GLEANINGS from Claudia: Following Jesus – Week of Prayer and Fasting – Day 4

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This week I’m participating in a Week of Prayer and Fasting at Suburban Church. Suburban joins other area churches that select a week in the month of January to pray and fast before the Lord. This year Suburban’s theme is “Looking to Jesus”. For this week I will share devotional thoughts gleaned from the scripture passages and prayer times our Elders and other prayer leaders will share.

READ: John 3:16; 1 John 4:18, 19; Romans 8:32

Steve led the prayer time at church today focusing on Suburban’s Pastoral transition. He started by leading us through Phil Geisart’s Day 4 devotional thought in the Week of Prayer and Fasting booklet. What a perfect theme for today – “God is Love.”

I confess that back in the fall of 2015, I felt anxious about the process we are in now. I was concerned about the new man and family coming to SCC. Who are they? What are they like? What would it be like to sit under the preaching of a different man? I mean, everyone at Suburban has had the huge blessing of sitting under Steve’s preaching for 30 years, but for me it is nearly my full Christian life! He has been my Pastor for over 40 years! There are only about 4 years of my walk in the Lord where I’ve regularly listened to another preacher. Crazy! In addition to that uncertainty, there was a measure of anxiety and grief about our loss of identity. Who would we be now? What does God have for us to do? I’m not ready to stop serving – what’s next?

God has been speaking peace into my troubled waters for several months now, probably beginning with Jubilee: REFRESH! I resonate to what the Lord says in one of our Jubilee scriptures, Isaiah 43 – “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?” In the beginning of this year, my heart changed completely and I am in a state of high anticipation. I am excited and eager and ready to see, hear, and participate in what God is doing in Suburban. I’m sensing a time of ‘more’ coming – of growth and power and streams of living water flowing from us to bless our community. And this ‘more’ is for Suburban, but it will not bypass Steve and me. Praise God!

Today God gave little love gifts to me. I enjoy blessing others, but I struggle with gift giving. I want gifts I give to speak powerfully and somehow affirm the person I’m gifting. Today I gave the perfect gift! It was given at the Lord’s prompting – kind of a ‘I never would have thought of that’ kind of gift that spoke tons of love both from me and from God into this person’s life! So, so sweet! Thank You Lord! I heard from another person with whom I joined in prayer yesterday that God answered a very specific prayer. It is clear He is wooing the people for whom we prayed to Himself! Praise You Lord! Another person told me of God’s clear presence through a doctor she is seeing. She heard over and over from this doctor “I will take care of you; I will take care of you” and it felt like God Himself speaking this to her. Praise the Great Physician! And still another sees a long-held dream and prayer for God’s provision just on the cusp of fulfillment. Hallelujah to Jehovah-Jireh. All of this speaks of love, of provision, of a God who sees, hears, has compassion and who comes down.

I love Suburban, my church home for over 30 years. God loves Suburban, this bride of Christ, way more than I can even imagine. As I see Him answer so sweetly in individual lives that I love, my confidence and faith are boosted incredibly for us as His bride. He’s got this! He’s got us! I can’t wait! 🙂

 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Lord, Your love is astounding. I know that we don’t even grasp a tenth of how astounding it is. Jesus, thank You for taking on our sin and death so that we could have life and love. O the deep, deep love of Jesus, Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free; Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me; Underneath me, all around me is the current of Thy love; Leading onward, leading homeward, to Thy glorious rest above. AMEN!

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About Gleanings from Claudia

I am a wife, mother, grandmother,sister, and friend newly introduced to grief as I lost my 32 year old daughter in an auto accident in December 2010. I am a follower of Jesus and am journeying through grief while abiding in Christ.
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