‘The 7 dance steps of prayer’ (Part 4)

Who do you look out of the window with?

Last week we thought of the God who is on our right hand, the God who showers us with blessings and joy. This week we think of the God who is on our left, the God who permits, or even dare I say, brings griefs and sorrows into our lives.

Today, I am writing on a very cold and cloudy morning when it is hard to think that only a few days ago the sun was glorious, it was wonderfully warm and lovely to be outside. One of themes for this year is learning to understand and to navigate when we are going through desert times. Such desert times can be understood through this language of the God who is on our left who calls us to ponder on and pray over this within quiet prayer.

When I look out of my window with the God who is on my left, I remind myself that life has always times of grief and sorrow. During this time of lockdown I have experienced times of mental fragility; it helped when I turned my desk from facing the wall to looking out of a window. In quiet prayer we remain still knowing it’s ok to not feel great all of the time and for such shadow times are ok to wrestle with in prayer.

When I look out of my window with the God who is on my left I remind myself that times of grief and sorrow are rarely my own direct fault. Yes, there can be a direct link between what I do and when I experience grief and sorrow yet, to imagine that every occasion is directly my fault is wrong. There are always lots of other factors to take into account such as the enemy, that we live in an imperfect world or that God may well be, and this is a regular theme in Scripture, disciplining me.

When I look out of my window with the God who is on my left, I remind myself that if times of grief and sorrow are part and parcel of life itself then I need to learn to endure and to persevere through them. Times of griefs and sorrows are God’s gymnasium where he trains us to develop muscles of faith, hope and love we may never knew we had and to learn skills we never thought we could master.

Finally, when I look out of the window with God, you might be wondering how do I know if today it will be the God of the left or the right? That is a great question if also slightly off cue and I will be exploring that next week. But for now when I look out of my window with the God who is on my left, I dare myself to trust in this sovereign God who promises to always be with us, whether good or bad, because he is faithful in all the circumstances of life.

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