17.11.22: Like Jesus

Context: This prayer came to me last Monday, after a very bad weekend as my covid began:

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; CSB). 

No matter what you send today,
May I respond like Jesus.

No matter what you take away,
Don’t let me fail, or sin. 

No matter how you test my love,
May I respond with patience,

Yielding to your will, Lord God,
With tears and prayers, like Him.

I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).


References 

He became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death” (Matthew 26:27-8; NLT). 

The LORD your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NLT). 

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised (Hebrews 10:36; NLT). 

Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal (Job: 5:17-18; NIV).

He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44; NLT). 

Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9; NLT).


Rosary news:

Despite everything, I managed to make this Fiat Rosary yesterday:


However, when I used it with my zoom community group in the evening, I discovered that the colours shown by the pattern I’ve been given are in a different order from that shown in the community’s prayer book. So, I’ve written to the Sister who knows more about these rosaries than anyone else, in the hope that she can clarify the situation. I’ll let you know if there is any news about this. Meanwhile, each rosary I make, then take to pieces again, is a great learning experience, so there are plenty of positives to celebrate.

8.11.22: Inner peace

Context: Today’s blog grew from a single moment a couple of days ago, when I saw that inner peace comes through voluntarily choosing to embrace God’s will for us, rather than fighting against it, or pursuing our own personal desires.

Introduction

We say Christ’s familiar words so often, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10; RSV), but do we really mean them? Do we truly embrace God’s will, giving thanks in all circumstances, no matter what he sends? (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

Perhaps we greet only things we think of as good, or desirable, as coming from God’s hand, whilst seeing everything we judge to be bad, unpleasant, or unwanted, as having nothing to do with him at all? (Job 2:10; NLT).

In fact, God sends all we experience: “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7; NIV). As the Book of Ecclesiastes advises: “Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realise that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life” (Ecclesiastes 7:14; NLT).

Trials and sorrows

Trials and sorrows are a normal, inevitable part of every human life (John 16:33; NLT). Our suffering is only increased when we deny or resist them, for it is useless to fight against God’s will (Acts 26:14; NLT).

Thus, the way to experience inner peace is by yielding to God. We can do this by actively choosing his will rather than our own, time after time: “Now yield and submit yourself to Him [agree with God and be conformed to His will] and be at peace” (Job 22:21; AMP; my emphasis).

So, as we remember that, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away,” let’s praise and thank God for everything, no matter what we must face and endure (Job 1:21; CSB).

Why embrace God’s will?

Some people may ask why embracing God’s will is more important than longing for, or pursuing, our own desires. There are several answers to this question:

  • God shares our suffering (Isaiah 63:9; NLT).
  • God speaks to us through every kind of suffering and pain (Job 33:19; TIB;  Job 36:15; NIV).
  • No matter how hard our lives are, God will be there to teach us (Isaiah 30:20; GNT).
  • God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28; NLT).

Yielding to God

Paul specifically advises us to “…yield ourselves to God” (Romans 6:13; RSV), and a moment’s reflection will remind us of the huge consequences which can flow each time we do this. Think, for example, how differently events might have turned out:

  • If Mary had not said; “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” during the Annunciation (Luke 1:38; KJV). 
  • Or if Jesus had not prayed, “I want your will to be done, not mine” in the Garden of Gethsemane  (Luke 22:42; NLT).

Inner peace comes through accepting God’s will wholeheartedly 

So let’s ask God to help us endure our suffering patiently, whilst continuing to serve him as best we can (Hebrews 10:36; NLT). As Paul writes: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7; NLT).

Incredibly, God’s peace can help us through even the most extreme suffering: “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

Conclusion

The way to find inner peace is to embrace God’s will for us voluntarily, thanking him for everything he sends, both “good” and “bad”, with joyful hearts: “Submit to God, and you will have peace” (Job 22:21; NLT).

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).


Rosary-making news:

Thrillingly, I received my last few rosary-making necessities yesterday, especially some 1mm waxed polyester thread and larger beads. This enabled me to make my very first complete rosary. It is admittedly very simple, but hopefully usable, and is already bringing me joy.

7.11.22: God in all

Context: Last Saturday was a rare, blessed, unpressured day with no hospital appointments, and no building work taking place at home. I had breakfast in bed, followed by the luxury of a whole morning to write this prayer, which arrived soon after I woke up:

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things (Ecclesiastes 11:5; NLT).

God: in stillness, silence, darkness;
Here, in yearning –
Our unknown.

God: in worship, wonder, rapture;
Here, in bliss –
Our stepping stone.

God: in nature, labour, service;
Here, in love –
Our source, our home.

God: in weakness, envy, anger;
Here, in sin –
Our cornerstone.

God: in conflict, terror, trauma;
Here, in carnage –
Our shalom.

God: in sickness, sorrow, anguish;
Here, in pain –
Our flesh, our bone.

God: in striving, yielding, dying;
Here, in all
Our Lord, alone.

The LORD is our God, the LORD alone (Deuteronomy 6:4; NLT).


References

Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign LORD (Zephaniah 1:7; NLT).

God is love (1 John 4:8; NLT).

By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made (Genesis 3:19; NLT).

The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone (Psalm 118:22; NLT).

I want your will to be done, not mine (Luke 22:42; NLT).

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

Yield yourselves to God (Romans 6:13; RSV).

Now yield and submit yourself to Him [agree with God and be conformed to His will] and be at peace (Job 22:21; AMP).

Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit (Matthew 27:50; NKJV).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

There is …one God and Creator of all, who is over all, who works through all and is within all (Ephesians 4:5-6; TIB).


Rosary-making news:

I’m longing for the arrival of some 1mm cord from the UK. This should hopefully thread through the wooden beads I’ve already bought. At present, I only have 1.5mm cord, which is too thick to go through them. Until the thinner cord arrives, I’m limited to making necklaces and bracelets, practicing barrel knots and threading a few beads by chewing the thread. Still, today I made my first ever equal-length sliding knots.