I had a client a while back who used to say “I can’t make Him real” every time we talked about God and having a relationship with Him.
I would always answer, “you don’t need to. He is real.”
After some time I got exasperated with her insistence, but I discovered that it was stuck in me. How was I making God real? I prayed to Abba, I read and wrote about Jesus, I talked to Ruach (Holy Spirit), and thanked Him for His presence, but was I making them real? Did I perceive Them as real persons present in my life? Did I really talk to Them or just make demands? Did I listen to Them and take it seriously?
I’m having a retreat at my house this weekend. Last night we sat around a fire sharing miracles. It came to the everyday miracles as the most important. We often can’t tell what God is doing on a grander scale as in someone’s healing and God’s plans to use that or death. But we can see the little things–like my calm and patience taking care of my husband while getting ready for a retreat…God helping me see all the good in that. Or the lack of fear when he fell on Friday and panicked, and I was perfectly calm and unafraid.
I couldn’t figure out why I felt so negative going into the retreat and it really bothered me, until I realized that it was that inflammatory cascade again! I was mad I had missed the special prayer over our associate pastor who is fighting stage four cancer at church (I stayed home with my husband). I heard it was beautiful and powerful. And that allowed my fatigue, irritation with people not showing up, sleeping through my time with God that morning, and my hurt and confusion over unanswered prayer for friends, and it all started the negativity flowing. So afterwards I was repentant and in total self-disdain.
This morning after five solid hours, He woke me and I felt rested and glad to get up for some extra time with Him. And He showed me that it really is all about trusting His eternal holy love in wild and passionate caring for me. I had a lie stuck in me–a leftover from an unanswered prayer that I didn’t understand until ten years later– What if He doesn’t… This version was What if He doesn’t show up?
That’s crazy because He had planned it, giving me the format and the questions. But what if people didn’t respond? I wanted Him to do something huge. (And of course it’s all about me–even my irritation that the pastor couldn’t come. I said How can you have a leadership retreat without the leader? And He said, “Uh, who is the leader?” Right! Got it! So it’s my not feeling valued!) So, good as He is, He told me the truth and healed it for asking.
Besides that, They outdid Themselves and gave us the perfect day: sunny, blue-skies, and 72 degrees! It was an outdoor event. And we had a Mockingbird, Mourning Dove and others serenading. I love mornings–love having company in the morning. Add some of my favorite people and I was ecstatic!
They even did more! I was hoping for something huge and the associate pastor who was prayed for yesterday, came and stayed four hours! She was able to do my stairs to the gazebo, and eat and keep it down! Evidence of healing.
Then, if that wasn’t enough, he brought the pastor and his wife to share a miracle they had just experienced that confirmed what God was telling us! Wow we were so blessed! All of us!
But I was especially! I felt especially loved!