Monday, February 18, 2019

lie down

the Lord is my shepherd
i shall not want  
he makes me lie down 
in green pastures 
~psalm 23:1-2

i
n the midst of the frenzy of activity
he makes me lie down
in the midst of my anxiety and insecurity 
he makes me lie down
in the midst of my earning and proving 
he makes me lie down
in the midst of me trying to do it by myself 
he makes me lie down
in the midst of the pressure and performing
he makes me lie down
in the midst of trying to figure it all out
he makes me lie down
in the midst of trying to please and impress everyone 
he makes me lie down

O Lord 
make me lie down 
body and soul 
this day
amen

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

find rest

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” 

I don’t know about you, but finding rest comes hard for me.  Maybe it is the constant need I feel to try and prove myself.  Or maybe it is the deep sense of anxiety that consumes my heart and soul on a regular basis.  Or maybe it is a combination of a lot of things.  Whatever the reason, the presence of an abiding rest and peace within me is a bit of an elusive creature: hard to find and, once found, hard to keep.

Maybe it was that way for King David as well.  In fact, maybe that’s the reason he wrote this prayer in the first place.  Maybe it was through repeating these very words—over and over and over again—that he hoped, someday, to arrive at the rest and the peace his heart and soul were most deeply longing for. 
  
And maybe it could be the same for me.  Maybe if I plant these words deep in the soil of my soul, they will, one day, grow into something beautiful and substantial.  Maybe they can help me to really believe that God is both strong and loving.  And maybe that belief can lead me to the place of genuine trust in him.  And maybe, just maybe, that trust will one day allow my heart and soul to find their rest in him.  A man can dream, right?

O Lord, help this prayer take root deep within me, that it might become more and more the reality of my life.  Amen.  

Thursday, February 7, 2019

empty nets

“But Master, we have worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.” (Luke 5:5)  

What a haunting phrase.  I mean, it is such an easy trap to fall into, right?  After all, isn’t it a part of our DNA to do it on our own?  To take matters into our own hands, and make it happen—whatever it may be.  We got this, right?  Wrong!  In the end all we have to show for our efforts is a bunch of empty nets and a worn out body and soul.  Ever been there?  I sure have.  And I’m sure I will be there again in the not too distant future.  When will I ever learn?  My own efforts—however heroic they may be—apart from Jesus, will always net me absolutely nothing.  And maybe that very realization is the beginning of learning what it means to trust Jesus in a whole new way.  It certainly was for Simon Peter and his fishing buddies.

Lord Jesus, how come I usually only trust you as a last resort; when my own plans and efforts have not produced the results I’d hoped they would?  Help me to learn how to trust you first, rather than after I have worked hard all night and caught nothing.  Amen.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

abound

“And this is my prayer: that your love would abound more and more.” (Philippians 1:9)

What a great prayer!  Paul is praying that we would be so full of Jesus, and his love, that there would be no room for anything else.  Just imagine if you were so full of the love of Jesus that it simply flowed from your heart and life at all times—every thought, every act, every word.  Imagine how different life would be.  Instead of being full of myself and my worries and my insecurities, I would be full of peace and patience and kindness and gentleness and self-control—and love.  Lord Jesus, please make it be so!  Let your love abound in me, today and every day.

Lord Jesus, fill me so full of you, so full of your love, that there is no room for anything else—no anxiety or insecurity, no comparison or competition, no impatience or frustration, no shame or condemnation.  Fill me to overflowing, Lord Jesus, with your life and your Spirit.  Let your love abound in me.  Then I will be more like you.  Amen.