As I approach surgery this week I've come across a couple of interesting insights.
A praying friend helped me see that my spiritual gift was actually causing me some challenges. When presented with a problem, I see ahead to potential outcomes and sort through them for the best one. That gift has interfered with sleep some as I have attempted to develop strategies for unknowns. Now that I am aware of this, sleep has returned. I am not fighting the gift, rather I am realizing the impossibility of planning for unknowns and resting in God's goodness for the outcomes. Spiritual gifts can be used to build up the body and encourage AND they can be used to cause pain and destruction. Using them with love while rooted in God's direction is the key to their use for good.
Praying for people is a good thing. Even better, tell them what you're asking God for. Lots of people are praying for me (and thank you for asking God to give a great result, by the way). Some simply say they'll pray. A few have offered to pray in person for me. The latter is far better. I am realizing I need to know what people are asking God for so my "faith tank" is filled. I am encouraged by specific requests more than by a general promise to pray. When you get the opportunity to pray for someone, tell them what you're asking God for and what God is promising for that person. Be specific, whether by email, phone or in person. Sometimes your words are what that person remembers in difficult moments.
May God put rich blessings in your life this year...deposits of Himself that you discover and internalize.