Hey everyone, just wanted to include this recent blog post from Lori Lawe. Check out her new blog too with some excellent blog posts, just click on the title below that is linked to her site...
Another Episode of Friends – Part 3 - (by Lori Lawe)
My answer was found in a dusty, stinky, mouse infested room that our church rented out. OK, the mice came later. And after I cleaned it a few times, the dust left too. And the door open wide fixes the musty air problem. Don’t spoil the effect for me.
As I was saying, I started spending an evening, then two, then an hour in the early morning, in this little room our church rented as a prayer room. The story of this prayer room is the topic of another blog, but I slowly learned to experience more of our Savior, even to learn to hear His voice somewhat, in this room.
My listening to God life was on an exponential s-shaped growth curve at that time. I was learning how best to experience Him through trial and error, and via reading what I could on prayer on the side. And my life would never be the same.
What I discovered was that even though I would come to the prayer room each time, barely able to drag my huge bag of cares, worries and concern behind me, that if I set aside this bag, and listened to Him, then in the end this bag would be dealt with.
Sometimes I would take the items out of my bag one by one, and hold them up before God – a worry here, an unmet need there, a friendship struggle here, a parenting concern there. Sometimes He would ask me to set the whole bag aside, and to dance with him the whole time I was there.
Sometimes I would point to the bag, remind Him of the bag, ask if He noticed how heavy the bag was, and still (some days) He would ignore the bag of burdens. Maybe He would ask me to write an encouraging note to a friend – “But my bag?” I would ask Him. And yet joy always came from following Him, so I would spend the entire time writing the note to a friend. Sometimes it would be in the car ride on the way home that the heavy bag of burdens that I was carrying would somehow end up being a lot smaller.
Sometimes as I held up each item to show Him, I would realize that my worries were like those of a child, and proven to be relatively unimportant with My Father in the room. Sometimes He would ask me to dig for a small item in the very, very bottom of my bag, and all the time in the prayer room I was fighting with Him about it, as He wanted me to give him the small item that I was hiding. And surprisingly it was this tiny item that carried most of the weight of my burden.
Sometimes He would point out another bag of invisible burdens that I hadn’t even noticed was there. He would ask me to give Him this invisible bag. And then the bag that I could see that I was carrying shrunk as I obeyed. Sometimes He would speak to me, about an item I had brought with me in my bag, or about any of the other items that He gently and lovingly spoke to me about. He would say a word or two, as He looked in my eyes with love, and beckoned me to throw the burden away.
I would protest, speak, but He would be gone. In a flash, leaving me with a decision – to obey or not to obey? To throw the item into the prayer room trash can, or to put it back in my bag, weighing me down again? And as I obeyed, I could dance again, my spirit light, my heart singing in the car on the way home. Again.
And I found I looked forward to these encounters with increasing regularity. Not unlike garbage piling up on the side of the curb, and as it piles up and we notice it growing, and we long, long, long, for the truck to take the filth away. So I longed for my friend in our appointment in the prayer room. Oh, did I mention the word, “friend?” Yes, He became my very best friend. Not in a cheesy, incomprehensible way. But in truth. In joy. In love. But more on that tomorrow.
Jesus took my burden and left me with a song. Johnson Oatman