But know that the LORD has set apart the faithful for himself;
the LORD hears when I call to him.
(Psalm 4:3 NRSV)
When I was a teenager, during a youth retreat we were encouraged to choose a name that would describe who we wanted to become. I chose the word, "confidence." I drew a key and wrote the word across it. Probably the first time I ever used a concordance to look up Scriptures. Under the listing, I remember reading: "The LORD is my confidence." (Proverbs 3:26a)
At that retreat was one of the first times I asked God for something for myself. I wanted Him to be my confidence, but also to make me more confident.
For many years I have been growing into that name. As I was getting ready for a new venture today, God reminded me of that act of faith so many years ago. Back in May, through a series of God events, I took a step towards fulfilling a dream. This dream came to life today! I am calling this dream:
(Logo design created by Jessie Flori)
Souldare will be a place where people gather together to discover their created self through journaling, collage art and eventually, nature hikes accompanied by times of contemplative prayer.
What does this post have to do with my recent series on prayer? God hears when we call to him. And sometimes, the answer is revealed in stages, over the years. And sometimes, He uses that very request to increase our faith and confidence.
When I look at the word confidence, I think "with faith" or "with fidelity," which when applied to my life humbles me. To think that God would call me one of his faithful ones exalts his faithfulness. It indicates a depth of intimacy with God that has grown sweeter over the years.
What a joy it was today to witness others exploring and discovering their created selves through collage art and journaling. God was in our midst. I can't wait until next week to see how God reveals himself to us again.
A poem I read before I left to facilitate the workshop became another prayer for confidence:
Where fear imprisons, faith liberates;
Where fear paralyzes, faith empowers;
Where fear disheartens, faith encourages;
Where fear sickens, faith heals;
Where fear makes useless, faith makes beautiful;
Where fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life,
faith opens the windows on a new world,
a new life that knows no end.
(Father Philip Chester, as qtd by Jonathan Aitken in Prayers for People Under Pressure)
How is faith enabling you to overcome fears?What long forgotten request
is God answering today?