Dear Fast Pray-ers,
A reminder: we are praying for marriage for those who are designed for it and courage for men and women to become all of who God has created us to be. And as we pray, perhaps consider….
For almost a year, I’ve been slowly going through a devotional about hope. Most recently, I’ve liked its focus on “resurrection.” Jesus was the first to be resurrected, and his new body is simply the firstfruits of what is to come for all who are in Him. Fast forward to the reflection section at the end of this week’s devotional. The author asks: “Which areas of your current life do you fear are dead? Where do you need to see the power of the resurrection demonstrated?” (because though the real deal is still come, we get tastes of new life in this earthly one)? What would your answers be? My answers went something like this. “I need your power…
- to arouse more of a passion in me for You
- to generate intimacy in my life as the woman you created me to be, a woman building bridges between people & God, caring about community, & fanning hope in the resurrection that begins now and will one day be a done deal.”
Then I wrote, a little tentatively:
“I believe that I am a woman shaped like this” (see immediately to the right, and please forgive the sketching; this is just straight from my notebook!):
I continued jotting notes into my prayer journal…
“And yet, Lord, I fear the hope might die (and sometimes I wonder if it should) that maybe I could be connected to a man, like this…”
(see to the right, again):
“God,” I continued, “I do still desire this. But this often feels impossible to me. Please change my desire if this is not of you, not the best. But in the meantime, I’m going to ask, listen, obey, work, and hope in this direction.”
Now I knew as I wrote this that this was not a new prayer, nor one unique to me. It’s a “single woman, 101” kind of prayer, which I ‘m starting to feel too old to pray. And yet as I prayed it, as I have done many times before, I found a strange sort of freedom run through me. I recognized the growing freedom to own desires for which–when I survey the landscape, my history, and the choices available to me–I can’t see a path to realization.
So much of my life is built around what I think I see, what I can envision, and what, as a result, I can at least try to make happen. But as Larry Crabb says: “the things we desire the most, we control the least.” He’s right.
Strangely, though, the more I get a hold of the fact that the resurrection is real, that Jesus really did rise from the DEAD and that he one day will remake all things as they should be….the more I find courage to name the places where I long to see his resurrection power shine today. He may or may not turn a dead-like area into life. I know that. But I can ask–and I encourage you to ASK–boldly. For if he says no, it is okay. The ultimate YES to our deepest desires is coming–it is just a matter of time; Jesus’ resurrection is the guarantee.
So this week, keep offering your desires to the Lord. His power is at work.