I first thought about sharing a few things on Facebook this morning but it seemed too much for that format. I have so much to share and to put in to what I call a new kind of challenge. Let me start with what brought me to write this post this morning.
I have started in the month of September “the 30 day praise challenge” by Becky Harling (is this the challenge I’m issuing to everyone? no, but it would definitely be worth your time and I would absolutely recommend the book). And isn’t it just like God to bring things together. Before starting my quiet time, which included a “day of praise” from this book, I had earlier checked Facebook and saw a post asking for prayer for a family going through the pain of not knowing what would happen to their little girl who was showing almost no responsiveness after a surgery (http://heavenisourhome.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/hard-news/). In this post my friend spoke of how “Social media can be lethal, but the power of a praying army is more powerful than the enemy.” Without using the word challenge, she was asking us to stop and pray for this family before moving on to whatever the next post in the home feed was. I’m adding to this a little.
Enter today’s day of praise speaking about how we can trust God’s kindness even when life seems unfair (and boy sometimes doesn’t if feel really unfair). And this brings me to my challenge. I’m sure many of you have seen more videos than you can count lately in social media (mostly the ice bucket challenge comes to mind). And, please don’t get me wrong, I think the intentions were very good, or sometimes even just fun, and I myself participated. But, I want to see the same kind of excitement about what God is doing in our lives because He is God and He is good and believers supporting each other as a praying army as my friend mentioned.
So, if you’re tired of the word “challenge”, than just take this as a “I think this is worth 10 or 15 minutes out of your day” recommendation from me. I’m not even calling out anyone specific. And maybe no one else will read this, but if you do I pray it speaks to you as it did to me.
So here it is: Take the time to read the following “invitation” from Day 4 of “the 30 day praise challenge” and then listen to the songs I’ve linked –Praise You in the Storm by Casting Crowns, Forever Reign by Hillsong Live, and I Lift My Hands by Chris Tomlin (last two were included in the book as suggested listening). Then think about what God is saying to you today and and let Him speak kindness to you. And pray for those who are hurting and struggling.
“Injustice is a part of the fallen world. When life feels unfair, you are tempted to question My kindness. Satan, the Enemy of your soul, fills your mind with doubts. Child, My sense of justice is different from yours. Dare to praise Me for being good, even when I allow circumstances to occur in your life and in the lives of those you love that feel unfair. My every intention toward you is good. I continually offer you kindness as an expression of My nature. Celebrate My loving-kindness by thanking Me for the gifts I shower on you every day. I reign with perfect justice. There will come a day when I will bring good out of every evil. When you worship Me, My Spirit nurtures your faith. Test Me in this; praise Me for My justice and goodness, then watch and see how your trust in Me grows. I have your best interests at heart. Come, praise Me and feel renewed hope rising in your soul. (Ps. 118:1; Ps. 33:5; Ps. 34:8; Ps. 107:1).”
One last thought, it might seem like a quirky metaphor, but God gave me a picture that made sense to me. Sometimes our lives seem like bits and tattered pieces of scraps. But when God is finished sewing them together (and sometimes we don’t see the finished for a long time) it’s like a beautiful quilt that we can wrap around our arms.