“God will, generally speaking, not compete for our attention. If we will not withdraw from things that obsess and exhaust us into solitude and silence, He will usually leave us to our own devices.” Dallas Willard
One of the major stumbling blocks in the majority of our lives today is that we are all too busy and do not have time to prepare our hearts for life’s interruptions.
“But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart…” Matthew 15:18
On the 1st May 2017 I rushed my husband, Steven, to hospital and after a CT scan and a lumbar puncture were performed, the doctor came into the room and told us that they suspected that Steve had meningitis and a brain tumour. Steve turned to me and said: “That’s quite scary” (which I thought was a bit of an understatement) and yet, the first words out of my mouth were “He is a good, good God. That’s who He is. And we are loved by Him, that’s who we are”.
No-one could have been more shocked then me to hear those words come out my mouth.
I had just been told that my best friend of 26 years, my soul mate, my husband, the father of my children may have a brain tumour and all I could say was “He is a good, good God”.
The weekend prior to this my youngest daughter and I had attended the Hillsong Colour Conference. We had spent the weekend praising God, listening to His Word being expounded on by Godly men and women and praying – the theme song on the weekend had been You’re a good good father, it’s who you are, And I’m loved by you it’s who I am.
During the week that followed I had continued in an attitude of praise and God, unknown to me, was preparing my heart for this interruption. God’s Word had begun to take root in my life and become a reality “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:7). I knew in that moment that my God, Steve’s God “would never leave us or forsake us”
There are numerous ways that we can prepare our hearts and minds for when life interrupts us – through tragedy, illness and even death.
Number one: Read and study your Bible on a daily basis
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Number two: Spend time in prayer and meditation – not just in the morning and evening but make it a habit to speak to God at all times.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:18)
Number three: worship and praise God
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise His name. (Psalm 100:4)
Praise and worship is an act of faith and God always honours our faith in Him.
Number four: meet together with other Believers on a regular basis
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20 )
Number five: read about and study the lives of Godly men and women.
“Write down all these things I am going to do, says the Lord, and seal them up for the future. Entrust them to some godly man to pass on down to godly men of future generations.” (Isaiah 8:16)
One of my many mentor’s is Oswald Chambers. This is a man who died in 1917 but his writing has influenced my life and my faith in a wonderful way. There are so many wonderful Godly men and women we can learn from.
Number six: be still
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm46:10)
Lord we pray that we will be prepared at all times for our lives to be interrupted by life, that we will consciously slowdown in order to prepare our hearts and that, during the times of interruption, we will be able to praise your name. Amen
(Extract from a talk given at ROTOP, Cape Town, 25/04/2018)