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Leave Room for God

Today’s Reflection

WHAT KIND OF LIFE does my heart want? I find no easy answers to that question, but I know the answer means giving up the fantasy of always moving forward and allowing instead for seasons of dormancy. And it is always time to listen. Perhaps the heart’s single greatest desire is to listen attentively to the voice of God speaking through scripture, nature, daily events, and the kind of reflection that leads to expanding self-knowledge. … My heart wants the kind of life that leaves room for God.

– Elizabeth J. Canham
Heart Whispers

From page 148 of Heart Whispers: Benedictine Wisdom for Today by Elizabeth J. Canham. Copyright © 1999 by Elizabeth J. Canham. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What kind of live does your heart want? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Psalm 32:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for caregivers. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Katherine Drexel (March 3).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Jill March 1, 2016, 3:53 am

    My heart desires a life that honors God. I desire the sense that I am being led by Him, drawing nearer to His Kingdom and assisting others towards His Kingdom. I also long to be in nature, crave quiet spaces and to have deep, meaningful conversations.
    Grateful for the simplicity of a cat curled up in my lap, purring. Grateful for a good night’s rest as I get back to my routine. Grateful for words shared here.

  • robert moeller March 1, 2016, 5:28 am

    Thankful for the support from Jill, Mary, Rusty, Sara, Betsy, and Andrea.
    Anneliese continues to improve, physical and occupational therapy is going very well, her blood level is increasing, and there is progress with her digestion. Pain killers slow down and already very slow metabolism. Thankful for progress in healing Erich’s skin problem. Hope to have an appointment with a doctor about my ear. Made more progress on my model last night. Thankful for the UR and the opportunity to share it with others. Thank You, Lord.

    Prayers for Russell’s family, he passed away when a car he was working on fell on him. He leaves a wife and two young daughters, one of whom called 911 to get help. Prayers for Paul as Russell was a close friend. Prayers for those who care for others. For Betsy and Rick Dobert who care for Warren. Lord, help us all to be Your hands and love as You love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 1, 2016, 6:47 am

    May God’s presence be so close to Russel’s family during this difficult time. May the Holy Spirit comfort them and strengthen them.

    My heart’s desire is to obey and glorify God. May God grant me an obedient heart that glorifies Him!

  • Betsy March 1, 2016, 6:59 am

    I feel that at this season of my life, I’m trying to listen for God’s voice through scripture, study and reflection. Digging deep into His word as I gather with others to discover truths for my life. As the weather warms and we are outdoors more, I know I’ll look to nature and God’s creation to inspire and fill me. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to choose how best to study and serve you, with my whole heart.
    Praises for Annaliese’s continued recovery, Robert. Also praying for you as the caretaker. I am adding the family of your friend, Russell. May God comfort them and show His face in many ways. Glad that Jill is safely home from a relaxing family trip to the beach. Know you are renewed and ready to take on the second half of your school year.
    Grateful today for strong coffee, less aches and pains as I start my day, and this quiet time with my UR family in prayer.

  • Pam March 1, 2016, 11:39 am

    Amen, Amen, and Amen!

  • Rusty March 1, 2016, 12:07 pm

    I echo the prayers here for friends in need. So grateful for this community of love and caring. For Robert, Anneliese, Russell, Betsy and her family, Mary, Jill, Lou, Sara, Carol, Pam — my goodness, I don’t want to miss anybody (and I know I have)! Thanks to all who support one another here.

    What kind of life does my heart want? It is an interesting question. One which I haven’t seriously pondered for a long time. In my 20’s I think I was full of wants. I had aspirations for a particular kind of career (initially quite unlike the one I ended up with); I had taken a few overseas trips and I fancied myself a lifelong world traveler; I had visions of seaside homes and extravagant philanthropy.

    Then in my 30’s and 40’s life happened and I came to experience the wisdom of the great 20th Century philosopher-theologians Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (ha!), “You can’t always get what you want – but if you try sometime, you’ll find you get what you need.”

    For various reasons, including challenges my dearest faced with her health and all that goes along with that, I found I had shelved the concept of my “wants”. God introduced me to contentment and gratitude. Initially, I became consumed with readjusting my priorities to being the best husband and father I could be under a set of circumstances I never would have imagined earlier in my life. Then in my 40’s, God introduced me to Jesus and began to show me how to find joy in learning from him. He taught me about servanthood and how that really can mean leadership. (And vice versa.) He revealed to me things about humility that had never before crossed my mind. He showed me his own sacrifice and what that could mean in my life.

    I’ve thought about how the old Rolling Stones proverb (I still like it) could be restated in scriptural terms. Maybe James 4 about asking for the right reasons and receiving God’s grace. Maybe Matthew, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” “These things”, though, are not a bucket list. Not even close.

    What do I “want”? I think now I want to glorify God. I think I desire to learn more about him, and about Christian life and history. And if he wills it, I think I would like to share what I have learned with others. And to learn from them.

    Am I impatient about that? Yes, I think so. Do I find myself sitting in my office at work questioning whether I spend all those hours doing God’s will? Absolutely. But Brother Lawrence in the 17th Century found he could praise and glorify God (joyfully!) through scrubbing pots. Dear Lord, grant me the ability to praise you that way! To glorify you through the work you have so graciously given me to do!

    What about those wants? Can I fulfill them now? Take “want” down from the shelf and turn it over in my hands and . . . ?

    I’m not sure. I think contentment, for me, is still better at least for now. But maybe. Soon. Maybe when I retire . . . but I have a sense God may have something else in mind for me. Something bigger. Something . . . I don’t know. Praise you, Lord, and bless you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

    • Rusty March 1, 2016, 6:19 pm

      Just glancing back at the end of the day – and sheesh! My, how I rambled on. Sorry for taking so many column inches. 🙂 I’ll try to be more restrained in future posts!

      God’s peace to all and especially to Russell’s family.

  • Sara March 1, 2016, 12:14 pm

    My heart desires for more of God’s love and peace to permeate our society and our world.

    Prayers for Russell’s family and Lord comfort them in their sorrow.

    Blessings and prayers Lord for all who visit the UR today. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen

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