Ever have one of “those” weeks? Of course you have! We all have. This week has been one of those weeks for me. Monday started with a funeral for a friend’s father. Then Tuesday we woke up to no heat or hot water. We ran out of oil. Then I received a call from a friend and her mom. Her brother had passed away very unexpectedly. I spent the day with them. Tuesday evening, when Tom restarted the furnace after we got an oil delivery, he discovered we had a major leak in a pipe coming from the hot water tank. Two repair visits and two days later that was finally fixed. I got my first hot shower since Monday late Thursday morning. In the midst of all of this, I’m trying to finish a sermon for our Veteran’s Day service on Sunday as well as search old photos for a picture of myself in uniform for my granddaughter to take to school for a special Veterans Day service there.
Needless to say most of that was not in my plans for the week on Sunday evening. I’m writing this on Friday morning, hoping and praying that today will not bring more unexpected challenges.
So what do you do when life goes completely off-track? Do you yell? Cry? Scream? Swear? Go back to bed? Binge on Netflix and ice cream? All of the above?
I have to admit sometimes my first instincts are one or more of the above choices. I have at times chosen to go back to bed and binge watch Gilmore Girls or JAG and eat – anything that’s available. Crying has happened too. While I have yelled, my tendency is to implode rather than explode. Which basically just means that if I do explode, it’s a 10-on-the-richter-scale kind of explosion! Think volcano with hot lava hitting everyone and everything within a 100 miles.
Which brings me to another question: as Christians, how should we respond when we have one of “those” weeks or days when things just keep going wrong?
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that our first instinct should always be prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” While I admitted that my first response is sometimes one of the above choices, I am getting better at choosing prayer as a first response. On Tuesday, as I drove to my friends house after the news of her brother passing, I prayed the entire way. Prayed over and over for God to use me to bring them some measure of peace and comfort, that He would give me the words to say. I also thanked Him that I am self-employed and was able to drop everything to go be with them. That was an easy moment to reach for prayer.
The harder moment was standing in the cold shower that morning (and the next). I confess I didn’t immediately pray and thank God for the cold shower. However, as I was in the car traveling to my friend’s house, I did thank God for the cold shower because at least I wasn’t going without a shower. I did also pray for the oil company, my husband who restarted the furnace and discovered the leak, and the repairman who came out two days in a row to fix the leak.
I am also thanking God that I can write this email to all of you and tell you not only when I did pray this week, but also when I didn’t. (By the way, it is Biblical to confess our sins to each other – see James 5:16). As I write, I am praying for each one of you. If you need to talk to someone or have a specific prayer request, please feel free to reach out to me through email, Facebook, or Voxer (@sacredpaths). I would love to talk to you and pray with/for you.
By the way, do you have a personal Breath Prayer? Do you know what breath prayer is? If your answer to either is no, then watch my Facebook page. I’m going to record a short video about breath prayer and post it there and on YouTube soon. Breath prayer is a great way to be “praying continually” as Paul tells us to do. 🙂
Be fierce, fearless, and faithful! Love you all!