pretend with me...
How many times have you heard this question: “Excuse me, is that seat taken?” If you are in a public place, be it church, a ball game, the theater, then you’ve been asked this before. Today I would love for YOU to ask ME that question. Indulge me a moment…
Pretend with me that you and I are in a crowded place and the seats are filling up. There are a few empty spots around me and you stop and say to me, “Excuse me, is that seat taken?” And then I say, “Be my guest! It’s all yours.“
I want to invite you to sit with me and hear something I am learning for myself. It’s life-changing actually, so I hope you will listen for a minute or two. It’s about position. Where we sit. Where we place ourselves and the spot we do life from.
threads of prayers...
I was praying this morning and found myself repeating an often used mantra that I seem to weave into my prayer life and thought life. Since I use them so often, I obviously must think this mantra, these threads of words and thoughts, are strands of gold, sparkling with beauty that will make my prayers shimmer before God, but in reality they are itchy, wooly strands, prickly and irritating.
These threads of prayer go something like this: “God, I know I don’t deserve this, but...”
OR, I pray for a specific need for myself or someone else and follow it up with, “Father, I shouldn’t even ask You for ______ because of my sin. I know I have failed You in so many ways.”
I’m not sure what you believe about God speaking to His children, but the Word says He does speak and I have heard His voice. Not out loud, like I would hear yours if we were talking, but quietly in my mind and heart, or in Scripture, or through something someone else might say to me. I’ve heard the voice of God in music, in books, in nature. He doesn’t limit Himself to one avenue of communication because we all hear differently and receive differently.
So this morning as I was praying, God interrupted me after I had threaded my words with yet another “God, I know I don’t deserve this.”
And very quietly, firmly, He got my attention with these words: “Stop making everything about your past mistakes and sin. Start making everything about My grace and the future plans I have for you.”
I grabbed a pen and paper and wrote that sentence down. And then I said, “Yes, Sir. Help me do this, please.”
Until recently, I have lived the majority of my life from a position of my past failures, shame, and mistakes which has caused me to both communicate with God and live out of that place.
God wants me to get up out of the seat I have been sitting in (a chair made of shame, guilt, and past mistakes) and reposition myself in a new seat, a new chair. He wants me to ask Him, “Excuse me, is this seat taken?”
Then He wants me to sit down beside Him, reposition myself in a chair cushioned with grace and forgiveness, built on sturdy legs of God’s future plans for me. Doesn’t that sound so much more inviting than the “chair of shame and guilt”? I would much rather choose a “chair of grace” than the other.
chair of grace...
Can you sit with me and consider what your life and my life would look like if we chose our seating better? It would change our prayers, our thoughts, our position from which we do life. It may take some getting used to this chair of grace. We have gotten comfortable in our tattered, thread-bare chair of shame and guilt.
Like an old easy-chair or recliner that needed to visit the garbage heap years ago, we hang onto it because we are used to it. If you’ve ever thrown out an old favorite piece of furniture and bought a replacement, the new one takes some getting used to. But it’s oh so worth it!
Will you sit in the chair beside mine that’s just for you? And from there, let’s live life from a new position, one of grace, forgiveness, and rest fashioned on God’s plans for you and I.
Trudy is an accomplished author and writer, having published a short story for teenagers, a novel, and a three-part book series, Alaska's Aleutian Island Series. She and her family live in the Pacific Northwest where she's making a life homeschooling her children, bird watching, and falling in love with her new title of "bama" (Grandma). Trudy's greatest joy is seeing God's faithfulness upon her family as each one of them has chosen a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and is walking in that faith.
To find more of Trudy's writings, follow on Instagram @trudy_samsill_author or visit her Amazon shop.
Photos by Carly Kristin Photography. Headshot provided by Trudy Samsill.