"Praise the Lord, you angels of His, you mighty creatures who carry out His
plans, listening for each of His commands." Psalm 103:20 (NLT)
On a chilly, rainy morning I arrived at work. Gathering my rain hood over me, I headed to the double doors that were the entrance to our office area. Hurrying along because of the wind and rain, I eased my hand out to open the door.
The door opening in front of me did not surprise me, because one of our maintenance workers often would see the secretaries coming with packages in hand and get to the door before we did. However, that morning Robert was not standing on the inside with his warm smile to greet me. There must have been an especially large gust of wind was my thinking as I entered the reception area.
Glancing back at the door as I climbed three short stairs on my way to the Prayer Room, I saw the outside door closing as gently as it had opened for me. I knew then it had not been Robert, our maintenance worker of many years, but an angel sent from God who tenderly opened and closed the door.
For you see only one week before, the Lord had called me to increase my time in the Prayer Room every morning from thirty minutes to one hour. Over a year ago I had felt God tugging in my spirit to set the alarm a few minutes earlier and spend thirty minutes of quiet time praying before I entered the work world of telephones, computers, and appointment books. Being a pastor's secretary could easily consume you as the busy day progressed.
Those thirty minutes soon became a wonderful haven of peace and communication with my Lord. I read, I prayed and often God would bring to my remembrance someone to call or send a note of encouragement. I loved it!
But, about the time I settled in and was enjoying arriving a few minutes early to pray, God decided to take me one more step out of my comfort zone. Specifically, I sensed Him saying, again in my spirit, that it was now time for me to increase those early morning thirty minutes to one hour. Isn't that just like God to take a small obedience and use it to widen our horizon for Him?
Adding another thirty minutes in the early morning presented a few problems. On cold winter days it would still be dark when I arrived at church to enter the Prayer Room. Some days, even the maintenance workers would not yet have arrived at work. Desiring to be obedient to God's call I still said yes, I would accept this further discipline in my life.
First, I received permission from my husband to leave home a little earlier each day. Next, the staff understood I would sometimes be alone at church in the mornings, but were understanding when I assured them this was what God was calling me to do. But, satan was not happy with my new commitment to pray more, and there had been a lot of spiritual warfare in my life all week. Both at home and at work.
That day when the alarm sounded and awakened me from a deep sleep I wondered if it was even worth getting up an hour earlier each day. It didn't help any when outside my window I could hear the blustery wind and cold rain descending upon us. I wanted to snuggle back under the warm covers. Determination and perseverance to obey my Lord won out and I hurriedly dressed for the day.
It was with more than a little discouragement that I made the short commute that morning. Almost to the point of being downtrodden, God chose to surprise and minister to me in a special way that only He could do. Opening and closing a door for one of His servants on a rainy, cold day is minor to Him. But, for this weary intercessor it gave much joy and confirmation.
I entered the Prayer Room excited about the opportunities that lay before me that day and ready for His next phase of obedience in my life.
Melva Cooper Melva@melvacooper.com
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.