Thursday, May 17, 2012

God at the Salon: The List

I got my hair colored Tuesday night.  While I do enjoy the pampering (oh, the shampoo & head massage is my very favorite part!), it's actually my secret way of scheduling some time with my sister, who happens to be my hairdresser.  During this hair session, we had multiple conversations that all led back to one thing:  God.

Our conversations led me to understand, more than I have in a very long time, that God is who He says He is.

For today, I just want to share one particular conversation.

I have a list.  Not a very long list.  But there's this mental list of people I've been assigned to pray for.  For years.  Every time I hear a sermon admonishing the congregation to pray for the people in our lives, the same list comes to mind. 

Most of the people on my list are people I've prayed for for years.  Despite my desperate and repeated prayers, most of them haven't decided to fully trust God.  Some are in and out of church, and some have sworn off church altogether.

When I get frustrated with what seems to be a lack of progress, God reminds me of 1 Corinthians 3:5-9.
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
Every time I talk to someone about God, or even when I try to reflect God's character in my own, I'm planting seeds in people around me.  The crop I'm hoping to harvest is to see these people acknowledge that Jesus died for them, accept God's forgiveness, and live out the rest of their lives in a loving relationship with Him.  {Is that so much to ask? :)}

So then I remember that I need to be content to do the work of planting seeds, even if I don't get to be the one to see them grow (i.e., seeing the people I love commit their lives to Christ).  But I will openly admit that I get frustrated after years of planting and tilling the soil, so to speak, without seeing any progress.

I was expressing these feelings to my sister in regards to one person on my list.  She understood what I was saying, but her response completely renewed my vigor to keep on praying.

Based on what we know about this person on the list, my sister said this person would likely be dead without the years of prayers.  

I hadn't thought of that.  I thought that my prayers were going unanswered because I didn't see any change in this person's attitude toward God.  But He had been answering my prayers all along by protecting this person and giving him/her more and more time and more opportunities to see Him.

This was a powerful moment for me.  I instantly stopped feeling frustrated and felt a fresh sense of the importance of praying.  

God is not hidden.  He does not make it difficult for us to find Him.  He is everywhere and can be seen by anyone who is looking.  It's so like Him to give my person as much time as possible to find Him.  

Sometimes it's hard to hold out hope for people who have been burned by someone in a church or who carry anger and resentment toward God.  I see people who have used all their energy to keep running from God, and I'm not sure if they're ever going to stop running.  The good news:  I don't have to stop them.  My job is to pray for these people and to share God with them whenever I have the opportunity.  God has all the hard jobs, and He is up to the task.  

I hope this encourages you to keep praying for the "lost causes" on your list.  God has been faithful, and He will continue to be forever and ever.  We do our small part and He does the rest.

Stay tuned for more about God at the salon!


1 comment:

  1. I definetly have my list of a few that I've prayed for salvation for many years and wondered what differnence it has made. You have some great encouragement in the post.

    On an unrelated note, if God was at the salon, I bet the hairdo he was getting was a permanent.