Stories of a good God

Archive for the ‘listening prayer’ Category

Be still and know that I AM God…X marks the spot – God is Good!

Sometimes the bay where I walk is unusually still; barely a ripple shifts the surface tension of the waters. At other times, the wildness of the weather comes straight from an Emily Brontë novel and the wind whips, forming waves that surge upon the sand.

Regardless of weather, these days God is often speaking as I walk. It could be the lack of quietness in our home because of a full house in lockdown. It maybe I just haven’t stopped, made room. It may just be where He speaks now…

Who am I to question?

We have a full, noisy house…

My husband and daughter work in my home office. My husband at my desk; my daughter at another desk. My son sits in his bedroom, where he has attended most of his first year of high school.

Then there are zoom ballet lessons 6 days a week (day and night at various times). Ballet music fills our living area, which is open plan to our kitchen and dining area. This means that I often duck and weave the camera as I make yet another cup of tea…

My daughter has a habit of settling herself where her mood suits – her desk in my office, her bedroom, chasing the sun outside, at the dining table (which is my favourite place to work).

It is a full, noisy house…

It’s not that I mind noise – sometimes. However, having nowhere to retreat that is free of invasion by good meaning family members is challenging, especially when you feel called into a quiet time with God.

Sometimes I like to have a quiet sit with God; other times, it’s a wild worship in the living area. I may journal, prophetically play music, shout, sing, complete prophetic acts… what I sense Him asking of me, I do, as best I can.

I have not had the luxury of uninterrupted alone time in our house since mid-March 2020.

Playing musical rooms with my laptop, with no place to settle… God still calls…

He’s not interested in my excuses, my reasons, my habits, he sees them all anyway.

I moved a small table from my office into my bedroom – not ideal, but it was a little desk where I could zoom, or write, or do admin, etc. The afternoon sunlight streams into the room and brings me quiet joy. Having a zoom call in my bedroom is not ideal, but we make the most of it.

25 weeks of zoomed ballet classes later, I still sit and write in my bedroom… it’s our ‘new normal’.

I can hear the music of my son’s ballet class. The ballet mistress makes corrections, sometimes with kindness, and at other times…

I pray for the person who is the focus of a harsh word as I walk through to my kitchen for a cup of tea.

As a prophetic ‘feeler’, the people, the noise, the news reports, the aggression, the fear, the frustration, the sadness, the intensity of emotions can overwhelm. Many of you feel the same way.

I can walk into a shop, and feel the emotion. I often know the challenges on a person. The atmosphere in a store can slap and if someone is hurting, if someone has been dabbling in the occult, I often sense it.

The atmosphere here in Melbourne Australia has been intense. I’m sure it has been intense in many places around the world, yet, I am still called to Him. I have no excuse.

Being in Him with intentionality is the most refreshing place to be…

Each day I walk, and each day He speaks. Regardless of whether I’m listening, He speaks. He loves me enough to always be speaking, to always be present, it’s just whether I’m present to Him. Am I centring myself in His heart beat for myself, my family, my friends, for the nation…

He speaks, and He shows me that:

He is my refuge.

He is my strength.

He is my God in whom I can trust…

If I will just stop and press in, if I will stop doing… if I will…

 

Be still and know that He is God… (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

The stillness in the storm: x marks the spot
©Beth Kennedy 2020

 

‘X’ marks the spot.

God needs to be the centre of our frame, the centre of our image.

He calls us to walk on water…

There may well be a storm brewing around us, but yet He calls…

There is a place of stillness in the storm and it’s in Him, at His centre…

Will I answer the call?

Will you answer the call?

Will we answer the call together?

If we do, I believe that the earth will see that He is the shelter and as His hand delivers us, they will also see that…

God is Good!

Sometimes it’s the little things that count … October 2010

I have never finished writing up the story of the kindy teacher and her husband.  Life got busy and the journey on this one was intense.  It was, as many stories, one that did not finish with the first, or the second encounter, but as with life with God, there was a journey to be had … for both the teacher and her husband … and me.

It was not long after I had attended the ICU the second time, and had the feedback that L was doing really well, that I dropped my son M off at kindy for his session and received a very aggressive response from the kindy teacher.   L had suddenly gone backwards, and had started to experience arrhythmia (a disturbed heart rhythm).  While some arrhythmias don’t affect your overall health, others are more serious, even life threatening … and L’s were apparently serious enough to require surgery and from memory a  a pace maker to regulate his heart beat.

Now while I knew I was not responsible, I felt responsible.  I barely made it back to the car before the tears started and by the time I was home I was a sobbing mess.  I called a friend, an older wiser Christian, who encouraged me, said it was part of the battle, and that it would be ok … and after the phone call, even though I wanted to call another friend to wallow in my misery, I knew that God expected me to come to Him, to appeal to Him, to take my heart break to Him … so I did …

I spent time pouring out my heart. I spent some time praying.  I spent time declaring.  I spent time worshiping. And then I listened … and all I got was to go shopping for the kindy teacher, to give her a decent serve of my bolognaise sauce with some spaghetti pasta and to fill er cupboards with wholesome nourishing food … and a few treats.  I knew she didn’t need me to give her Christian platitudes, or to even offer to pray again … she was angry with me and angry at God because her husband had taken a set back, she was rejecting me, and with me she was rejecting my God and I felt like a failure.

I did what I was told, feeling all the while helpless and frustrated … I felt like I had given them hope and I felt responsible for the let down … I felt responsible for “failing” them … and I knew the kindy teacher felt the same way … she was icy and angry!

I pulled myself together, bought the bits and pieces I felt to buy her and braced myself for the kindy pickup.

I quietly left the package with the teacher, explaining what was in the package of groceries for her, including the bolognaise sauce and spaghetti pasta, I got my son and left … telling her that I would continue to pray, and that I was sad there had been a set back.

The next time I saw her she gave me back my bags with a note, her demeanour completely changed … she said that what I had done was in her view the “most Christian thing anyone could ever do” … she had completely melted … through one act of kindness … through a bag of groceries and a cooked dinner … through an act … through a doing word … through His Love …

I was shocked, but relieved … and it had been God that had give me the solution … no trying to fix it in my own strength was going to work … instead I had to come to Him and listen … so that I could release His desire for her, so that I could hear what she needed … not what I wanted to do … which by this stage was to run!

She said no-one had ever shown her such kindness, and that she believed that what I had done was truly what it was to be a Christian (not that I agree since my father, who was at best agnostic often did acts of kindness for people but it’s what she thought one was) … and all I had done was to show her LOVE as a verb rather than say the word LOVE as a noun … I had shopped, given her some groceries and given her a meal in a challenging and scary time …

There is no way I could have known what an impact that one act would have  … but God knew … and that one act of kindness seemed to open the door of her heart … and you will see, as the next chapter unfolds, that while He used me in Australia he was preparing another in South Africa … where He was lining up lives, situations and people all for the kindy teacher and her husband because …

God is Good!

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