Wow, it’s amazing how quickly after a change in attitude or a new determination to live differently, to have high expectations for yourself and be encouraged and not be defeated and discouraged at life, that something discouraging happens to test your new resolve. Some might call it an attack, others just the way life happens sometimes, but either way it can feel stressful and disheartening. That’s what happened last night, when I got a call from a very distressed neighbor, that her daughters got into a fight, and the youngest walked out of the house and into the street, late at night, in the rain, and had not yet returned. This is not an uncommon phone call that I get, unfortunately all too often, and all I could do was give a few suggestions to the mother (of which she seemed to like none), and pray as she sobbed on the other end of the phone. Being at home by myself with Layla already in bed, I couldn’t go out looking for her, so I just prayed, not really believing that my prayers were of much comfort to the mom, but offering them up all the same because it was all I had to offer at the time. Well thankfully the daughter returned shortly thereafter, but the root problem remains; the lack of Jesus in this mom’s life, and in this families’ life. Without Jesus I fear the dysfunction, hostility, anger and lack of appropriate communication skills will remain.
This morning however, a ray of hope appeared. As I was praying with my Wednesday morning women’s pray group, we started off reading from the ‘Seek God for the City’ booklet, a booklet printed for small groups, churches and individuals to use to pray for their cities and the world during the season of Lent. The page for March 8 started off with Deuteronomy 30:2, 6:
When you and your children return to the Lord your God…He will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
Underneath that scripture was a prayer that started by saying, ‘Bring the promised day when whole families will turn at the same time and come back to You together. We dare to imagine children, along with their parents, opening their lives to You.’ I felt like God was speaking to me about this situation, about this family. I felt he was saying that I needed to dare to imagine this young girl turning towards Him along with her mom and sister, so I prayed this. I confessed that I did not currently have the faith for this, because they seemed such a far cry away from submitting their lives to God, but I asked for it nonetheless. Their hearts seem so cold, so opposed to this possibility, that I feel like it will take a really powerful act of transformation from the Holy Spirit, so I asked for God to help me dare to imagine them opening their lives to him. And I believe now all I can do is pray, to continue to be a part of their lives, and listen to God’s prompting to speak into their lives when he is calling me to, and hope their hear him and not me speaking.