by Drawing Near to God

Routine days usually consist of: a list of prayer requests, another list from hubby, projects (the almost done ones and the new ones), children vying for attention, meetings scheduled to schedule more meetings, setting the day’s priorities and being intentional about an hour of quiet time, all in the short 24 hours of the day.

This morning, as soon as my eyes opened to prepare for what is normally pretty hectic, I knew today was going to be different. Have you ever awakened and knew before leaving the bed, the day would present an onslaught of challenges? As soon as my feet searched for the slippers I carefully put along my bed each night, an unusual heaviness balanced across my shoulders. Seriously, it felt like someone had laid heavy hands on both shoulders and my shrug didn’t free the weight-bearing grip.

I made my way to my prayer closet just to sit, resisting the temptation to reach for the phone, or the calendar, or to even go downstairs to join in the conversation my husband was already having on the phone. No doubt it was an emergency. I looked out the windows of my bedroom, darkness greeted me. It is not even 5 a.m. I say to myself. My first thought, or maybe it was a prayer, was Lord, help me.

As I sat in the silence and darkness of my prayer room breathing deeply in and out, the weight eased off of my shoulders. Tear rolled down my face and I wasn’t certain why. I said it again, this time softly, “Lord, please help me.”

Not long later, there was an urgent message about a wife looking for refuge from an abusive husband; there was a sudden death in the middle of the night, another child had lost a parent; there was a believer struggling with an addiction wanting a permanent way out; an email greeted me about a business failing; there was a reminder to pick up a gift for a baby shower; and an alert that I had not RSVPed to a wedding. As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, on my way to work, an angry driver yelled profanities at me because I didn’t see him merging into my lane.

I sat at my desk to prioritize all of the things before me. Closing my eyes, I breathed deeply in and deeply out. I kept doing it until my mind was free of clutter, free from all of the things vying for my attention and I said again, “Lord, please help me.”

Minutes later, as I continued to breathe in and out, peace flooded my heart and my mind. “Now Lord, what is it you want me to do?” I asked. He is the One who enabled Joshua and the Israelites to defeat Jericho. He is the God of many miracles and yes, He is the God who is concerned about the battles in our everyday lives; the big ones and the seemingly little ones that threaten to overwhelm us.

I don’t know what battles you are facing. Maybe you have a myriad of situations causing heaviness that is a lot to bear. Today, breathe. You don’t have to lift up elaborate prayers. “Lord please help,” is sufficient. The circumstances did not catch the Lord of Hosts by surprise. The battles are not yours; they are the Lord’s. Surrender them to Him, and breathe!



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