Jonah's doing well. I'm still trying to figure out what's going on with me. I was fine all day and my back has felt MUCH better, only on ibuprofen, but from about 3:30 to 6:30, I was cold, achy and mostly on the couch feeling crappy. Then, all of a sudden, I was feeling better and having hot flashes. Now I feel fine. (I am NOT pregnant.) I have no idea. I have a doctor's appointment scheduled for next Monday.
I wanted to write a little tonight about the book I'm reading for my Monday night Bible study. We didn't meet tonight because several of the girls had to be out of town, but I wanted to write some of my thoughts down and reflect a little tonight. This may be not at all interesting to you, but I want to share in hopes that some of what I'm reading/sharing might speak to those of you who are dried up like I am.
I read the first two chapters of the book, Satisfy my Thirsty Soul, and then went back and reread chapter one and looked up most of the scripture references and read them in context. I have an NIV/Message parallel Bible and when I actually read it, I like it a lot.
Some quotes that really jumped out at me.
Talking about living a life of service instead of living a life of worship: Too often, my emphasis was on making him known rather than knowing Him.
Talking about John choosing an intimate relationship with Christ: Any of the disciples could have experienced this intimate relationship with Jesus, but only John CHOSE it. Intimacy is a choice. We either do the work required to keep the fire alive, or we don't.
At one point she says she prayed, "God, I want to intimately know you, wherever it takes me, whatever the cost." I find that an admirable (and very scary) thing to pray.
God wants to give us a joy that infinitely transcends all other joys combined in the power and potential to satisfy, thrill, fill, and fulfill us. I don't know about you, but I have major contentment issues. I need to stop looking at my circumstances or my relationship with Matt or my friends or my church to find contentment and joy. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in HIM.
Worship is not just a specific act. It is also a lifestyle. Worship is a specific act of bowing my knees and declaring, "Holy, Holy, Holy." Worship is also a lifestyle of bowing my life and living, "Holy, Holy, Holy." Con.vic.ting.
At the end of each chapter, there are some suggestions for personal worship time with God. I had a hard time getting started and made excuses for about a week. Satan used my back and feeling bad to make me focus on the physical rather than the Spiritual. I hate the control I let him have on my life. He regularly uses busyness, physical circumstances, guilt, and dissatisfaction as tools to keep me from having an intimate relationship with my Abba.
Today's suggestions were to listen to worship music (thank you, Pandora) and be still for 10 minutes, kneel and read Psalm 63:1-8 aloud and to declare the truths you find about God there. I also journaled my thoughts on what I read. Y'all, I was skeptical. I have never been so great at just being still. When I pray, I'm either thanking God for what He's done or asking Him to do something. Rarely ever do I just sit still, listen, and bask in WHO HE IS. I'll cheat and include a quote from Chapter 2 here (author quoting A.P. Gibbs): "In prayer we are occupied with our needs, in thanksgiving we are occupied with our blessings, but in worship we are totally occupied with God Himself." That makes so much sense but how do you JUST sit and think and feel God and proclaim who He is?
But during Jonah's nap time today, I went out on my deck. I made a Chris Tomlin station on my Pandora, I got down on my knees and read the Psalm (fairly certain my neighbors think I'm a nut... I'm okay with it), journaled and had quiet time. And I kid you not, God moved me to tears. I asked Him to speak to me. I begged Him to let me feel Him there with me, and He answered me so clearly. Every song that came on the station was exactly what I was reading and writing about at that exact moment. I kind of rewrote Psalm 63 to say exactly what I was feeling. And as soon as I wrote the words (my paraphrase of verse 2), "I long to praise You just for what You are...", the radio played "to be still and know that You're in this place, to stay and rest in Your Holiness. Word of God, speak." And it happened like that over and over again. And I praised and cried. And it was amazing. And I knew in that moment, that I could do this. This is what God longs for... for us to take the time and intentional effort to worship Him (more than just in church on Sunday mornings) so that He can make his very real, very alive, very right-here-beside-me presence known. What has taken me so long? Verse eight says, "My soul clings to you; Your right hand upholds me." My paraphrase was, "As I desperately scramble to hold on for dear life," (I'm not quite as confident as David. :) ) "You firmly grip me by the waist. Why am I flailing? You have me. You're not letting go."
Anyway, I'll end this novel now. I'm not sharing any of this to be all, "Look at me. I'm doing a Bible Study. I'm so holy." Please know that I'm just sharing what God is showing me, with often embarrassing honesty, just hoping that maybe it will speak to you too. I'm happy, if you're still reading this, that you indulge my need to share and write. It's part of the process. :) Thank you so much. I hope you give God the chance to surprise you. He's been waiting.