I accidentally left my devotional book at work last weekend, so I read through them yesterday. I love when a devotional speaks to me - it's amazing that no matter how many times I hear that God knows my heart and knows what I need, that each time I'm blown away by things that speak to me. It's like God is saying "duh!!" So here are my thoughts on my "missed" devotionals...and, if you read all the way through, some prayer requests.
October 30 - Hebrews 12:1 - Let us run with patience.
There are 2 kinds of patience. The kind where you are still and reflective. But, even stronger evidence, is the ability to cope with problems in the public eye, and continue on being "strong" in the presence of others and supporting them, giving them joy. You must really "run" with patience, because you still have to continue to function in the public eye while continuing to sort through your personal issues. Jesus did this on his time on earth - dealing with the immortal struggle of good versus evil, but in the meantime going out and creating joy for others, and helping them with their issues.
I pray that I will have that kind of patience. I do agree that it is hard to go through the daily motions while dealing with personal issues. But I have also realized recently that helping others actually does help me - not only does it make me feel better, but it puts things into perspective for me. I am not the only person in the world dealing with issues and trying to live "around" or "through" them. And there are people with bigger and harder problems that I have, and they don't have the support on earth that I do. So the patience that I want to pray for is the ability to perservere through my issues and problems, while being able to live my life to the fullest and to help others when possible. Patience will help me understand that my issues will be worked out and resolved over time, and I can't just sit around and wallow in self pity - that won't accomplish anything for anyone.
October 31 - Romans 8:26-27.
Sometimes I just don't know how to pray. I don't know what I should pray for, or if I should pray in a certain order, or "Should I thank God first, or should I come right out and ask for help?" or "Is it selfish for me to ask for things I want and need when I should really be praising God for what he's already done?" It's actually a big conflict for me. It's actually part of why I don't like to lead public prayers - I don't pray outloud in bible studies or before meals for example.
This verse talks about how it doesn't matter if you don't know what to say outloud, or even to yourself in your head. All that matters is that God knows the matters of your heart, and even things you don't even realize you're feeling, and he can see that and can act on that. The whole point is that you ask for help and thank Him for his help, in the past, present and future and he knows exactly what to do.
I struggle with control. I like to be in charge of things, and be able to control what happens to me and around me. That's a hard thing to let go for me. I want to control my job, my friends, my relationships, etc. But I need to pray for the ability to let go! I know that's my main issue, but I don't know what else I'm really feeling or thinking about it deep down inside. But God knows. And He knows that I am aware of my basic flaw, and he knows everything else and what needs to be done to help.
The devotional also gives an example of a mother and child seated next to each other, while busy with other things. They may not be speaking to each other, but there's a peace - the mother knows the child is there, and the child knows the mother is there. So they are in fellowship. And a calm that you are not alone. In the same way, a believer can be going through their day as normal, and even though there may not be a constant verbal communication with God, they can beleive and take comfort in the fact that God is always with them and has a hand in all that they are doing.