Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
If you've read my blog in the past (which I know is extremely sporadic!), you know that I love stories. And I love the way that God uses these stories from friends and acquaintances to speak to me in a very personal way. I was with three friends at lunch this week, enjoying the food, the conversation, and the companionship. After lunch, one of my friends shared this story with me:
Her family has been going through a lot recently. While the whole family has struggled, her grandsons seem to have had the hardest time knowing how to handle things. Recently, the boys spent the week with my friend and her husband, even sleeping on the floor in their room because they didn't want to be by themselves.
Every night, the four would spend time on the bed in prayer as the boys called out their fears and concerns before God. Yet, any level of peace seemed illusive. One night, my friend told the boys that they prayer time that night would be different. "Tonight," she told them, "We're not going to pray for the things that are worrying us. Tonight, let's pray for the things we're thankful for, for the blessings God has given us. And then, before we close, we'll ask God to protect us during the night and tomorrow." The boys nodded silently, and then the family prayed together. They prayed as she had requested . . . of their thanks, of the blessings God had given them, of the promises He makes, and ended in praying for His protection through the night.
After the prayer time, the oldest grandson, the one who had struggled the most in handling all the family was going through, looked at his grandmother and said, "I liked that prayer time better." Her response? "Me, too!"
What a wonderful and clear lesson from this child! It's so easy to focus on the negative things going on in our lives that we miss God's promises and blessings. And it is through those that we can find true peace.
Times are tough in our country and our world right now. Churches and families are face tough economic times and even tougher decisions of how to handle the challenges that come with those. And, as I write, the Muslim world has risen up in protest of a film that teachings against the Muslim faith, rioting in the streets, attacking embassies, and even killing representatives of our country abroad. It's easy to focus on the frightening events around us. Peace seems illusive at the moment.
I want to challenge us all to do two things between now and Thanksgiving.
First, listen for the lessons of God that can come so beautifully and simply through a child.
And, second, share those lessons with us through this network, either in response to this blog, or in a blog of your own.
Will you accept that challenge?