Saturday, October 11, 2008
I (Ginger) wait until the Lord puts something on my heart to write about. I don't have much time to sit around and conjure up ideas and besides that, the Lord always gives me better material! I have had one I have been wanting to write about all week but I still am struggling with my lack of ability to clearly focus since my eye surgery, so I have been discouraged everytime I sit down to type, email or even read. Then yesterday the Lord gave me something else to write about first. Then this morning as I sat down to start writing about it I finally got a chance to read Jim's blog about their prayer closet. I knew he had been working on it this week but that is how busy our life is that we don't even get to read each other's blogs for a few days sometimes.
Anyway, I decided to put my other two writings on hold and piggyback on Jim's beautiful and touching story about their holiest of holies, their prayer closet. I remember when I first started emailing he and Andrea and he wrote about their closet being their place to pray, I could picture them in there, though I had no idea who they were or what they looked like. I was all too familiar with the idea because I, too, had spent endless hours in my own closet after losing Troy. I loved the word picture he painted of them on their kneeling bench and the very protected and purposed times they would enter in. My time in my closet more haphazardly happened. After Troy died, I sold the only home we had evr owned and moved into a rent house with the kids. I had the biggest master bedroom and closet we had ever had. But the bedroom shared a wall with the guest room. I, thankfully, had a constant stream of people visiting and helping out so someone was pretty much always sleeping in the guest room. I had insomnia for months and months on end. I would cry, listen to music, talk on the phone or talk to God. All necessary but somewhat annoying to the person trying to sleep on the other side of our shared wall. Even in the daytime there was always commotion from the children and seldom any quiet in the house. No place for me to go and be alone in my pain.
So I would go into my closet off the master bathroom and lay on the floor to talk or cry or pray. For those of my friends that know me well, you know I often had to move over a somewhat large pile of clothes and shoes to do this. ha. But it was in that closet that I could pour my heart out to Jesus. I remember when the times of grief were so engulfing and overwhelming that I would lie on the floor and wish I could sink INTO the floor. I felt at the lowest place a human could be and the thought of being below ground level oddly seemed comforting and befitting to how I was feeling. It was an unusual thought. One I had never had. Yet now I wonder how many others, even those reading our blog, want to sink into their floor, wishing the earth would swallow them up. Swallow up their pain and consume their suffering in hopes of finding some relief. All I can say is Jesus meets you there on the floor of your closet. One of the lyrics in "Cry Out to Jesus" is "He will meet you wherever you are...". He will. I, like Jim and Andrea, often felt His presence in that closet. Even the times I didn't feel the Lord's presence, I knew He was with me because of this promise to us in the Bible:
"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Now I know Jesus was talking to the pious Pharisees, who prayed in public just for show so everyone would think they were highly spiritual. He sought more humble worship from them. But I think this is also great wisdom for all us to just get away from the distractions and have some quiet time with our Saviour. It was during one of my loneliest moments that I remember sitting in that closet and begging the Lord to not leave me in my present state. I had just found a letter written to me by a fellow soldier of Troy's in Iraq. He told me that he hadn't known Troy well but each time he saw him in the chow hall and they struck up a conversation, it always came up how much he missed me and the kids. The man wrote that he had passed by Troy's desk and how he had lots of photos of us up. He wanted me to know that though his encounters with Troy, in the middle of a war, were brief and few, it was evident he was a man that loved his wife and children very much. I put the letter aside and laid on the floor of my closet that night and thanked the Lord for giving me a man that so openly loved us so much. I also earnestly prayed that He would give me that again someday or allow me to be content to live with only the memory of it.
I Timothy 5:5
"The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and ask God for help."
I remember calling my now good friend, Marlo, for the first time one night in that closet. It was a night I needed to talk to a fellow widow and I felt God saying, "Go ahead and call this woman in North Carolina. Don't be afraid. Go into your closet. I will be there too." I cried to a stranger that night on the phone, with my Father beside me, hunkered down in that closet.
I have since thought of men in foxholes, children in hospitals, women in shelters or the homeless who have no closet to go to. And then I remember yet another thing I have to be thankful for. But I know Christ is there with them, too. Even if they don't feel it.
Posted by Jim Ravella