the West
From one scarred hand to the other. “East to West”, Mercy Me

This morning my prayer room felt empty. I lit my candle anyway as an offering of faith. It was mustard seed small. I prayed, wondering what I did wrong that I didn’t feel Him there, to make Him turn away. I waited in the silence. So intent on myself and my feelings I forgot to leave room for the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes I think God hides Himself a bit just to see what we will do.

I think sometimes He plays hide and seek in order to encourage us to flex our faith muscles and pray anyway. I waited…..I praised some more, I read the Psalms. I sang…..He surprised me with His joy leaping up like John in Elizabeth’s womb. What mercy. What did I do to deserve this lavish grace?Absolutely nothing.

Then I think, why me? What about the one who prays for days, weeks, months, and never seems to get any confirmation that God is listening? That is dangerous thinking. It is all too tempting to think I did something to get this reaction. I do this, He does that. Like a formula. But God doesn’t work in formulas, and he certainly doesn’t wait around until I hit the right combination of steps in order to reveal Himself. He reveals Himself in His own time, and His timing is always perfect.

He does it because of His great love and grace. Because He loves giving gifts to His children. It pleases Him to do these things. There is nothing I could do that would make God do anything. Or not do something. But here is a very important reason why God reveals Himself in our lives…..so we can encourage and build each other up!

The Bible assures us that He will answer in due time. I entered my prayer closet empty and came out filled….
“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; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if his 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.” Matthew 7:7-11

Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt God was hiding His presence?

Rejoicing today in His eagerness to give good gifts: #393 peace in turbulence, #394 perseverance in difficulty, #395 assurance of Scripture, #396 confirmation that He hears, #397 unexpected joy, #398 laughter when all else fails, #399 dear ones to pray with, #400 His strength in my weakness.

holy experience

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