Hold my Hand

hold my hand

I carried Bud on my hip until he was about 3.  He weighed 30 or so pounds by then. I went to the doctor for what I thought was pleurisy. As it turned out, I had strained muscles from carrying around that much weight, not to mention displacing my hip that far for him to ride on. After that I made him walk on his own.  I held his hand, but he had to walk on his own.

We all get to that point sometimes where we feel like the person in the “Footprints” poem, who says to God, “But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?” to which the Lord replied, “Those times when you see only one set of footprints, it is then that I carried you.”

Thank God for those carrying moments, but sometimes we want God to carry us even though we don’t NEED God to carry us.  Like my 3 year old son.

I remember one time hiking up to Eagle Lake, near Lake Tahoe with my family.  I was pretty out of shape at the time and with my asthma, the elevation, at about 5600 feet was really getting to me.  Art kept encouraging me along, reminding me that it’s only a mile to the lake and it’s all downhill on the way back, but I finally just gave up.  I sat down on a rock and refused to budge.  Finally Art looked at me and said, “Well, I’m not going to carry you down.  You can do this.  Just take your time.”  And I got up and held his hand and made it to the lake, which was a spectacular view and the walk back was completely downhill.

hold handSometimes I think we WANT to be done.  We want God to pick us up and carry us until the rough part is over.  But God knows what we can handle and He tells us we can do it – He will hold our hand and guide us, but we need to get through this on our own two feet.  And think of how much stronger we are for having done it with God’s help, rather than having God do it for us.

…but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.

 — Isaiah 40:31

Are you going through a trying time in your life?  I would be happy to pray for you.  Leave your concern in the comments section, or shoot me an email tmorris@teressamorris.com

Pray Without Ceasing

pray without ceasing

In the time of Daniel (as in “and the lion’s den”), people who didn’t like Daniel convinced King Darius to issue a decree forbidding prayer to anyone or thing other than the king for the next 30 days.  The punishment was to be thrown into – you guessed it – the lion’s den.

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. (Daniel 6:10)

Daniel made a conscious choice to pray, and so do we – every day.  It is important to set aside special time every day to consciously praise God for His wonderful works, thank God for everything we have been given, confess to God the things we have done wrong or left undone and ask God to meet our needs and the needs of our neighbors.  The bravery Daniel showed by consciously praying at an open window during such a time is undeniable.

But there is another aspect of prayer – the breath prayer.  As a wise woman once told me, “Prayer is like breathing: you don’t think about it; you just do it.”  If we keep Scripture and Godly music in our hearts, then many times throughout the day as situations arise, a verse or song lyric may just pop in our heads and remind us of God’s love.  That is also a prayer – the kind of prayer Paul talked about when he exhorted us to “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Pray without ceasing Think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues ‘without ceasing’; we are not even conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect oneness with God but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise; it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer. Maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.” Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest: Updated Edition)

I don’t know if I could be as brave as Daniel if faced with something as horrific as the lion’s den.  But I like to think that my breath prayers would continue, as automatically as my breathing, no matter what the circumstances.