[NOTE FROM JESSICA: Go here for the archive of emails from the 9-Day Prayer Challenge: June 25-July 3, 2018].
For a reason unknown to me, my 5 year-old daughter insisted on joining an Ice Hockey Camp over the summer. And so, after roping in her older cousin, I drove the both of them to the ice rink at 7:40 yesterday morning.
After putting on all their hockey gear (which took an hour OMG), they had them go on the ice so that they could get practice falling and getting back up. At least half of these kids (about 7 or 8 of them) had never skated before, and so it was a sight to see, watching all of them, like newborn deer, wobble onto the ice and proceed to fall. Over and over again.
What struck me, as I watched from behind the glass, was the coach’s lesson on how to get back up. You take a knee, and look up, put your hands on your knee and push yourself up from the ground. He emphasized, “Don’t look down. Your eyes need to be where you want to be.”
And in that moment, I was reminded of how important it is for us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), as we are being buffeted by the constant stream of news from around the world, of suffering and injustice, of violence and inhumane conditions. An image that came up in prayer for my husband was one of someone in the midst of a windstorm, so overwhelmed by the howling winds that all she can do is crouch down and cover her head with her arms.
How many of us feel like we are hunched over in a windstorm, paralyzed and unable to move forward? It is in these moments that we must look up, our eyes on where we want to be, and our motions must cut through that wind like a knife. We must remember the words of Ephesians 6, that reminds us to use the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit.
And so as we pray on Day 2 of our Prayer Challenge, I invite each of you to choose a Scripture verse that has given you hope and to write it down somewhere. If you want, send me your verse and I can include it in a running list of Scripture verses for my next email.
Read it. Over and over again. So it becomes a part of you. So that whenever you are feeling without hope and discouraged, the Spirit can help you call it to mind. And I pray that the Spirit hover over each of us, hear our prayer and give us the courage to stand up and move forward.