On the Road with Jesus

Do you spend a lot of time in your car? I sure do. Between running kids and running errands, I’ve probably spent half my adult life behind the wheel. It’s so easy to slip into that driver’s coma where you get from point A to point Z without exactly remembering how you got there. So much of our drive time is on auto-pilot as our minds go to that other place where we process our day and figure out all the world’s problems.

I found a way to make drive time more purposeful and productive. I ask Jesus to ride along with me. It’s amazing the things He points out to me along the way.

Landscape

The Arizona landscape is truly a sight to behold. In one car ride, I see mountains in every direction, stretches of desert with critters and cacti, golf course greens, and lots and lots of stucco houses. And everything I see inspires prayer.

  • Lord, look at that sunset. How anyone can see such beauty and not believe in You is beyond me. May Your saving love call out to everyone who sees this sunset tonight.
  • Lord, look at those quail booking it across the road. Those babies are sticking to their momma like glue. Help me, Lord, to follow You that close. I don’t want to side-step my way from Your perfect will.
  • Lord, the clouds are hanging low over the Superstition mountains today. It makes me think of Moses on the mountain with God-touched stone tablets. Etch Your Word to my heart, Lord. Transform me by the purifying fire of Your presence.
  • Lord, it’s not even Thanksgiving and those folks have their Christmas lights up! The holidays are kind of hard this year, Lord. I’ll need Your help to stay focused on the “thanks” of Thanksgiving and the “Christ” of Christmas. Light up my heart with hope, Lord Jesus.

Loved-by-God Ones

Bus stops and park benches. Crosswalks and street corners. Red lights and four-way stops. Every drive gives me glimpses of people God loves who I may never see again. Think about that for a second because it changes everything. What if we considered stop lights to be divine appointments? Woah!

  • Lord, that red-haired women in the car next to me looks as wrung-out as a dishrag. Please breathe hope into her weary soul.
  • Lord, I’d really like to give this teenage boy in the saggy jeans a piece of my mind for taking his sweet time crossing the street in front of me, but I’d rather bring him to Your mind. Call that boy out for You. Show him that You have so much more for him than what he’s living. Bring Believers into his life who can guide him in the right direction.
  • Lord, look at that momma at the bus stop trying to keep three preschoolers entertained. Please remind her that You see and that You care and that You smile with pleasure as she loves her babies well.
  • Lord, there’s a guy with a cardboard sign up ahead. How do you want me to love him for You? Yes, I’ll give him that $10 bill in my wallet. Yes, I’ll look him square in the eye. Yes, I’ll tell him how much You care.

Landmarks

As I putter down my city’s streets, it’s easy to let the landmarks I pass blur into the periphery. But when Jesus gives me His eyes, I see the significance of the structures and vehicles I often glaze over.

  • Lord, I don’t know where that ambulance is headed, but I pray You’ll go before it and care for the injured with Your miracle hands.
  • Lord, I pray that church building will be a sanctuary of truth. Call each person who passes through its doors to a deeper intimacy with You.
  • Lord, thank you for the medical staff working so hard in that clinic. Please give them the strength to extend grace and tenderness to every patient…even the ones who try their patience.
  • Lord, seeing that police car just made my toe tap my brake. I still need help with my lead foot, I suppose. Thank you for the men and women in uniform who pursue public safety even though it puts their safety at risk. Please guard them and guide them.
  • Lord, thank you for the teachers in that school who pour themselves out to fill their students with knowledge. Encourage them today as they strive to do their job with excellence despite reduced resources and increased politics.

Friend, please don’t presume I spend every minute of every drive deep in prayer. I still spend plenty of time singing radio songs at the top of my lungs. I still find myself eight miles down the road with no recollection of how I got there. But, sometimes, I yield to more than just oncoming traffic. Sometimes, I yield to His gentle nudge to see what He sees. And when I do…my little Mazda turns into a holy place.

Can you see how much better the daily commute can be when we invite Jesus to give us His eyes to see? Praying in the car turns a mundane drive into an eternally significant adventure.

Lord, You have a standing invitation to ride along with me in my little Mazda. May I see the places and people I pass through Your lens of love. Ame

 

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Wrestling with Rest

One more week of nanny life and then it’s on to the next thing God has for me. All well and good, except that He hasn’t filled me in on what that next thing is. The unknown is not a comfortable place to be. It’s an anxious place. It’s a shaky place. It’s a restless place. I don’t like it. Not one bit.

So, I find it frustrating that God keeps throwing the same word in front of my face everywhere I turn. REST.

I’m packing boxes to move for the fourth time in less than two years. How am I supposed to rest? I don’t know what the heck is going on with my life. How am I supposed to rest? I am confused, upset and disappointed. How am I supposed to rest?

Friday night, I attended the Aspire Women’s Conference with some friends. The event was on my calendar before unemployment was. I guess God knew I’d need an extra dose of truth right about now.

Gwen Smith, one of the Aspire speakers, had the nerve to get up there and talk about, of all things, REST.

Rest…right in the middle of my mess and my questions and my disappointment.

When I’m wrestling with something God wants me to know or do, I always do it in prayer. It’s that pray without ceasing thing. I can’t get away from it.

Well, today, I’m wrestling with rest. Gwen shared her take on R.E.S.T., and it’s worth sharing.

Lord,

I’m worn slap out. You’d think I’d jump at the chance to rest, but rest seems unnatural at a time like this. I need to be problem-solving and job-hunting and hoop-jumping.

But You say, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-29 NIV).

Rest is what I need, Lord. And it’s the most important thing I need to be doing right now. I must R.E.S.T. to have the strength to keep moving forward in Your plan for me.

Reflect

Hard times bring out my inner worry-wart. Jennifer Rothschild says worry is a form of meditation. I turn my troubles over and over in my mind until they become so large there’s no room for anything else. Please forgive me for worrying when You plainly told me not to (Matthew 6:25-34).

I choose to reflect on who You are and what Your Word says. Focusing on what’s wrong isn’t doing me a bit of good. Refocus me, Lord. I know the more I reflect on You, the more I will reflect You in my words, my attitudes and my actions. Oh Lord, You know my heart. You know I want to reflect You.

Engage

As I ponder who You are, I can’t help but engage with You. I need to know You more, Lord. I need to talk to You more. I need to listen to You more. I need You. 

Gwen Smith said engaging with You won’t necessarily change my circumstances, but it will change me. I want to do life Your way, Lord. The more I connect with You, the more Your character will rub off on me. Please keep me pulled in close to Your heart, Lord. I want my heart to beat in tune with Yours.

Surrender

Lord, my way isn’t working. Whatever You want to do, Lord, do it. I surrender to Your correction and Your comfort. I surrender to Your discipline and Your divine appointments. I surrender to Your will, Your way, and Your wildest dreams for my life. Where my desires don’t match up to Yours, change my mind and heart. 

Trust

Lord, I feel like the man in Mark 9 who came to You, desperate, for help with his demon-possessed son. 

“If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:22-24 NIV).

I trust You, Lord, but I don’t trust You enough. Help me to take You at Your word. Help me to believe Your words are true, even when I can’t see what You’re up to. Help me believe You’ll work even this mess out for my good and Your glory (Romans 8:28).

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust'” (Psalm 91:1-2 NIV). I will be a “whoever.” I will rest in You.

In the name of Jesus, I say AMEN

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