Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Name - Beginnings - Chapter One, part 2

Photo from here

Sophie was still thinking about the passage when Betsi called later in the morning. Her friend was eager to find out how her first real morning quiet time had turned out.
“How was it?” Betsy was always direct and to the point, just one of the reasons Sophie considered her one of her best friends!
“As soon as I sat down and began to pray, it was as if my brain had a mind of its own! Every negative thought I have ever had or heard about myself was racing around up there! Plus I’m not sure I can tell the difference between His voice and my own thoughts…that one rolled around for a little while! But I did push through and I was able to read through the passage 3 times before Peter woke up!”
Her friend’s voice sparkled. “That’s great! ­­­­­Not the struggle, but that you persevered and were able to read through the verses in triplicate. And I so identify with what you were going through! Although MY brain leans more towards listing every little task I have to do for the day AND the rest of the week! And the little people seemed to wake up early a lot when I was first starting my quiet time routine, too. But what I have learned, at least for myself, was that those distracting thoughts really were floating around my head all the time. In fact, I didn’t think of them as a distraction at all - more like my gift of administration operating constantly. But when the thoughts interrupted my attempts to deepen my relationship with God, they just didn’t feel “Spirit-led” anymore. But that’s another story. Oh, and you know Glenda? She used to be in my small group at Bible Study…she tried to have her quiet times at 10:00 a.m. and she said that she never heard her phone ring more or have people ring the front door bell as often as they did when she was trying to pray! So she went back to an early morning time and has kept that ever since!”
“Another thing is…I don’t know if I am doing this right,” Sophie confessed. “I have this vague feeling that I HAVE done something wrong, or I AM DOING something wrong and any moment now – WHAMMY – something will happen that is the punishment for whatever that thing is, but I still won’t know exactly what is wrong! And I am certainly not feeling peaceful and I am not feeling closer to God, or even that He loves me SO much that He would send His Son to die for me! It’s more like He HAD to send His Son BECAUSE of me!”
Sophie could sense her friend’s smile over the receiver, and when Betsy continued, her voice was gently comforting.
“Those feelings aren’t coming from our Heavenly Father, or from the Lover of our souls, our Lord Jesus,” she stated quietly. “They might be thoughts interjected by one of satan’s cohorts; or the thoughts could be coming from your own mind.” Betsy spoke knowingly, as Sophie had shared more of her past with her than with any other person in her life. “Or she knows from experience,” thought Sophie.
“ No matter where they are originating,” Betsy went on, “the Lord means for you to push through them as you did this morning, and maybe even confront them. Just don’t believe them!”
Betsy’s words seemed to wrap Sophie’s heart in warm golden love. Tears pooled in the corners of her eyes and she couldn’t speak for a moment as peace flooded her being. Betsy knew God’s truth had just penetrated Sophie’s soul.
“That’s what His truth feels like,” Betsy whispered into the airway.
The friends said a quick good-bye, each standing at their kitchen counters in the midst of His.Holy.Presence.