A friend of mine has introduced me to the wonderful world of podcasts. I know, I can see your eyes grow wide in my mind’s eye as you read this. Podcasts have been around forever, or so I’ve heard. I’ve been slightly aware of them for quite some time, but not knowing who in the world records them or exactly how to use the podcast app on my phone, I conveniently ignored the whole idea.
I’m not very good at diving into new things; does that mean I don’t like change?
I’ve discovered I enjoy listening to these podcasts as I walk around our little small town park. I’ve had some holy experiences while walking, listening and, many times, raising my hands and giving a hearty “amen” for the birds and heavens to hear.
Occasionally I get a strange look by a passer-by, but, mostly it’s just me and the Lord and He knows me, so it’s okay.
Lately, I’ve struggled some as I’ve questioned my motive for writing this blog or helping anyone in general. I never want to have a pious attitude or secretly harbor feelings of self-righteousness in my heart. I was sharing this with my friend when she suggested a podcast that features the series “Postures of the Heart.”
I knew instinctively I was supposed to listen the moment she told me about them.
Despite my best efforts, I’m still not very savvy with technology. After a small struggle, and a few desperate prayers, I finally found the series she mentioned; I plugged in my earbuds, laced up my tennis shoes, ready to walk and listen. You know, I’m not even sure how many times I circled the park; I was so involved in the story flowing into my ears, piercing my mind and heart, that I lost count.
I wiped tears and felt my heart tender with compassion as I listened, I know how it feels to suffer and long for God in all of it.
She talked of personal trials and how God was walking her through with such tenderness, teaching her dependence in the deepest places of her weary heart. She told of doctor’s visits and feelings of hopelessness that compelled her to fall on her face and pray hard for peace and rest in her painful storm.
I just wanted to reach through all the technology and give her a big hug.
While sharing the healing stage of her struggle, she said something that nearly stopped me in my tracks. What she said wasn’t so profound really, but because God had said something to me a few days earlier that sounded eerily the same, it made me take note. You know, when the Lord speaks something into your spirit, it may lay there for a while and it may or may not take root. But, it doesn’t go away. After some time, or a lot of time, it seems He will bring something into your life and suddenly that Word, the one you hadn’t thought of for so long, springs to your mind and you realize there’s been a resurrection and a revelation.
This type of revelation doesn’t happen to me often, but I love it when it does.
Even though the doctor told the podcast speaker the good news she longed to hear, she still found herself sitting in her car in the parking lot in disbelief. Instead of the joy she should have been feeling, she felt numb. The next words she said resonated so deeply, “I had been given this gift of good news but I didn’t know how to receive it. My fear was stopping me from being able to celebrate and believe what God had done for me.”
I felt so totally understood in that moment.
Many of you know I’ve been on a personal campaign to find joy, only to realize joy is directly related my own level of thankfulness. (If you would like to read more about my personal journey and discovery in this matter, check out “Baptized in Salty Water.”) It was a beautiful moment of revelation when I could see how thankfulness increases joy which increases thankfulness which increases joy and the cycle never ends.
Well, I’ve also been praying for peace.
Not momentary peace, or situational peace, but real solid, here-for-the-long-haul peace of mind and heart. I’d been praying and seeking God for it for so long my asking started to feel stale. I wondered if peace was just an illusion, something people talk about, but is really only a pipe dream.
To be continued next week…