A Dear Friend

One of my dearest friends went to be the Lord yesterday. With a heavy heart, I got onto my exercise bike this morning. It sits in the basement and faces French doors that are at the end of a hallway. The morning sun had begun to rise. It was the same time I ride almost every morning. I listened to worship music and prayed.

I lifted up prayers for the family and myself. We all know that she is basking at Jesus’ feet but the selfish side that misses her wishes she was here on this earth. I acknowledged that God is good, all the time. I asked that the family would feel His arms around them, assuring them how much He loves them. I asked Him to do the same for me and to show Himself to me, reminding me of Who He is and how much He loves me.

At that moment of prayer, the song Victor’s Crown began to play through my headphones. You are always fighting for us, Heaven’s angels all around, my delight is found knowing that you wear the Victor’s crown.

After those words played, the brightest sunshine shone through the door, came down the hallway, and almost blinded me. Never has that happened and I ride my bike the same time every morning. I smiled. It was Jesus wrapping His arms around me, assuring me He’s here. He’s in control. He knows we’re hurting and He loves us very much.

Nothing can take the place of this friend. I cannot even begin to explain how much she taught me and others about the Lord, and how much she will be missed by family and friends. Knowing she’s with Jesus makes it a little easier to endure the fresh pain.

If you are ever in need of God to show Himself, ask Him. He will. He is faithful. As Darlene Zschech so beautifully put it in the next phrase of the song, {God} You’re my help and my defender, You’re my Savior and my friend, by Your grace I live and breathe to worship You…

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The Throne Room

Imagine you are walking down the corridor of an enormous throne room.  The walls are made of gold, draped in precious jewels of many colors.  As your eyes follow the wall up, you are taken back by the enormous gold arched cathedral ceiling adorned with more stones and pearls.  It is the backdrop of a host of angelic beings encircling above shouting “Hosanna to God in the highest!”

Your heart pounds furiously and your steps grow smaller as you approach a doorway into a vast room.  The light radiating from it is blinding, but you squint, trying desperately to see inside.

God, in all His glory, sits on the throne, surrounded by more angelic courtiers and attendants.  Some stand before Him, some bow at His feet but all have reverential respect on their faces as their eyes are focused on one thing, the King.

Access to the throne of God is available only through proper protocol, like any earthly king.  His enormous white robes flow onto the golden ground and His radiance is so bright you are forced to turn away.

Fear over comes you.  Your chest is heavy and you can’t breath.  You feel faint, thinking, “How can I come to God?  I am, but a sinner.  I am unworthy to even be in His courtyard.  I’m unsure of what to say or even how to say it.  Thou’s, thee’s, thus’s, I cannot speak in such holy words…maybe I should go back.  He already knows what I need, what I desire.  He doesn’t need me to pray.  He’s omniscient, omnipresent, omnipowerful.  But if I do speak, will he even hear my simple words?”

Then a figure walks out from behind the flowing robes.  A crown of many crowns adorns His head, three, four, five tiers high.  Royal angels surround Him as He walks towards you, they are ready to execute any command He speaks.

His radiance is glorious as His arms widen and the scars on his wrists become evident.  You fall to your face but soon feel the warmth of His hand on your back, then on your arm, as He helps you up.  He leads you to the throne of God, assuring you that He is “your advocate and will speak in your defense.” (I John 2:1)

 

To know that Jesus stands before God to intercede with us is so utterly awesome.  It assures me that when my anger flares and I barge into the throne room, forgetting all etiquette, Jesus is up there defending my actions.  After all, He is a High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses.  He has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin.  (Hebrews 4:15)    He understands our human nature and goes before God, fighting our battles, voicing our causes, asking for the fulfillment of our desires.

Can you think of anyone better to approach the throne of God with then Jesus Himself?

For many years I skated along with a somewhat simple prayer time.  I prayed, but shamefully, not very effective.  It wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t life changing.  But the old cliché is ever true…prayer DOES change things, only there is one hitch…you must pray.

It’s a simple concept.  Why it is so difficult at times, I don’t know.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “pray continually.”  And we must, where ever we are and whatever we are doing.

I used to believe my words weren’t eloquent enough to approach God, and that used to keep me from going to the throne.  But I’ve learned to not get hung up on how to pray, but to just pray.  Yes, He is God and He deserves every ounce of our fear, reverence and respect.  But He asks one thing, for us to come to Him just as we are.

Jesus does the rest.

If you remain in me and my words in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.  John 5:7

Glorify Him through your prayers!  Give Him a reason to answer!