Yesterday after finishing my blog, I found myself motivated to tackle my “pile of laundry.” If you didn’t read my blog (Moving Forward) yesterday, you may want to take a look at it, because let’s call this Part II of that blog! Anyway, I headed down the basement to conquer my laundry and to my surprise, the laundry was no longer laying on the floor. It had been folded mysteriously by someone (someone also known as Pete)!
Jeremiah 29:12-13 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
So when I came to God and begged for His help with my laundry, He had already answered. Can’t you just see Him laughing at me? I had been avoiding my basement because I couldn’t even stand the sight of all that laundry – and I was avoiding it for no reason because it had been cleaned up. I had been turning my back on the sight of that pile because I couldn’t face what needed to be done. I had lost my motivation. So when I prayed for God’s help, not only had he provided someone to do it for me, BUT He gave me the motivation to go down and look for the pile of laundry!
Since the laundry had been finished for me, I was motivated to do more. I made 6 doctor appointments for kids that I had been postponing, I spent time reading and taking notes on a bible study, I made it to the grocery (which I had been avoiding for several days too), and I found time to praise God for all He had done for me.
Confidence was all I needed. Doubt was pushed away. All of this only happened because I prayed to God with my whole heart; knowing and believing that He would somehow help me conquer this pile of laundry.
God even reinforced His message a little more clearly for me through a friend. You see, I had a coffee date with a friend yesterday morning and I had forgotten all about it. She called me, worried of course because I hadn’t shown up. I apologized profusely because I had been so overwhelmed, I hadn’t even checked my calendar that morning. We began talking and she shared with me a prayer that she had prayed for her family the night before. She had finally let go of her worries and called upon God (just like the verses in Jeremiah above). When she did this, then God gave her exactly what she asked for. It happened to her, not once but twice that very day. It was amazing!
What struck me about this conversation was that God not only wanted me to see my friend’s excitement about what had happened, but He wanted me to see that I too can do this. When we seek God with our whole heart (putting aside selfish desires and control), then we see God’s Will, and we can also see what is blocking God’s Will. At this point, our prayers become real and genuine. We know what is needed to take on our day.
I have always felt that persistent prayer is NOT about changing God’s mind, but about changing our own mind. Our prayers as we pray them over and over become genuine; they stray from our selfish desires and move toward God’s desires.
I knew that laundry was just a part of the problem. What was revealed to me that morning was that I couldn’t get past the barrier of the laundry, and because of that my whole world seemed impossible and overwhelming. There was so much more going on in my mind and in my thoughts. The laundry just aggravated it to the point beyond no control. My breaking point was a compilation of many things: driving around my kids all afternoon, the work around my home, the errands that I couldn’t get to, the doctor appointments that needed scheduled, the meetings for my volunteer projects, and my own personal time with God. When I realized (after talking to my friend) that this driving around madness was going to end. My daughter’s sports practices would be done the beginning of December, and life would get back to a manageable point. When I pushed away myself and let God take over is when my prayers were answered. I prayed with my whole heart. I told God – I cannot do this alone. He knew that I was at my breaking point, but I had to realize that I was hitting rock bottom before He could help me.
God wants to help us. Many of us go on with our days filled with anxiety, worry and regrets. Many of us find that life is so complicated and busy. Many of us don’t even dare look at the next day because it is too overwhelming to get through today. God doesn’t want us making our life a check list. He doesn’t want us overscheduled and defeated. He wants us with our whole heart to approach Him in search of strength. He wants to help us make decisions so our lives don’t become unmanageable. He wants to provide us with strength during those times when His Will seems overwhelming.
Prayer is the key. Persistent, whole-hearted prayers.