Weeks ago I picked this week to get away for a few days to spend some time alone in prayer and study. I was a day late getting started and then when I did arrive today I had a hard time engaging. I took a long walk, tried to read some, took a short nap but nothing seemed to help. I just couldn't "turn it off." Which scared me a little because this is a problem I have been dealing with and thought I had overcome.
I spent part of the day reading through pages of notes that I have taken over the last six months where I have been keeping a journal of sorts of my time with God, my time with my counselor and life coach. As I read through them I was reminded of what a journey I have been on! God has taught me a lot about Him and about myself. How quickly we can forget things sometimes.
Tonight as I was getting ready for bed I realized there were some things I was very anxious about. I was reminded by God of Philippians 4:6&7 which says; Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
After reading that I got out my rope, made my circle (more on that at another time) and I began to pray. I prayed specifically about each thing I was anxious about. Funny thing was as I began to pray a peace began to come over me. Imagine that - just like he promised!
As I prayed I was also reminded of some things God has been trying to tell me for over two years that I am just now beginning to fully understand and appreciate. God has been impressing two passages on me and even though I wasn't sure how they fit He just kept on putting them on my heart and mind.
The first one is John 12:24. Jesus speaking says, "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many more seeds.
The other passage is in Act 6 which says; In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word." This proposal pleased the whole group...So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:1-7 NIV)
I am learning that I need to die to self. Die to my way of doing things. Die to my way of trying to make things happen. I have to "wait less on tables" and give myself more to pray and studying.
While it has been and continues to be difficult to determine the balance sometimes between "waiting on tables" and spending extended time in prayer and study what I know is when I do less of the first and more of the second the more productive/fruitful I seem to be and the more the church seems to benefit from it.
Funny how God's ways always work better than ours. Now with peace of mind I look forward to tomorrow and to some intentional time of prayer and study.