The buzz of my alarm greeted my ears this morning at 5:30AM, and I found myself instantly missing waking up with the sunrise time on the daily for work.
As I have transitioned out of a three-and-a-half-year period of working at coffee shops just this past week, it has not taken long for me to realize how much I will miss barista-ing– how much I miss, and feel called to, tangibly serving people. Many of my most precious relationships have been formed with me on the serving side of a coffee shop counter, and I am forever passionate about the way God can work through these little encounters.
Alas, though, this morning’s early start was not welcomed by coffee & customers, but by church family & prayer: equally, if not more, a blessing. My church, C3KW, hosts morning prayer every Wednesday at 6:30AM to spend time in the Word, to pray for each other, to pray for our city, and to pray for our church.
This morning, I was overwhelmed by the sheer blessing of this community, and its commitment to seeking God’s will and heart first and foremost. And while the past couple of weeks have been, for me, emotionally and spiritually exhausting, I was convicted that this morning was not about that, but felt heavily called to focus on the steadfastness of my God.
I’ve been thinking so much about the fact that what our society deems as the “highs” and “lows” of living are really good at testing our faith and identity in Jesus, who NEVER changes. Am I rocked or is my spirit shaken because I’m uncertain of my next career move (or insert circumstance of suffering or uncertainty)? If my entire identity is in Jesus, then no, I should not be.
And His Spirit made that true in my life and heart this morning. I am filled to the brim with joy because of who Jesus is, alive in my life and working all things for the good of His Kingdom.
The eyes of all look to you,PSALM 145:16-17
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
And when, after prayer, my dear friend Alicia asked me if she could buy me a coffee, I felt stirred and overcome by the need to chat with her.
We can be so selfish. But when we allow the Spirit to give us His eyes, He often points out opportunities and people and pathways we were otherwise blind to. Time in prayer only helps us to be more in tune with what He is ALWAYS doing.
After a couple minutes of refusing her gift before submitting to the generousity, it was over a much-appreciated blonde roast that I told Alicia to forgive me if I was inarticulate, but that I needed to get my own thoughts out of the way because the Lord was speaking loudly to my spirit about her.
Since I first met Alicia at church, I have felt a deep connection to her; a feeling that we were similar.
And this morning, God showed up and reminded us both that we were firmly rooted in Him. That with our identity in Him, we could not be shaken.
We prayed against lies that had been believed in both of our lives in very different circumstances, but lies just the same. And Truth, unmistakable Truth, Truth in the Word of God that cannot be argued with, came in and set the record straight.
The ambiguity is uncanny, I know. But the point remains that the only way to retrain bad thoughts is to replace them with God’s Truth.
Which, guess what? Says that He is trustworthy in ALL of His promises; upholds ALL who fall; has compassion on ALL He has made; is slow to anger and rich in love. Is most worthy of praise, and whose greatness cannot be fathomed (Psalm 145).
In a matter of a morning, my mindset about my circumstances has been radically shifted by the God who is alive today in Jesus. I mean wholeheartedly that my joy is complete in Him… and He’s made it real in my life.
A deep “real” that has starkly reminded me of three things that I believe we are each called to do every day as human beings “in the world, but not of it.”
- Get yourself in THE WORD. Get lost in it again and again. I don’t care if you’ve never opened a Bible or if you’ve read it cover to cover fifty times. Absolutely soak yourself in it. Don’t know where to start? As a wise mentor of mine once said, “Soak yourself in the Psalms.”
- Practice intimacy with THE PERSON. The God of the Bible, the God of Christianity, is just as alive today as He was 2000 years ago in the flesh. Today, He is the Holy Spirit. If you haven’t already, invite Him into your heart, and then get to know Him as fully God and fully human; as your best friend, Father, Creator, Saviour, Shelter, Light, “I AM.”
- Be in community with THE PEOPLE. His heart is all about His people. We are the reason He came, suffered, and died brutally. It is unfathomable, unstoppable love; and, as His body, we are called to share that love with others. In addition to serving His people through our own unique gifts, we are blessed to be filled up by others; interceded for; and loved on. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” PROVERBS 27:17
I pray today that unshakable Truth would absolutely permeate your life today, reader: the one who wrote you into existence and calls you by name each and every day knows a thing or two about it.