In the last few months my prayer life has been utterly chaotic. I’m a list girl and a homebody. I like simple days where I check off my to do’s and feel a sense of organized accomplishment at the end of that day. I’m sure it’s a control issue, and not always very realistic.
Ideally, I like to start each day spending time with God. Getting my coffee. Sitting in bed, reading His words and praying. Something in me craves this early morning organization and quiet. When painful, busy, heartbreaking moments hit day after day and that control and quiet is suddenly taken from me ~ I begin to get desperate. I find myself crying and telling God I can’t do it. I’m too tired. I am depleted. I need rest. I need just a few moments alone with Him. And in my self pity, I neglect to see that God has orchestrated all of this chaos for my good.
Even when it feels far from good.
Several months back I decided to be more committed to prayer throughout my day. My phone has always been a distraction to me, and I wanted to put it to better use. I changed the pictures on my lock screen so that a different picture continually pops up. I chose beautiful beaches and sunsets as the back drop, and then added names or groups to each picture. All of my children and their spouses. My grandchildren. Our church family. our extended family, etc. Each time a different name popped up, I would pray for that person/persons.
I was vigilant in the beginning, but as my days of ease and comfort crept by, I didn’t always pray for the person on my screen when I picked up that phone.
Until life turned upside down.
Week after week went by, and due to hard and sometimes heartbreaking circumstances beyond my control, organized time with God became almost obsolete. I found myself asking God why. I found myself losing hope. I found myself crying and wondering how this could be for my good when I couldn’t even spend time with Him.
And then God showed me.
Throughout the hard days and weeks and months, I had prayed to God more than I ever did before. It wasn’t neatly
organized with my bible and coffee cup in hand, it was desperation. It was heavy. It was chaotic. It was continual. It was pleading. It was lamenting. It was crying. Every time I picked up that phone and read the names there, it was consciously begging God to help, and comfort, and work miracles.
Did my miracles come?
Were my prayers all answered? No.
I am still begging and lamenting and crying out to Him,
but now I am also praising.
Because the more I cried out to Him, the more I felt His presence. He took me and wrapped His arms around me and held me. He has walked with me through the chaos. I have never been alone. He let me cry. He let me lament. He allowed me to ask all the “why’s” and in His sweet, tender mercy and grace~ He loved me and drew me in even closer. And as my minutes of chaos pass each day, I feel His peace with me like I never have before.
Maybe you’re going through a time like this yourself. Maybe you’re wondering where God is in all of this.
He has never been closer. He’s always been right there with you.
He’s walking behind you to catch you when you fall, he’s walking with you so that you can lean on Him when you’re weary and He’s walking ahead of you, continually making sure your path is an easier road to travel.
Amid the chaos and pain, we may not even realize it, but minute by minute He’s taking our burdens on Himself.
Life would be so much harder without Him. Sometimes we just can’t see that.
Today I want you to take His hand as He leads you through your chaos. Lean on Him and tell Him all about it. All throughout your day continue to talk to Him~ wherever you are, whatever you are doing. You will feel your burden become lighter, even when the chaotic circumstances around you have not changed.
And you will know.
It’s all because of Him.
Jesus never told us to come with our prayer journal neatly situated on our lap, coffee cup in hand and worship music playing softly in the background. There are no special requirements needed for coming into His presence, except to just come. Wherever we are.
Whatever we are doing.
His presence will overwhelm your tired soul with hope, and give you unimaginable peace again.
Psalm 139, 145:18-19
1 Peter 1:3-9