We pulled into the parking lot of the small strip mall where our church is located. As soon as the front wheels turned into the lot, I immediately felt the tires struggling to gain traction on the slush and ice covered lot. We moved slowly out of the flow of traffic from the clear main road and about 15 yards up. I once again felt the grabbing of the tires, far away from one of the cleared parking places.
We were sitting sideways and seemed out of reach of any parking place while the tires spun freely in all gears, including reverse. I remember from my years in Colorado the best approach is the ‘rocking’ back and forth. It was no use. We were stuck. I didn’t give it much thought. I knew (and expected) eventually either Paul or someone would help push us off the ice.
Sure enough, not two minutes later the Pastor and one of the church members came out and pushed us free.
As I sat in church I listened to the Pastor’s words. He began his sermon on “What it Means to be Followers of Jesus”. The first thing he mentioned was from A.C. Dixon, The Necessity of Prayer. Dixon said: ‘...our weakness appeals to God’s strength.’
Immediately my mind flashed back to our ‘slippery’ situation earlier in the morning. I thought about many times in my life when I feel weak! I find myself sliding out of control; unable to make wise decisions, unable to hear anything but the gnashing of my own teeth and my own clanging cymbals.
Don’t get me wrong…I pray. I pray a lot! I pray out loud. I pray throughout the day. But I don’t always pray with expectation and the hope of that strength God can offer.
I thought about how often I give up far too soon and way before I’ve heard back on a request…a prayer, to the Almighty, ALL POWERFUL GOD; Creator of the Universe.
Then God showed me, in the vision, how there was NO WAY I would just get out of my car when it was stuck and just leave it there and ‘give-up’ on it. I would’ve sat in that car rocking back and forth till every bit of ice beneath my tires was burned to evaporative fog, before I just got out of my car and ‘gave up’!
Why am I not willing to be as tenacious and combative in my own prayer life? Why then do I settle for less than what God has to say about something…EVERY something I encounter? What is it God is trying to show me other than my deficit?
God wants me to know not only how much He wants to hear from me; throughout the day, God also wants me to wait…and listen to His voice in response to those prayers. God wants me to see that my faith in Him is contingent on total reliance of Him; in word and action. God wants me to know that as I speak and listen to Him in prayer, my slipping and sliding come to an utter standstill and my life is once again in full contact with the smooth roads ahead.
God gave me a vision today, one that didn’t shed such a pretty light on me. It is truth. It begs growth. He is the only way safely off the ice and onto His clear and smooth path.
Here is my prayer today: God help me to pray without ceasing; listen to your voice and respond in obedience to your will, not mine. Oh and Father, please keep the really dangerous drivers far, far away from me!