I was so sure I would gain some magical revelation after 31 days of praying the prayer of Jabez.
Jabez prayed to the God of Israel: “Bless me, O bless me! Give me land, large tracts of land. And provide your personal protection—don’t let evil hurt me.” God gave him what he asked.
I would like to think I have changed after believing that God would give me what I asked for, but the changes have been so subtle it hard to see them. As long as I believe that God will protect me and provide for me, I am more willing to part with my material possessions. I am more willing to take risks in relationships and more bold in declaring the promises of God.
When I take my eyes of off God, I begin to panic. I judge myself for being foolish. I want to protect my household on my own. I want to control my finances. And I worry over what the future holds for disciples of Jesus.
At the end of his book, Bruce Wilkinson, challenges his reader to make the Jabez prayer a part of the daily fabric of their life. He says the praying person will experience significant changes in their life. Then he warns that nothing will happen without believing in God’s power. He encourages his reader to ask God to help them see the divine appointments that He puts in their path.
I have had many divine appointments over the past months, but I don’t always see them as opportunities. I have come to this conclusion. God is God. He is the same in blessing and in pain. Sometimes it is easier to see Him when I am in pain.
As we move in to a New Year, it seems the perfect time to reflect on some of these opportunities. I am still mourning the loss of my baby foster daughter, but I am friends with her parents. I am proud to help them set up their own apartment. I am thrilled to take them to church and to watch their spiritual growth as they walk through an incredibly painful and stretching time. And I especially enjoy holding her occasionally when I have the day off and the parents have a visit. I am honoured that they allow me to be a part of her life even though she is not in my care anymore.
For many years I have had a heart for the children who are apprehended by CFS and are left to grow up in a broken system of child rearing. But now I have a tender heart for the parents who lose their children to CFS. I have had a glimpse of the challenges of turning a life of addiction into a healthy lifestyle that can support the raising of children.
I have not enjoyed watching my parents lose their mobility and ability to make decisions that control their lives. But I have enjoyed the time I spend with them. I feel rewarded that after so many years of waiting for them to be “not be busy”, I can just sit and be with them.
Did I say this stage of life is easy? It is not easy. It is, however, rewarding because every day I see how God sustains and holds each of His children. It is when life challenges overwhelm me that I find myself pleading out for the evidence of God and He never fails to provide just what I need to move forward on my journey.
So I guess God is not a genie that dispenses whatever I ask for depending on my whim for that day. He certainly is in control and gives me everything I need as I obey Him.
I have done a lot of thinking about my writing over the past few weeks. If I am just writing for myself, I can keep a journal in my nightstand. If I believe my writing can and is making an impact on at least one of my readers than I need to plan better and create a blog that is worth looking at. If you have been touched by my words please let me know. If you think your friends could be encouraged by my words, please invite them to read my blog. If you would like the convenience of receiving my posts in your mailbox, please fill out the subscription form below.
I will be back in two weeks with an update on my journey on the path of life.