Saturday, March 29

Mighty: A 5 Minute Friday Post

This morning when I clicked over to Lisa-Jo Baker's page and read the "5-Minute Friday" word for the week the very first thing that came to mind was a song that I learned in Sunday school as a child. 

The word is: MIGHTY

Mmmm. A good word indeed. 

I don't feel very mighty lately. And perhaps that is a good thing, because when I am feeling my un-mightiest it is then that I remember that I'm not supposed to be doing all of this...any of this... life stuff in my own strength...try as I might sometimes. 

The song goes like this:

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do.
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do. 
The mountains are his. The valley's are his. The skies are his handiwork too. 
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do.  

There were, of course, hand motions and we made big "muscles" with our arms. We emphasized the words big and mighty. It was a ton of fun, and as is the case with all of those simple childhood songs, it stuck with me because the words were few and repetitive. 

I believed, with childlike faith, that God was big and mighty and capable of doing anything. 

He is above all things, and over all things and mighty IN all things. 

It is easy for me to remember this truth in the big things. In the needs and stories I hear that need big prayer. I pray for my friends and neighbors and family members when life deals them a hand that doesn't make sense. I pray that God be mighty in their lives, and walk so closely besides them that their peace is nothing short of a miracle. My faith is persistent and I have seen how God is big and mighty in their lives. 

But then there is regular life. My daily life. The simple, repetitive, daily stuff where things are small and seem insignificant and I don't think to pray about them.  There is the tired momma stuff, and the fact that my marriage seems fine, but that we have so little time to focus on it. There are the days when our husband's work late (sometimes strings of them in a row), or go out of town and we feel tired, but like we must just make it through...somehow muster the strength and try not to be frustrated or discouraged by the relentless needs of the house and our sweet (but needy!) children.  

Sometimes I forget that God wants to be big and mighty in the little things too. In those moments. That if I bring these days and things to him that he is just as present and willing to show me something bigger and offer strength that lasts longer than anything I can do on my own. 

He has been showing me that this week as I've remembered to pray, "Dear Lord, give me peace and patience and strength to make it through the dailiness of this day. To do it with joy and to be the mom you want me to be." 

He has been answering that prayer in all sorts of little ways-- in increased patience that has even surprised me, in an awareness of gifts that are all around me that I forget to be thankful for and present to, in shifting perspective about the importance of those gazillion little tasks. About how the little can amount to big things. 

I think I'm going to unearth that song in my heart and sing it often this week, except I'm changing the lyrics just a wee bit at the end...

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty there's nothing my God cannot do. 
My God is so big, so strong and so might, in the big and the little things too! 

This post is a part of Lisa Jo Baker's 5 Minute Friday, which you can link up to here. 

By the way, Lisa Jo just published a FANTASTIC book (I've only read the introduction and first chapter, but can already tell that it is going to a wonderful book!) called "Surprised by Motherhood". Check it out and pre-order your copy here

Lisa-Jo Baker

Thursday, March 6

Prayers CAN Move Mountains

     This little boy needs our prayers. Please join in the community of heartfelt voices already reaching out to God on this behalf and pray for him today.      

    Like many of you in our community I have been deeply moved and saddened over the past couple of weeks as I have been watching the story of the Sauer family. For the few of you who may be reading, but do not know the story you can read about it on their website Blue4Ben. A sweet, four year old boy here in Western, N.Y. was recently diagnosed with an incredibly aggressive and rare brain tumor and in a matter of weeks this family's life has been completely turned upside down. 

    As the mother of small children, one just three months older than Ben, this story has become so deeply personal that I have found myself praying like I have never prayed before for miracles. For understanding. For wisdom for her and her husband. For Ben. For his siblings. For their extended family. 

     I know Mindy very loosely through moms groups that we have been in and through our blogging in recent years. We have shared messages, short chats, and smiles about the most mundane mothering details. From my small interactions with her I can tell you she is an INCREDIBLE mother and almost ALWAYS has a smile on her face...even when carrying a whining/yelling toddler across the atrium at church (which is the last place I saw her a couple of months ago). 

    And then suddenly, literally within days, her mothering experience goes from mundane to shockingly and unbelievably devastating. 

    My heart is crushed for her. I have joined many of you in tears as I have read her Facebook posts and watched her recent interview with Channel 2 news. 

    None of this makes sense. 

    The other night while Ava and I were in Bender's I picked up one of the Blue4Ben bracelets. Ava, naturally, wanted to know what it was all about and wanted to know the truth. She is at an age when she can see right through things when I try to gloss over the real details in a situation. 

    "Babe, Ben is a sweet little boy (I showed her his picture on Facebook) who has a tumor that is cancerous." 

    I asked her if she knew what cancer was. Surprisingly she did-- mostly from the St. Jude's commercials she has seen, but also because a friend in school had recently told her that her grandmother has cancer. I am constantly shocked at how much she already knows and am learning to prayerfully be as honest with her as I can when it comes to the hard things in life even though I want to shelter her and keep her naive forever. 

    "Mom, what if his medicine doesn't work?" 

     I could hardly answer the question. I told her we were praying for a miracle. 

     She knew the answer...the "what if?" that I can't even bring myself to write here because I am still clinging with all of my heart to that miracle. 

    "But mom...he's only 4." 

    "Yes honey. I know. It's one of the hardest things I've heard in a long time. We live in a very broken world." 

    I went on to ask her if she remembered the story of Adam and Eve from Sunday school. 

    She did. 

   "Babe, when Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden and sent into this was into a very broken place where there is pain and sickness and lots of things that don't make sense. It's why we pray.  It's why Jesus came. It's why we all need Jesus." 

    I choked back tears, but was thankful that God somehow provided words that hopefully made sense to her. I was thankful that we have Jesus in our lives...because, as Mindy said in her interview, there is pain all around us, it's a stark and dark reality.  The only thing we have...that is constant...the only fight against the pain is Jesus...our prayers and our faith in a sovereign heavenly father. 

     Our broken world does not care about fair. That is so evident to me for many reasons lately. I have seen more sadness in the recent past than I can remember hearing about and seeing in a long time. 

    Despite all of that God can still perform miracles and we are praying for one! A big one. 

    I was reading a story that starts in Mark 5:22 yesterday. It is the story of a father who comes to Jesus pleading with him to save his dying daughter. 
 "Then one of the synagogue rulers named Jarius, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at this feet and pleaded with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live."  So Jesus went with him. 
While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jarius, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher anymore?"
Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid: just believe." 

     Jesus proceeds to go into this man's house and bring his daughter back to life! Wow!  

   My favorite part of the whole story is when everyone is shouting...why bother Jesus, there is nothing he can do now. He looks that father in the eye and says, "Just believe!" 

    So I am here today saying that I have no idea what God will do in this situation. No one does. But I do believe in a big God  completely capable of miracles and as Mindy has said in her blog we will keep hoping and praying right to the end. 

    Please hold this family up in your prayers over the next few weeks. Pray for a miracle for Ben. 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.                   Philippians 4:6
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you.                        1 Thessalonians 5:17

     If you want to read more about the family's story you can click here- Blue4Ben.

     To see the interview with Mindy, click here- Channel 2 Interview. 

    Also, there is a Benefit this Sunday to support the family being held at the Chapel at Crosspoint. All of the information can be found on their website. 

    This story has been urging me to pray in ways and more consistently than I ever have for anything. So pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray with your spouse. Pray. Pray. Pray. 
Matthew 18:20 says, "For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them." 

Let's join the thousands praying and be confident that God is among us and hears our prayers. 

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:4-7
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17