The other night I watched a fascinating documentary about the famous fresco The Resurrection, by Piero della Francesca, painted around 1463 in Tuscany, Italy. Jesus is in the center of the composition, portrayed at the moment of His resurrection. He is seen rising above four soldiers sleeping at His tomb, illustrating the difference between the human and divine spheres.
“Answer me speedily, O Lord; my spirit fails! … I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.”—Psalm 143:7; Micah 7:7 NLT
“The straw that breaks the camel’s back” is the final item in a collection of burdens or troubles, perhaps even a seemingly small thing that threatens to take you beyond the point of endurance. The strain has been building up for a while, and finally you sense that you are about to crumble. You can’t stand it any longer.
There she was at the door, jumping up and down for joy, barking and wagging her tail, as if to say: “He’s back!” After a long and tiring day, I received the most wonderful welcome from our black Labrador retriever.
It made me feel good. I smiled and gave her the attention she wanted. After all, a dog is man’s best friend.
Quite a few years ago, our small family was traveling on a freighter from Europe to our new field of service in South America. Due to long delays in the loading of the ship’s cargo, we found ourselves setting sail in the dead of the Mediterranean winter, the same time of year as the apostle Paul was shipwrecked off the coast of Malta.1 We joked about that and casually prayed that our fate would not be the same as his.
“My beloved spoke and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.’”1
Martha was someone who learned a lesson on the importance of valuing above all things the peace and inspiration that Jesus gives. Once, when Jesus came to visit, she was so concerned with the duties of a hostess that she rushed and fussed, but in the hurry and flurry of her busy activities, she didn’t make time for Him.2 There’s a lesson here for all of us.
Do you sometimes forget to pray, or not know where to start or how to go about it when you do remember? It takes a while for prayer to become a habit, but it’s one that’s worth cultivating because it can solve so many problems, sometimes before they even happen. If your prayer times need a jump-start, these tips should help.
For years I nearly always closed my Meditation Moments radio show with the words “God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things!” Someone once wrote in and said, “I don’t find those words in the Bible.”
No, they’re not in the Bible, but they’re certainly scriptural and express an important truth.
“We haven’t done even half of what we had planned for this morning,” I mumbled as I stepped impatiently into the elevator that was to speed my husband Franz and me to an appointment on the 20th floor of a downtown high-rise. A few moments later, the elevator jolted to a halt and we were enveloped in darkness.
“Not again! Not now!” I groaned, glancing at my watch.