This year I ended 21 Days of Prayer on the Gulf Coast looking at the tide roll (no pun intended) into the shore. This season of prayer was a little different for me, because I had been so busy with my husband’s mayoral campaign. I had a great time going around to different neighborhoods and listening to the stories and concerns of various people. One thing I believe is that everyone wants a nice place to live, good schools and jobs. Though I enjoyed my schedule, it was fast-paced and changing often, so I actually attended fewer prayer services than I’d originally planned. I did get to watch some online and they were good, but not like being there in person.
Since we did not make the runoff, we decided to run off to the beach. The sounds of sea gulls and the smell of fresh air welcomed us. No appointments to make, no place to be, spontaneity can be good. Yes, a few days of rest and relaxation is always good for the soul. I’ve decided that being on the campaign trail is like being in “the zone.” You just keep doing what you do, and you don’t even know you need some rest until you get some.
By the way, I am excited for what God has in store for our city. I encourage everyone to stay involved in the process. This election was not about my husband. It was about Birmingham and his desire for it to better for all people. So don’t be one who shrinks back, but let your light shine for all to see. Get involved. Our God deserves our best.
While walking along the beach, I watched as a wave receded and a sanderling bird ran toward the sea and pecked in the sand before racing back up before the next wave could overtake him. He did this repeatedly. I thought it was so cute, almost like he was playing a game with the tide. Later I learned that that is actually how they feed. As the wave recedes the bird rushes out to collect whatever edible delights that were left behind.
Wow. That to me is similar to what prayer is all about. Those precious times where I “enter in”, where I am touched by the presence of The Holy God. The healing of mind, body and spirit that can take place in those moments seem incomprehensible to the human mind. But sometimes I believe we can be like the sanderling bird and just go after the residue that’s left behind.
It’s easy to just go to church as a matter of routine, sing a song so familiar that its words no longer stir us, and then make decisions that we know are not win-win for all involved. That’s going through the motions. But to really surrender yourself to God, to go all in, to stop running from the wave of Holy Spirit and let Him immerse you. To let the oil soak you and change you. Now you’re experiencing more than just the residue.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
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Cassandra Woods is an inspirational writer and speaker who has seen God’s word become real in her own life. She finds great joy in sharing God’s love with other women and encouraging them to develop an intimate relationship with God. Cassandra is married to Christopher and is the mother of a teenager and three young adults. To read more about her, click here.