Last night, I visited a church of the same denomination I attend at home. Traveling for work, I was debating back and forth if I would have the time to go or not, but made the decision to find one close to where I was. A quick google search turned up a few miles away, and services had started 5 minutes previously. Off I went.
They were having their Wednesday Night Prayer service…just like our home church was having. I caught the second half of the devotion, Jesus discussion on the vine and branch.
After having spent some time in prayer, I somehow found myself ending with thoughts of family and career…. always a delicate balance with a fair amount of struggle and we’ll leave it at that. (More career-related, but that’s my only hint.)
I remember specifically praying for my relationship with my wife and how I come across in working on or through our marriage. This was shortly followed with thoughts of how I interact with my kids… another delicate balance, not easily navigated.
Having had my share of career-issues, I prayed about what God desires to accomplish in and through my life while I support this family He has given me… a third delicate balance. Naturally, I took this moment to pray over my current position and boss.
In closing… and I’m not sure why I prayed this, but I closed out this family-oriented prayer with the fact that our conversations would be those of grace and “seasoned with salt.” A biblical phrase, but I couldn’t place where in Scripture it was… at the moment
Even as I prayed it, it seemed odd, that I would personally close my own prayer in such a manner.
Here’s the “awe” moment.
I’m back in my seat reflecting, bible still open and I have one of those “drawn to read Scripture but don’t know where” moments.
I grab my bible, which was still open and flip towards the back… seemingly headed to a verse a random.
Colossians 3 on the left page. Chapter 4 on the right. And right above chapter 4 of Colossians, the section heading:
“Rules For Christian Households”.
Verses 19, 21 & 23 stand-out. And those familiar with this passage understand why. My prayer had just been reiterated.
v 19: “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” *Wow… I could do better in that.
v. 21: “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” *Wow… I could definitely do better in that.
v. 23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as for the Lord, not for men.” *Wow… this is unbelievable!
After laughing in my spirit for a few moments at the uncanny timing of Scripture and a prayer, something inside said…”Read a few more verses.”
…then, here comes chapter 4, verse 6 for the game winning point.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
God, you’ve got to be kidding me!!
Our pastor always says, “Whenever you read Scripture, Scripture reads you.” God has a way of knowing what you have need of and where you need to make application of His Word, when you are open and willing to work on your life according Him and not self.
This is the final, delicate balance. Which shouldn’t really be a balance. He gave His life for mine, therefore, mine is not my own. There’s really nothing to balance between God’s way and my way, except that it is a constant, daily decision as the apostle Paul reminds us, to put aside self. He uses a much harsher word, than “put aside” which is why most of us have such a hard time doing it.
That said… 15 hrs later and I am still in awe.
A seemingly random church.
A debate over whether I’d have (make) time to go.
A late arrival.
An open and willing prayer of my faults.
And an amazing confirmation from God that I do have faults… and my work cut out for me.