Watching and Waiting

Today’s post, Watching and Waiting, is written by my writer-friend, Phyllis Farringer.

Our house backs up to a woods. Deer, wild turkeys, ground hogs and other wildlife wander into our yard with some frequency. There has even been an occasional bobcat. Such wanderings create an animated response in our dog, Maggie. Her dancing and barking alerts us to the presence of whatever creature has caught her attention.

Because she has frequently discovered animal presence in the yard, Maggie often stations herself by the bay window in our den that faces the woods. She watches attentively to see if anything might appear again. As a result of her watchful pose, she is generally the first in the house to see any visitors emerge from the woods. She often brings to our attention something we would have otherwise missed, because she is the one who is watching.

Just this morning Maggie barked her excitement and drew me to the window. At first when I looked out I didn’t see anything. But then, when I looked a little harder I saw a doe standing still, and blending into the background so well she was barely visible. Then I caught a slight movement through the leaves of the brush beside her. I soon realized there were several deer with her. Just a casual glance would not have revealed any of them. In the summer, when the vegetation is much thicker, I probably wouldn’t see them at all.

The spiritual application seems obvious. God is active in our world, but His presence may be missed by those who are not looking for Him. If we were as diligent to look for Him as Maggie is about looking for activity at the edge of the woods, His work in our lives would be more apparent. God is working in every situation, but so often what He does is attributed to “coincidence” or “fate.” We may miss answers to prayer because we are not looking for His answer, or He answers differently than we expect.

The woods behind our house is teeming with wild creatures. I have never seen most of them, but I have enough evidence to know they are there. God has given us enough evidence that we can know He is there as well. We see His creative beauty all around us. He speaks life, guidance and hope through the Scriptures. He speaks to us through our circumstances.

What if we watched for His activity in our lives in the same way Maggie watches for activity in the woods? God has promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20, Ps 46:1). He has promised that if we seek Him with our whole heart we will find Him. (Jeremiah 29:13).

Watch for Him. You may be amazed by what you see.

Phyllis Farringer delights in proclaiming God’s goodness. Her work has appeared in various periodicals including Decision Magazine, Focus on the Family publications, and Christianity Today Bible Studies. She has also written for several compilations including Cup of Comfort for Moms and God Allows U-Turns. She and her husband live in North Carolina. They have two married children and seven grandchildren.

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In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pray First

Courtesy WikimediaThis past week I’ve been busy getting several writing projects finished, and sent to their respective audiences. I still have a long writing to do list sitting in front of me.

All this busyness does not, of Stack of Bookscourse, even touch on the other things which need attention in my life. Pilot. Kirby. Bear. Me. Emails to answer. Books to read. Knitting projects. House and yard to contend with. Exercise.

Let’s see…what have I forgotten? Oh, yeah. God.

OUCH.

Courtesy WikimediaNot that I have forgotten God, actually, but I noticed the other morning, He did not come first, as is my norm. I know if I do not start my day off with time devoted to listening and talking to God, I get busy with one thing after another, and before long, it’s lunch time, and I’ve neglected my time alone with the Creator of the Universe. Not good.

In my mind’s eye, when I neglect to have my prayer time first thing, I see a look of disappointment on Jesus’ face. I also see Satan doing a happy dance.

Sure, I send up prayers throughout the day, but I need to sit before the throne of grace early in the morning. Every morning.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am still learning how to be still before God. I’m learning how to slow down my busyness, and just sit. Operative word — learning.

Prayer is a privilege we have been granted through the torn curtain, which was the body of Christ on the cross. Through prayer, we are allowed access to the King of Kings and LORD of lords. Oh. My. Goodness.

Think of how much we look forward to spending time with a loved one. Wouldn’t we set aside our busyness to spend quality time with them? Multiply that feeling, and realize how much greater it is to spend time with our Savior.

Lord, every morning you hear my voice.
    Every morning, I tell you what I need,
    and I wait for your answer.  Psalm 5:3

Do you need to slow down your busyness to spend time with God?

I wish you well.

Sandy

PS

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