Unhurryup!™ into Easter #24

Lean into God's love, centering your attention and focus toward Him.

Light a candle to echo your heart prayer: 
"God of light, please shine in the darkness."

Take a few deep breaths and listen to the sound the candle makes...
Ask the Lord to fill you with a gentle, steady light.

Evaluate honestly how you are as you come into His presence.
As you come to be with God in these moments, take heed of what feels noisy in your life/world?
Is it internal, or external?
What part of your life is noisily demanding your attention? (Is it vocational noise? relational noise? conscience noise? financial noise? busyness noise? health noise? etc)

How do you feel about that "noisy" part of your life?

Take a few breaths and pray...
"Here I am Lord...come and quiet me with Your Love..." (Zeph. 3.17)

Notice what stirs your soul as you interact with the following:

Jesus asks a simple question: 
"Who do people say that I am?"
 “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
Mark 8: 27-29
The very next verse, after Peter's high and holy declaration of Jesus being Messiah, Jesus begins to teach his disciples how he will soon suffer. Peter, who just decidedly declared Jesus as the Messiah, now decidedly rebukes Jesus for talking about suffering. And from his perspective, rightly so. As a good Jewish boy, Peter was taught the Messiah would never suffer, never submit and never serve. In one sentence Peter declares Jesus as Messiah - in the next He is rebuking the Messiah. 
More often than not, I find my faith as fickle as Peter's. One minute I feel able to fling out my whole life in complete abandoned trust of God. I sing about how much I want to love and follow Him in full surrender and I earnestly pray for a life of love and generosity and trust, opening my hands and heart and life to Him with sincerity. Then two hours (or sometimes twenty minutes) later I can't even have patience with the "idiot" who cuts in front of me in traffic! I withhold stopping to listen to my elderly neighbor because I'm in a hurry to get to my Bible Study. On a whim I justify spending money that I sensed that God was asking me to share with the hungry on a new book - that will go into a lineup of about six new books that will help me to become a better minister.
Peter gives me hope. Peter who has such great and boisterous faith...fails boldly...often... And we who've read the story know there are more failures to come for Peter. Though in some moments Jesus' words to Peter are harsh and shocking...overall, even Peter's bold failures are unable to mess up Jesus' love for him.
Lord, in the midst of the ongoing contradictions 
of my desired and actual faith,
Have mercy.
Take me as you find me...all my fears and failures...
And fill my life again...

In what ways have you seen great faith in your life? 
In what ways have you failed (maybe even boldly)?
Can you for a minute, hold both of these, your failures and your faith, in God's presence.
Ask God, "Lord, what do you want me to pay attention to here?"

Take 3-5 minutes in silence to listen to what He might be inviting you toward.

Trust Him to open your heart toward fully receiving and living into His love.

As you leave this space, ask God for the grace to be with him in great faith
and to turn to him in great failure, even when these are on the heels of one another.

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All written material unless otherwise noted copyrighted 2011 Paula Gamble.