Okay, so I’ve got a rebellious 😉 daughter with purple streaks in her hair, I’ve gone wonky about time, money, stuff and God…and now THIS. The frosting on the cake, so to speak. Now, I’ve got a son who has been nailed by the police.
Yep, the whole story came out last night at dinner when Deniecia turned and said, “Mom, did Jeffrey tell you about the police that came after him…”
Jeff and I both stopped eating and looked at Jeffrey – panic trying to drizzle over me like an ice cream cone in August. “Uh, no Son, we missed this story – why don’t you fill in the missing pieces?”
And so the story tumbles out. He had been sitting in one of his favorite places in town, near the little bridge, beside the river next to the train tracks. He went to sit there to think – to pray – and to throw rocks into the water and listen to their echo as they hit the water. Apparently someone saw him there, thought he was in danger and called the police. (I’m certain that whoever saw him there has no concept of how hard it can be to try and find a good thinking spot in the midst of town, let alone in the midst of a family of 9.) 😀
As we talked, the biggest issue that Jeffrey had was that this took away the best place in town to pray and think – a place where you can hear the rocks hitting the water and have this continual awareness that there is so much more down in that little river than meets the eye. “It gives me a sense of how BIG God’s world is, when I do that. When you drop the rocks over the edge and listen to the delay before they splash, followed by the echoes that they make – well, It’s like music. It’s perfect, I just love it.”
When he said that, my mind began to wander – that is a perfect explanation of where we are. We’re sitting near the bridge, beside the river, next to the train tracks – and for those who don’t understand it, where we are sitting is dangerous. For us, there is no other place we’d rather be. We are relishing in the sound of the echoes of the work that the Lord is doing in our lives.
As we grow in our understanding of what it means to be stewards for the Most High God, it is changing how we interact with our world.
For one, our understanding of time is changing. Father God has indeed commanded us to have dominion. However, we believe that dominion does not extend over time. He, alone, is Lord over time. Rather than have dominion over, we are called to steward time – another reason that maintaining our home has become an act of warfare. We’re in battle against the temptation to use our time for something less than His highest. (And these sunny, warm, delicious days make that temptation even greater) 🙂 AND less than His highest could mean we work, instead of making cookies. There is a measure of walking closely enough to Him to know what His highest purpose for the day is.
Our understanding of prayer is changing. When I send one child to call another, I say, “Tell them that Mom said….” That way, the speaker carries with them the authority of the Mama. (cue the heavy music) So too in the way we approach prayer. When I pray, I carry with me the authority of the One who sent me. I am a steward of the Most High God. I am speaking as His liaison. It changes how I pray and how I see prayer.
(I wish to clarify this quickly – feel free to ask if you have further questions, if it’s not clear enough. Not sure I have the answers, but I will share what we’ve learned thus far. When I say that I am speaking as His liaison, that doesn’t mean I pray MY agenda with some new authority. On the contrary, when I send one child to call another “in my name” they are speaking the heart of the Sender, not their own. So too when I pray. I pray the heart of Father – which means, of course, I spend time with Him and His Word, so I can know His heart. Because of this, my prayer time has grown in length and I continue to pray that it will grow in power. This desire for power in my prayer closet is not birthed out of, “Hey, check Dawn out, she’s got a powerful prayer ministry.” Let’s be brutally honest here – how hard would it be for me to fall into sin in some way or another and blow that ministry? Exactly. SO, I want to pray in power because that’s what Jesus said we should expect to do. I want to pray in power, because that’s what God’s people need. I want to pray in power, because the Cross has grown in size in my mind – and that INCREDIBLE sacrifice has already wrought that power. I want power in prayer simply because I can’t bear the thought of entering heaven, only to find that there were many lives that Father intended my prayers to touch. I want to pray in power because my Father says that He delights in doing abundantly far more than I ask or think. I can ask a WHOLE lot – so that must mean that He wants to answer prayers that are FAR OUT…and that requires power.)
Our understanding of warfare is changing. We were both raised in evangelical mainstream denominations, but then moved more toward a charismatic church experience. Since then, we’ve found ourselves operating from a Reformed standpoint. (Which is surprising in the midst of our Anabaptist area.) However, the Lord continues to teach us about spiritual warfare. There are things that we do that are warfare, because they demonstrate a heart at rest, a heart at peace and a heart that trusts. This is not the response of a Believer on the run from the enemy – it’s one who knows their God and their heart is safely His. It’s the response of someone who realizes that their God is THE MOST HIGH God.
In addition to warfare, our understanding of relationship with Father is changing. In some ways, we have been extraordinarily blessed in our previous understanding. We knew that Father was personal, intimate and nearby – but this is in a whole new way. You see, we believed that the “best” way for the Lord to make us more like Christ was through adversity. What we’re finding instead is that He’s much more creative than that. He *might* use sickness, although, He is just as likely to use health. He *might* use financial strain, but He’s just as likely (or more, in my case) to use wealth. He *might* use frightening circumstance, but He’s just as likely to use blessings. He is not limited in any way. In all things, the echoes of our understanding of being stewards has caused us to see God as bigger.
Bigger than what? Everything. Anything. All things. He is just bigger. Bigger than my fears, bigger than our circumstances, bigger than our plans, bigger than our ideas, bigger than our dreams, bigger than anything that we can contrive in our minds or imaginations. He is bigger.
So, as He continues to change us – to put us in positions where we can see Him move in new ways, we get to listen to the echoes of His hand in our lives. And they are like music to our ears.