“He can crumple me up or exalt me; He can do anything He chooses.”- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
In his Conclusion to Finding Favor, Brian Jones summarizes all the aspects of God’s favor he previously discussed. Of course, Pastor Jones notes, everyone surely desires God’s provision, intervention, and confirmation of His will, However, he asks, who is their right mind wants aspects of God’s favor such as failure, illness, or obscurity? Hence, the nineteenth century spiritual writer George MacDonald observed:
“Man find is hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because He would give the best, and man will not take it.”
Therefore, we need to discipline ourselves to want whichever type of favor God chooses to bestow. And one way this occurs, Brian emphasizes, is through prayer before meals. In addition, Brian describes five benefits of mealtime prayer. Praying before meals:
- marks the meal together as a sacred pause in the family’s day. Offering a prayers before meals, the author states, “simply invites God to be part of the conversation that follows.”
- gives parents the chance to model that God is important. As Donald Miller wrote in Blue Like Jazz, “Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself.”
- prompts lively discussions about God and the Bible. In these talks, no question’s out of bounds.
- opens the door to resolving conflict. When you take a moment to focus on God, that allows you to focus right away on what others think and feel.
- teaches kids to pray even when they don’t feel like it. Mealtime prayer disciplines you to pray in spite of your feelings, not because of them.
In conclusion, Pastor Jones underscores, all wise spiritual mentors know “that until you believe something in your heart, you keep confessing it with your mouth as you watch someone else who believes it in their heart.”
Today’s question: What Scriptures help you accept God’s favor, whether He chooses to crumple you up or exalt you? Please share.
Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation – “My seasons change, You stay the same”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Heart-pain must be felt, embraced”