Surrounded

4 02 2013

I kept glancing at my watch, waiting for it to hit the top of the hour. The moment had almost arrived, and I was a little nervous. I shifted in my seat, looking at my watch again. Finally, the big hand reached twelve. I knew they were praying, and I breathed a little easier.

Several days earlier, I asked a group of my friends to be praying for me at this exact moment. They eagerly grabbed pen and paper, soaking in my request. Knowing their hearts, I knew that they would surround me in prayer when the hour arrived. Text messages reminded me that I was loved and covered in grace. My heart beat a little more evenly knowing they were asking God to guide my steps and reveal His glory in my situation at this precise moment.

Praying for someone is a profound privilege. We often have the opportunity to bring the struggles, heartaches, joys, tears, and concerns of others before our Father. Taking the next step and telling them you will be praying for them at a specific time makes the reality of your prayers concrete for the person you love. Ask when the appointment is, set an alarm, and pray. Commit to praying at the same time every day for your family. Tell them, and watch how the knowledge that you are covering them in prayer at that time lifts their eyes to God. Write a card, telling the recipient that you will spend a day this week taking them into the throne room of heaven.

My Jesus Resolution today is to be a part of the great cloud of witnesses. I have an opportunity today to cheer somebody on and encourage them in their walk of faith. I can surround them with prayer, send a text, write a card, give a hug, or whisper grace. Being specific about my willingness to connect our hearts gives us both a tangible way to experience God’s presence and power.





See Through

1 02 2013

I am naturally invisible. I have a tendency to want to hide inside of myself. It is easier to smile and say, “fine…” than it is to be real, honest, open, and authentic. Sometimes it is because I want to impress you. Most of the time it is because I want to protect myself. I am ashamed of all of the fear, pride, guilt, laziness, and failure that are piled up in my heart. There is so much trash that it is hard to imagine that God sees a treasure in me somewhere.

Transparency is the antidote to invisibility. As long as I hide my junk and pretend that it doesn’t exist, there is no way to give it to God to heal, wash, renew, and restore. Being transparent means being see through. It requires being real. It means admitting that I don’t have it all figured out, pinned down, or in order. I have to be honest that I can’t do it by myself. And that is scary.

I worry about letting people down. About not being good enough. But here is the truth. My kids don’t need a perfect mom. They need a mom who can show them how to repent, be humble, accept forgiveness, and celebrate grace. My friends don’t need me to have it all together. They need a friend who can open her heart, let them walk in the mess, and find joy in helping each other up. My church family doesn’t need the “Sunday morning” version of myself. They need the me who is broken over sin, honest about my struggles, and willing to let others lift my arms. How do I know? Because that is what I need from all of them.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7

My Jesus Resolution today is to be see through. Covering up, putting on the mask, saying ‘fine’, and being invisible is a temptation I am going to resist today. It is okay to have questions, doubts, fears, and sticky, broken places. Transparency lets people see that stuff because that is when they get to see a miracle. When I let them see through to the real me, they also get to see the real goodness and amazing love of God taking all that junk and transforming me into the image of Jesus.