A Morning Prayer

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Dear God,

This young morning is

Soft and

Peach and

Dusty and

Slow and

Gentle.

 

I am

Hurt and

Tear-filled and

Selfish and

Perhaps most of all

I am

Scared.

 

Afraid of what ugliness this beautiful new day might hold for me.

Afraid to trust in Your goodness.

Afraid of still not seeing results.

Afraid of deserving the hurt that I feel.

Afraid of using too many words

Or not enough.

 

This morning is

Beautiful—I am not.

 

Thank you for growing me the same way that

You grow the morning.

Slowly and gently.

You are insistent—like spreading light—

But there is a kind silkiness within your expectation

Of steadfast faith from me.

You promise perfection and completion.

(James 1:2-4)

 

Dear Lord,

You are the Spirit

And where your Spirit is,

There is

Sweet,

Beautiful

Freedom.

Degree by degree,

You reveal your glory to me.

Transform me.

(2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

 

You bring shivers to my skin,

Tears to my eyes,

Hope to my heart,

Peace to my soul.

 

The way that you bring me to you is beautiful.

I love to be with you.

I am learning that

You are all that I need

Because there are so many days when it is

Evident that really,

You are all that I have.

 

Dear God,

You are soft and patient and gentle.

Thank you.

I will keep trying.

 

 

Amen.

 

The Art of Celebration

The past week felt like a string of mistakes.

Days that started out with me wanting to serve Jesus in every moment, but ended up with me feeling empty, angry, and alone.

Sometimes I feel that the wonder of Jesus is lost on me. Have I lost the joy of my salvation? Do I celebrate my freedom?

If I am truly free, why do I feel as though I bear such a heavy burden so much of the time? The burden of self and condemnation.

I overcomplicate things. I place too much importance and responsibility on myself. I dwell on how I can fix my problems rather than going to Jesus. I grasp at the fruits of the Spirit, but forget that it is the Spirit that I should be reaching for.

There is a song that I have been listening to a lot lately—“Boldly I Approach (The Art of Celebration)” by Rend Collective. There is a telltale shiver that comes to me in moments I feel God’s presence particularly strongly. This song brings that shiver to me.

Its words bring many questions to my mind.

When condemnation grips my heart and Satan tempts me to despair, do I give in to him or do I turn to Jesus?

Do I believe that Jesus shields my soul eternally?

Do I allow Jesus to fight for me, and then praise him for doing that?

Do I live a life of celebration?

I believe that I should be. I like the song calls it the art of celebration. It gives me the idea that celebration is something that must be chosen and studied and striven for. An art is never perfected through laziness. Perhaps the art of celebration is the one of the hardest to perfect.

What does celebration look like when you are driving home at the end of a day that you wish had never happened?

What does celebration look like when you mess up- again?

What does celebration look like when you are too tired to do the things that you need to do and life looks too long?

What does celebration look like when you are disappointed?

The art of celebration. Choosing to believe that you are redeemed, free, and valuable even when circumstances seem to contradict that. Choosing to hope. Choosing to go to Jesus when you would rather look away.

We are free and we are hopeful. We have every reason to celebrate. Even on the bad days. Perhaps especially on the bad days.

 

What does celebration look like in your life?