I often hear prayers for the Lord to put up a hedge of protection around people, schools, neighborhoods, and I get it – I long for my loved ones and friends to be safe too, but when I hear this prayer something in my heart remains unsettled.
I heard it again last week when a very sweet friend prayed for a hedge of protection to be placed around our children’s school. As I spent time mulling it over once again, I think His sweet whispers finally came through, and the thought came to me…
We have too many walls! We should instead let the ripples of love flowing out from our hearts unite with His infinite tsunami of love as it spreads out and breaks down the walls within the hearts of all who come near!
My sweet Lord – I pray for all who come near our loved ones, our friends, our neighbors, our schools – any child in the whole world – to have the walls they have built in their hearts come crashing down allowing their hearts to once again be fully open to Your Mercy and Grace.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell…
I have been a recluse over the last few months. I haven’t had much interest in seeking out or calling my friends to talk, watching the news, or even sending out Christmas cards to my friends and family.
Today while I was running I was thinking about this and wondering why? The thought crossed my mind that maybe Jesus has been sheltering me. Maybe He has been protecting me from the competition and constant comparison of the world by taking away my motivation to talk with my close friends and others who could spark envy, competition, or comparison within my heart. Maybe He has been giving me time to grow stronger and really imprint upon my heart the necessity to stay outside of the race going on in our world while still fully living in our world.
Maybe this is just my overactive imagination, but I still like this explanation, because today I finally called one of my best friends. I was so happy to talk with her and hear about her life and what she has been doing over the last few months. While we were talking though I felt myself being pulled back into the race, not because I compete with her, but because she has so many wonderful plans and ideas. She is an amazing mom and wife. She will soon be back in the workforce and I am sure she will someday start the amazing business of her dreams. In our 30 min conversation we covered all of this and following months of talking to only the same small group of people, I started to question my plans or lack of plans, my ideas or lack of ideas and began to worry about where I am headed. Luckily, although I felt myself being pulled into the race, I was aware of it which I hope is a start for keeping myself out of it.
As I was running home, I pictured all of us as bottles bobbing in the sea. As bottles in the sea we don’t realize that it is impossible for us to sink as we are tossed about in the waves, dunked under water, and crashed into each other. We are all fighting to stay afloat even though it really isn’t possible for us to go down. Then by the grace of God, sometimes we float into a secluded harbor where we can see the beach and we know that true peace exists. The waves slowly wash us in and then drag us back out in a repetitive motion.
Jesus thank you for the safe and secluded harbor You have given me over the last few months. Please help me to remember that no matter how many times the waves pull me back, I am a bottle filled with Your spirit and I can’t sink. Knowing this gives me faith to brave the open sea again and brave the waves with a new perspective.
Maybe on my next trip in You will bless me with a job to help You bring a few more bottles into Your peaceful shores!