Getting Our Attention, A Faith Series #2

I can still see their faces and hear their voice. When I do, I return to that time of doubt in my life. It seems like it was just yesterday. As I look back on these moments, I know they were messengers from God providing unsolicited words of encouragement.

Our Earthly Angels

“I prayed, ‘Almighty LORD, you made heaven and earth by your great strength and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 21:16-17 GW

When I was a young, I was deathly afraid of thunderstorms, and living in the Midwest, there was always the potential threat of a tornado. A tornado had swept through the area I lived on Palm Sunday when I was four years old. Whenever the sky grew dark with an approaching storm like it did one night in high school, I pleaded for my date to take me home. Upon arriving in the driveway of my parent’s home, he gently asked, “Why are you so afraid of thunderstorms? There isn’t anything you can do to prevent them.”

“While they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “I can guarantee this truth: One of you is going to betray me, one who is eating with me!” Feeling hurt, they asked him one by one, “You don’t mean me, do you?” Mark 14:18-19 GW

Later in my twenties, I had a discussion with a friend about past relationship problems. I remember being very upset and discussing my trust issues. Curtly, my friend answered, “You know, you are not the only one in this world that has been betrayed. You are acting as though it has only happened to you.”

“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two cents? God doesn’t forget any of them. Even every hair on your head has been counted. Don’t be afraid! You are worth more than many sparrows. I can guarantee that the Son of Man will acknowledge in front of God’s angels every person who acknowledges him in front of others.” Luke 12:6-8 GW

There have been times where angels suddenly appeared in my life. Their names, I do not know, but I remember them just the same.

Running short on time and gas, I had stopped at a gas station in Baltimore to fill the gas tank of my rental car. Looking a bit bewildered, I was unsure of what direction to turn to get back to the airport. I felt a tap on my shoulder and as I turned there stood an elderly man who softly asked me if I needed help. I asked him directions to the airport. He kindly pointed me the way saying turn right, then another right and then exit onto the expressway and follow the signs to the airport. Turning to thank him, he nodded and walked away.

“Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength.” Luke 22:43 GW

On another business trip I was returning to Detroit from Dallas. Dallas in August is a dreadfully hot and humid place to be. I was sitting in my seat on the airplane waiting to depart and the airplane’s air conditioning was on full blast. I asked the flight attendant for blanket as I had packed my suit jacket in my now stowed luggage. She apologized and said the airline no longer keeps blankets on board. It was so cold on board the airplane; I was visibly shaking. I did not know how I was going to survive the over 2-hour flight home. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder. The gentleman behind me in the opposite aisle handed me his suit jacket. He said, “please, wear my jacket.” Are you sure? I had asked him. He simply smiled at me. As we were departing the plane, I returned his jacket and thanked him profusely. He said, “one day you will return the favor to someone else.” I nodded in agreement.

God doesn’t always put the people in our lives that we want, but the people we need.

Many would say that a few of my examples were random acts of kindness. God’s love is not random. He deliberately puts his angels in our lives with messages to assure and encourage us. He places these individuals in our lives when we are most likely to pay attention and to hear His message. Sometimes it may feel like a cold slap in the face or it may simply be a gentle tap on the shoulder, but our Father in heaven  communicates in ways to show us His love and mercy.

As I have drawn closer to God, He has shown me that He is in control and that I need to give every worry over to Him. He has healed my hurt time and time again because Jesus knows firsthand the pain of rejection. And when I allow Him to lead me, I can be assured that He will take care of my every need.

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or gather the harvest into barns. Yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?” Matthew 6:26 GW

sparrow - serena vachon
Serena Vachon Photography

My Prayer

Thank you, dear Lord, I cannot by my own reason or strength fully comprehend the fullness of Your love and mercy. I am grateful for your ways and your angels that you place in my life to gain my attention and to put my attention rightly back on You. Help me to continue to see and hear You every day. You do so much for me without any merit in me that I all I can do is thank and praise Your holy name through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen

Getting to know God

I have written a journal since I was a young girl. In the last ten years I have kept a prayer journal to draw closer to God. If you want to recognize the angels in your own life, draw closer to God. I encourage you to begin a prayer journal today so you can know Him too. When you draw close to God, He will draw close to you. Is He trying to get your attention today? Answer the call. I know you will be glad you did.

Getting Our Attention – A Faith Series is a four-part series. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read the first post in this series. I pray you will continue to follow The Prayer Journals blog.

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts. If you have a specific prayer request, please email me in confidence at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

God’s Blessings to You,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved

Getting Our Attention, A Faith Series #1

Several months ago, a dear friend asked me, “I wish I had your faith.”

Softly and without any intentional judgement, I answered, “You do. You have chosen to put your faith elsewhere.”

The exchanged reminded me of a similar question many years ago when I moved to another state to open a branch office for my employer. The woman whom I had hired to be my assistant was a few years older, so I was a bit taken back by her question.

Gwen asked, “where does your confidence come from in making your decisions?”

I do not remember my answer to Gwen. I know it wasn’t how I would have answered that question today. My spirit today is not restless as it was for much of my life. In fact, God has used a persistent restlessness to draw me closer to Him. Each time He was trying to get my attention, I chose to put my faith elsewhere until a major crisis in my career ten years ago. The United States economic crisis beginning around the time of 2008 caused my employer to close their sales operations in the summer of 2009. I was crushed. I had put my identity into my career. Yet, God was getting my attention and I was finally ready to listen.

Our Restlessness

Whether it is a job loss, loss of loved one, a divorce, a health scare or a life-changing diagnosis, God gains our attention when we have put our faith elsewhere. He is not the one that causes our crisis, but during our crisis, God is speaking to us. Unfortunately, we either choose not to listen or we simply don’t know Him to hear the call. We job hop, we move from one relationship to another, we fall into addiction or into a deep well of depression, or a combination of all these behaviors.

Although I have been a Christian most of my life, I did not recognize God’s voice until a major crisis caused me to drop to my knees in prayer. I did all those things that on the outside looked like I was a Christian – sitting in the pew every Sunday, church committee meetings, providing a Christian education for my children. My restlessness of the summer of 2009 drove me to not just know “of” God, but to really get to “know” God through faith in Jesus Christ.

“Jesus looked at them and said, “It is impossible for people to save themselves, but everything is possible for God.” Matthew 19:26 GW

If I had a true faith back then that I have today, my answer to Gwen would be, “My confidence is not mine. It is the confidence of Jesus Christ who strengthens me every day and in every way.”

That’s not saying that I will not continue to be restless in my life. When I do become restless, I know God is trying to talk to me. I will take His call every single time.

Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners, and clear your minds, you doubters.” James 4:8 GW

Gentle Rain-Father

My Prayer

Lord God, I give all the glory and praise your name. Give me the grace and wisdom to understand that in Your gentleness there is power, in Your kindness their is valor, in Your forgiveness there is life. Help me to listen when I become restless. Help me not to rely on my own power or any other purpose than Your purpose. Help me to understand that wisdom is born and grows to maturity through faith in Christ. Grant me confidence in Your mercy and hope in Your promises. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Getting to know God

I have written a journal since I was a young girl. In the last ten years I have kept a prayer journal to draw closer to God. If you are facing restlessness in your life, I encourage you to begin a prayer journal today to draw closer so you can know Him too. When you draw close to God, He will draw close to you. Is He trying to get your attention today? Answer the call. I know you will be glad you did.

Getting Our Attention – A Faith Series is a four part series. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read the first post in this series. I pray you will continue to follow The Prayer Journals blog.

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts.If you have a specific prayer request, please email me in confidence at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

God’s Blessings to You,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

 

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved