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Stop. Pray and…LISTEN.

Written by Julia Shalom Jordan. Posted in Relationships1, Weekly Christian Devotional

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Published on August 05, 2014 with No Comments

Stop. Pray and…LISTEN.

“For that which I do allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” Romans 7:13

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”James 3:17

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” Proverbs 12:15

“And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:12

Our weekly Christian devotional

“You should pray.” Those words entered my heart right as I dialed Taylor’s number.

‘The issue’ between my dear friend and I had been festering like an underground pimple right before prom. It’s not like I actually wanted to touch it, but ignoring it didn’t feel right, either. Taylor’s fortieth birthday celebration was around the corner and the two of us hadn’t spoken in over a month.

So, after three cups of coffee, I sent an email. It was my ‘safe’ attempt to just get the difficult conversation started and over with. I figured the sooner the two of us faced our issue; the sooner our healing could begin. Taylor emailed back and agreed to chat later on that night.

It’s not like I didn’t pray before calling her. In fact, I had been praying about this situation for four weeks! Daily, I came to God asking Him to heal me. The bitterness of our hurtful circumstance stood like an invisible concrete wall between us. After praying, I could feel the heaviness of my emotions lift a bit. It was my love for Taylor that urged me to bridge the widening gap between us.

But, when I called, all it took was Taylor’s chilly tone on the other end of the receiver to kick my wounded emotions alive again. (Apparently, they were only lying dormant…) At that moment, it seemed all the prayers in the world couldn’t stop the river of hurt from flowing out. Her attitude shouldn’t have broken the dam. But, it did. And, the moment it did, I just let the riptide rip…If I had any smidgen of cool anywhere inside me, it completely disintegrated within seconds.

Uncontrolled rage

This is the crazy part –one of my biggest motivations for allowing God to do His work in me is the fact that I can’t stand hypocrites! So my reaction wasn’t just devastating in my relationship with Taylor; it was an overwhelming realization in my walk with Christ.

“I love God. With my whole heart, I’ve committed myself to following Jesus. I’m totally dependent upon prayer everyday. Why am I not handling people in my life better than this?”

No matter how good my intentions were or what I prayed ten minutes before, today I completely FAILED. I guess you could say that I was the EXACT OPPOSITE of whatever Jesus is. This truth not only broke God’s heart, but my own heart as well. I began to wonder if God’s work in these last few years might’ve just been some crazy illusion…

“You said you would never leave me or forsake me!” I cried out, desperately seeking His voice and solution.

“I was there.” Instantly, I remembered that tug on my heart. The one whispering, “Pray.” while I was dialing my friend.

Yes, indeed God was there. I felt Him for that split second–right before shoving Him aside.

The instant I heard Taylor’s hard tone, my heart recalculated; it was now determined to give Miss Taylor a nice sharp shard of itself. The riptide of my emotions broke through any wisdom daring to stop me. Before I knew it our ‘conversation’ was over.

Unfortunately, one can’t simply erase angry words by a wish or a prayer. What was done between my friend and I could never truly be undone. The very phone call that was supposed to be the beginning of our healing actually brought even more pain and damage!

Of course now, I’m left to wonder what would have happened if I actually stopped and listened to that still, small voice?

“Dear Heavenly Father,

How many times have you spoken and I trampled right over your words, simply doing whatever I determined to do?

How much pain could have been avoided? How much healing hasn’t happened?

Oh, Lord. I’ve lived long enough to develop some pretty bad habits.

Be merciful to me—I want to change, but I struggle with finding the tools to do it!

I don’t want to hurt another person or relationship from this serious lack in my life.

Send me strong mentors who’ve overcome in the very areas I find myself wrestling with. Calm my jumpy heart. Help me to be still—to wait and to be quiet enough to just listen.

Forgive my rebellion, stubbornness, over-sensitivity for myself, and insensitivity towards others.

Help me to be a river of love, not anger.

Bless me, Lord. Not because I’m worthy of being blessed, but because I cannot be a blessing if you don’t bless me.

I bow before you, broken once again. Thank you for loving me even when I fail you.

Lord, don’t just put me together, but make me stronger, wiser and kinder through this. Make me more like you. Let the scars of this hurtful encounter help me to be more sensitive. This is how I can avoid future scars.

I am nothing without your help. In Jesus’ name and for His sake, HELP ME. Amen.”

uncontrolled rage

Thank you for reading our weekly Christian devotional on verses: Romans 7:13, James 3:17, Proverbs 12:15, 1 Kings 19:12

Please check back and see what we have for you next week!

Author: Julia Shalom Jordan

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