Actually, I don't think this day was any different from any other day, as far as being a "day of my trouble" goes. No particular trouble beyond the normal stuff. My biggest issue today was that I was having difficulty keeping my eyes open as I drove home from work. This happens frequently, as I have quite a long drive before I reach my destination. The first ten miles aren't so bad as they are primarily in traffic with lots of action to keep me alert and focused on the other guy. But the next twenty miles of my thirty mile commute is through the rustic beauty of the scenic roadway of the Ocala National Forest, where I rarely pass another vehicle going either direction. I love the peaceful quietude of the tall piney woods on either side of the road. However, some sections of the forest are mostly what we call "scrub", the short, scrubby wild oaks, palmettos, prickly holly trees and bushes too numerous to name. These tangled masses of viney briars and overgrown weeds aren't particularly attractive to look at, especially in the late, bright, warm afternoon sun when my eyes are tired from a day spent in front of a computer screen. Hence, the difficulty in keeping my eyes open.
Today I found myself pinching my cheeks, slapping my face, stretching my neck and forcing my eyelids up as wide as I could muster, and I was still having a very difficult time. I started talking out loud, trying to keep myself awake. And then I began to pray...out loud. I said to the Lord, "Lord, I may as well talk to You since there is no one else here to listen...and I do have a few things on my heart, so here goes..." and I prayed (with my eyes OPEN) for each and every member of my immediate family and their individual needs, (which are many)...and then I moved on to my extended family, friends, co-workers, my job, my church, neighbors, facebook friends...anyone and anything I could think of received a word of prayer before the Throne of Grace..out loud. If anyone did pass me I'm sure they wondered just WHO I was talking to so boldly.
And guess what? My eyes stayed open all the way home! When I came to a lull in the prayer conversation, my eyes would start to droop, and then I would remember someone else who needed prayer...and off I'd go again, practically shouting my prayers to the Lord as I drove on down the road...and finally safe at home!
I arrived at my destination re-energized and feeling as though I had just had a long, lovely conversation with a dear friend with whom I had not visited in a long time. There is something about actually speaking the names of dear ones out loud and lifting them up to the Lord with my voice that seemed to have a more lasting impact on my own heart and soul. I truly felt as though God was listening to me...and maybe even taking notes. I don't know...maybe I'm crazy. But it sure was a pleasant way to pass the time as I traversed the lonely trail home.
I do not tell you this to brag about my spiritual prowess in praying for everyone...no, that would not be accurate in the least. I am way behind in spiritual prowess these days. No, I am sharing this with you because it was something beautiful that God did for me. He helped me find a solution to my immediate problem of eyes going shut as I drove...and also reminded me of the way to find solutions to my bigger and more serious problems...take them to the Lord in prayer...any time, any place, and any way I can. I don't have to kneel in a closet or sit in a pew to spend time with the Lord in prayer. I can connect with Him wherever I am...and so can you.
The next time you find yourself stuck in traffic, or drooping as you drive on a long journey...lift up your voice and give praise to God...pray, sing, shout to the Lord! Rejoice and give thanks for all His blessings. Bring your loved ones and friends before His throne. You will see, as I did, that you will be blessed...and perhaps your prayers will be heard as well. What do you have to lose? Maybe it will save your life in the process...
I like praying my way back home. I may have to do that more often.
|Sunset in the forest...|