Monday, April 29, 2013

Don't Make Me a Fool.

Take a trip back in time with me and revisit this post.  This was quite possibly my most read, best received post to date.  And honestly, when I look back - it's one of my favorites.  Later I revisited to share my first victory with you.  It was a beautiful, emotional circle completed.  I kept the remaining post-it notes on the fridge and I kept those prayers in the cue.  And a few months later the Lord would complete my second circle - my prayers for a friend in an bad situation with a guy at work.  We prayed and prayed for resolution in the situation and she received a promotion that now allows her to work from home, away from that unhealthy and uncomfortable environment but she also got the chance to further address it even as it was being resolved.  God is good.

Last week the Lord finished my third circle, another request that has graced my fridge for almost 6 months.  That prayer was for a friend who after leaving a job told me where his heart was and what he wanted out of his next job.  I sat down a few days later and I wrote my desire for him/summary of what I was reading between the lines of what he was saying which was that his next job would allow him the opportunity to help people in a hands on way and that it would allow him to travel (a love we share).  The Lord answered and in September he leaves for the Coast Guard.

As I took that post-it dated November 4th off the fridge and wrote answered in April 2013 I was reminded yet again of the Lord's faithfulness to His people.  See what I didn't share about The Circle Maker the first time around is Honi's.  Honi was the original circle maker and this is the legend:

When rain is plentiful, it’s an afterthought. During a drought, it’s the only thought. And Honi was their only hope. Famous for his ability to pray for rain, it was on this day—the day—that Honi would earn his moniker.

With a six-foot staff in his hand, Honi began to turn like a math compass. His circular movement was rhythmical and methodical. Ninety degrees. One hundred and eighty degrees. Two hundred and seventy degrees. Three hundred and sixty degrees. He never looked up as the crowd looked on. After what seemed like hours, but had only been seconds, Honi stood inside the circle he had drawn. Then he dropped to his knees and raised his hands to heaven. With the authority of the prophet Elijah who called down fire from heaven, Honi called down rain.

“Lord of the Universe, I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have shown mercy upon your children.”

The words sent a shudder down the spine of all who were within earshot that day. It wasn’t just the volume of his voice. It was the authority of his tone. Not a hint of doubt. This prayer didn’t originate in the vocal chords. Like water from an artesian well, the words flowed from the depth of his soul. His prayer was resolute yet humble; confident yet meek; expectant yet unassuming.

Then it happened.

As his prayer ascended to the heavens, raindrops descended to the earth. An audible gasp swept across the thousands of congregants who had encircled Honi. Every head turned heavenward as the first raindrops parachuted from the sky, but Honi’s head remained bowed. The people rejoiced over each drop, but Honi wasn’t satisfied
with a sprinkle. Still kneeling within the circle, Honi lifted his voice over the sounds of celebration.

“Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill cisterns, pits, and caverns.”
The sprinkle turned into such a torrential downpour that eyewitnesses said no raindrop was smaller than an egg in size. It rained so heavily and so steadily that the people fled to the Temple Mount to escape the flash floods. Honi stayed and prayed inside his protracted circle. Once more he refined his bold request.

“Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of Thy favor, blessing, and graciousness.”

Then, like a well-proportioned sun shower on a hot and humid August afternoon, it began to rain calmly, peacefully. Each raindrop was a tangible token of God’s grace. And they didn’t just soak the skin; they soaked the spirit with faith. It would be forever remembered as the day. The day thunderclaps applauded the Almighty. The day puddle jumping became an act of praise. The day the legend of the circle maker was born. It had been difficult to believe the day before the day. The day after the day, it was impossible not to believe. (From Mark Batteron's Legend of the Circle Maker).

I share this with you because the Lord continues to use this in my life.  He continues to make this story real to me and to challenge my prayer life.  What I love about Honi is if the Lord hadn't shown up, if the Lord hadn't answered, he would have looked like a fool.  But he wasn't afraid.  He didn't doubt.  His faith was solid and unwavering.  And the Lord showed up.

That's the kind of prayer life I want.  I want to pray boldly and live big and I'm going to live in a way where if the Lord doesn't show up I will likely look a fool.  But I don't want my prayers to be for things I could do myself - I was God-sized prayers.  I want the kind of faith that when the Lord shows up leaves no room for doubters.    I want to be a true circle maker.


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