tuesday mornings…steel magnolias

Today, neath spectacular sea-blown skies, I met with an old friend to catch-up on family doings. There were some fair weather reports, mixed in with storm after storm after storm. I was reminded anew, what a frontline guerilla warrior she has been, is, and seeing the need, still asks for more. More because she knows God is faithful. More because the call to answer God-spoken needs is in her DNA.

Another friend encounters health challenges and in every other ‘update’ asks for divine appointments.  I prefer to think of these and other friends as Steel Magnolias, but as the world asks if women are really ready for combat, experience tells me that the women of God, are guerilla fighters, not because of a passion for war, or hand to hand combat, but because of a passion for God, and a passion for the people they see underneath the clouds and smoke. I see a friend who hesitates to speak before crowds, yet lays out the defining truths of God’s love in no uncertain terms. I don’t know what the garden really required when it welcomed Eve, and after 25 years of marriage I am still with God’s help, figuring out in practice what my Adam needss, but in these ‘Eves’ I see the quiet turning over of a woman’s heart to God, and him, by His Spirit fashioning hearts of great strength. Sacrifice and passion molded in His hands to change the world. Because of love.

A couple things have helped to shape my prayers recently:

My vision is cleared to see others with compassion when I am on my knees, perhaps physically, but more so, spiritually. Landing there sometimes entails a painful stripping away, but God has used it for good, both in me, and for others.

God is powerful. Though my capacity may feel small, HE can do anything. I believe this. He has infinite resources at his disposal. Most days my job is simply to bring people and their needs before him, blanketing them in his word and truth to my mediocre best on the way.

God of grace and power, YOU are here, and we behold your beauty: the beauty of utter sacrifice and depletion, and the refilling with your amazing love, that you evidenced at the cross, and that you repeat in us if we will let you. Fill us we pray, with your love that overcomes evil. Overcome evil with your good; in us, through us. Eph 4:2-9

If I must wrestle, help me to wrestle against the things that keep me from knowing and understanding you. Help me to turn my flagging energy toward loving the sinner rather than my own sense of righteousness. May my meager attempts at righteousness, serve only to mirror your glory, for righteousness comes from you alone.

Help us not to be debilitated by weariness: renew the joy of knowing you as our strength; the unity of fellowship, spouse-to-spouse, believer-to-believer; as powerful witness to others, but also to us, of who you are. The eternal sustaining nature of your being, breathe in us, as suits your purpose we pray.

God, will you bring your infinite and unmatched power to address the needs of those traumatized by life Will you supply resources, and wisdom, and understanding that will renew the life that you intend; trading poverty for riches, by your definition rather than ours? Will you push the enemy out of the way, such that your purposes will be accomplished? Will you give the thirsty living water, such that they will not thirst again? Always God we pray, as you meet needs, will you see beyond the superficial that sometimes stalls us, and speak into the hearts of your people, we pray. Amen



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