I'm still working on memorizing the eighth chapter of Romans. So far, I have verses 22 through 39 down pretty well. This is s-l-o-w work: I am not very good at memorizing things. Still, I am excited and encouraged to press ahead.
One of the huge benefits to memorizing Scripture is that it powerfully impacts your prayer life. I can't count the number of times that, as I was praying, God brought a particular verse or passage to mind. It happened again just this morning.
My second daughter, recently engaged, is planning a wedding for early March. That's less than two months away! We have a lot of details to work out in a very short amount of time. Yesterday, we spent a good deal of time talking about the reception - location, decorations, what kind of food she would like served, what kind of beverage, etc. We have limited funds and limited space to serve, so we are having to be very thoughtful about about these decisions.
Also on the wedding to-do list is the business of something for the mother-of-the-bride to wear. At present, I do not have a suitable dress or outfit to wear to a wedding - there is nothing in my closet to pull from. I also do not have the funds to purchase something new. On top of that, I absolutely hate shopping for myself, and there are very few shopping options in my area anyway. Sigh. This should be an exciting mission to tackle, but instead, I find myself disheartened before even starting.
This morning, I was praying about these things, taking my concerns and my melancholy mood to God. And my sweet, gentle, compassionate Father said to me: Camille, do not be anxious, saying "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things...
Where did these calming words of encouragement come from? How did I know this comforting message came directly from my Father? Because He wrote them down, in Matthew 8. I just read them a few days ago as I was beginning a new read through the Bible. What struck me this morning was how the words spoke so precisely to the concerns that were troubling me: What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall I wear?
The realization that God - the almighty, sovereign Creator of the universe - would speak so gently and so directly to me moved me to tears. Not tears of worry or despair, but tears of profound gratitude. Is there anyone in the world more loved than I am, that God himself would take me in His arms and speak such sweet words to me?!
So, back to Romans 8. Even in the few verses I've memorized so far, there is so much richness and depth and sweetness. As I've been saying these verses over and over each day, one thing in particular has jumped out at me...
I do not feel like my prayer life is what it should be. So much of my prayer focuses on my own needs and concerns, or those of my family. I do not pray as often as I'd like, or with great faith. My mind wanders too much. But, in Romans 8 I am told that I have an amazing team surrounding me whenever I kneel before my Father.
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words..." (Romans 8:26)
Then in verse 34: "Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that, who was raised - who is at the right hand of God, who indeed in interceding for us."
When I go to God in prayer, I go to Him with the Holy Spirit and Jesus at my side. My prayers may not be perfect, and my faith may be weak, but you know what? They've got me covered. Just knowing that motivates me to pray like nothing else in the world.
So, what am I trying to say with all this rambling? Read your Bible. Memorize Scripture. Pray. Amazing things will happen - you'll be absolutely blown away by the goodness, grace, and sufficiency of God. He is Wonderful.
3 weeks ago