This picture was taken Thursday evening on my way trek from work to baseball practice. Here is the beautiful sunset again! I cannot get enough of these things and it seems like there is something truly unique about each one. In reality, there is, as God paints a brand new picture every single day.
This snapshot in particular was taken on Fairfield Road right before you cross over Route 120 in my home town of Round Lake. There are many open fields on this stretch of road, so there really was not much blocking my view of the scene I shot. The bright sun setting in the distance sat right above the tree line at this point in the day, reflecting ever so beautifully off the iced-over snow and winter-worn road. The blue sky in the background illuminated our brightest star even more so.
The weather is finally starting to change and it looks as if spring is beginning to make its way back to the Midwest. While this change in weather is making me less bitter and more pleasant to be around, the other thing that has changed drastically over the past few days has been my prayer life. What prompted this change you ask? Well, I just finished reading a 90-page book entitled “The Prayer of Jabez” by Bruce Wilkinson, which highlights a section of 1 Chronicles in The Bible. The book’s message is centered around the short prayer of a man named Jabez, who did not play a huge role in The Word itself, but perhaps put together one of the most meaningful prayers in the history of mankind. An excerpt of his prayer to God is as follows:
“Oh, that You would bless me indeed
and enlarge my territory,
that Your hand would be with me
and that You would keep me from evil,
that I may not cause pain!” 1 Chronicles 4:10
Initially, this looks pretty one-sided, as all this man seems to be interested in is being blessed and protected by His Creator. Looking at things further, I came to that same conclusion, but thought to myself in the same way the author did: “What is so wrong with that”? As young children, we learn very quickly that if we want something, we have to ask for it. We are never going to get the things we desire if we do not first ask. Why do we do this? We do this because we do not know any better. This is part of having the innocence of a child. We are fearless. As adults, many of us lose this sense of fearlessness, as we often are afraid to ask for what we want if we do not know how to go about getting it ourselves. I know we cannot truly get anything all by ourselves, God is in charge of that also, but you get the point. The world has taught us that we cannot always get what we want, either initially or period, and we begin to wonder if the best of everything is really out there. We lose sight of what it means to be fearless and neglect the faith we once had that everything would work out.
I would have to say that up until this point in my life, even as recently as last week, I still did not believe people when they told me “Keep being you”, “You’re special”, “You deserve the best”, etc. Is “being myself” really going to pay off? It sure hasn’t so far, and there are certain things I have longed for which I still have never experienced. I was beginning to wonder “Are these things even in the cards for me”? Maybe these blessings were never supposed to come my way, as there always seems to be some kind of roadblock derailing any sort of true happiness I desired.
After reading this book, I re-discovered what it meant to be truly fearless when it comes to my blessings. I have recited the powerful prayer, the same prayer Jabez recited thousands of years ago, silently throughout my days and I am starting to realize that I will not be blessed beyond belief until I start asking God to bless me. He has already done so much for me, and I thank Him for those things every day, but there are other important areas of my life where my longing exceeds the norm. These prayers have caused me to think about where I am at and realize that I was meant for so much more. I have no reason to doubt who I am and what I am about because I know that person deserves the very best. I have so much to offer and I will experience the blessings I seek when I am supposed to. I just have to keep asking.