June 26, 2018
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
At my oncology appointment last week, we ran into a friend in the waiting room. Being a breast cancer survivor, she was there for a check up. We chatted for a few minutes but before leaving she gave us a bit of experiential advice – Just do the next thing.
I’ve thought about that advice several times since then and chuckled to myself this morning when God gave me a list of next things to do. Be joyful in hope. Be patient in affliction. Be faithful in prayer.
I love a to-do list, but sometimes my to-do list overwhelms me. To help get perspective, I try to prioritize the list to make it more do-able. So I tried to prioritize my Just-do-the-next-thing list. Hmmm. . . should I try to be joyful first or patient? Faithful or hopeful? How does this work?
I settled on prayer first. Yup. Let me just talk to God, give it to Him, and let Him surprise me with what comes next. I hope it’s patience – because I need it – now.
In reading over the verse again, I realized that it’s not just prayer but faithfulness in praying that God wants me to do. Am I faithful to go to Him all throughout the day with conversation? Do I pray as if He is right next to me? Or do I get sidetracked by life and forget about God until I bow my head before I eat or before I go to bed at night?
So, today I worked really hard to be mindful of faithfully praying. My conversations with God went something like this. . . “Lord, your creation is amazing.” “God, give me patience as I drive.” “I feel a little bit of fear rising up in me, Lord. Help me.” “Lord, who can I bring joy to in this waiting room?” “God, I’m listening for you to speak.” “Thank you, Father, for the wonderful blessing my husband is to me.” “Lord, I’m driving again. Patience, remember?”
Faithfulness means never giving up. I want to be faithful to be fully tuned into God. I don’t want to miss hearing from Him because I’m distracted. I’m so glad He’s always listening. I’m so glad He’s always faithful.
Who is like you Lord? You created prayer because you want to communicate with us. Help me to be mindful of your faithful presence all during the day and especially during a sleepless night. Please remind me that you are with me and waiting to hear from me. Help me to know when to be quiet so I can hear you speak. I look forward to what you have next for me.