To those who have been called….(Jude 1).
I was in a funk the other day as I drove home. Tired. Irritated.
I didn’t want to be that way, so I did what I’ve learned through the years as the best treatment for my mood. I began thanking God for all of my blessings then I prayed for people whose names are forever on the prayer list of my heart.
But soon my prayers shifted to the drivers in front of me, next to me, and behind me on the road. That always makes me feel better. I love zapping people for good, and they aren’t even remotely aware!
As I prayed, my mind shifted to loved ones who don’t share my faith in Jesus, and a memory flashed in my mind. I knew it was God’s way of telling me how to pray in that moment for my loved ones as well as the people in the cars around me. The memory was of a verse found in a chapter of the Bible subtitled: “God’s Sovereign Choice.” This is what it says:
“It does not depend therefore, on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy….therefore, God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens who He wants to harden” (Romans 9:16,18).
One morning years ago as I studied this verse, it really bothered me. It just didn’t seem to fit with the God of love I knew. After my quiet time, I laced up my running shoes to go for my daily jog around the neighborhood which included a very steep hill. I loved that hill. Even though it was difficult, my endorphins were always exploding when I reached the crest. As I labored up the hill on this particular morning I wrestled with God.
I bombarded God with my questions. “Is it fair that you don’t choose everyone? Why don’t you choose everyone? It’s just not right, God!” I thought of my own father and wrestled in his behalf then a God thought swept through my mind.
“Pray that I choose him…”
Epiphany! This was more than exploding endorphins. Why didn’t I think of that? Yes, God wants all men to be saved! The Bible never contradicts itself. It says so in 1 Timothy 2:4.
The thought continued…”Pray for those who have not been chosen, called, invited. And pray for their hearts to be softened to say yes to the invitation.”
My body tingled as I reached the top of that mountain. Sweat poured down my face, but my once heavy heart had grown wings of hope.
The memory of that wrestling moment with God flooded my mind and gave my grumbling mood a face-lift. My mind was no longer on myself as I drove home; I had renewed purpose to partner with God in prayer for the salvation of those I love and people I don’t even know–people just on my stretch of road that day.
[bctt tweet=”Partner with God in prayer for the salvation of the drivers around you in traffic!” username=”wordsbyandylee”]
Try it. You won’t be able to stay in a bad mood for long. I promise.
Digging Deep to Live Fully,
God has an awesome, mysterious, wonderful way of turning my selfish whining into prayers of praise. This morning , I opened my eyes and stared Mother’s Day as a loss again. I miss my mom. Suddenly I understood she would not be here now due to age. And then I began thanking God for her and the gift she was in my life, praising him for having had her for over 90 years. How had I missed that until now? Too much about me, not enough about God.
I love you Patricia! What a wonderful testimony! Yay Hod! Perspective and thanks is key. 😊