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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, July 19, 2010


I’m tired today but it’s a good tired. I spent last week at The School of Christian Missions and we walked and talked and listened and prayed and were inspired to continue to do the work of the Lord Jesus. However, we also live in finite bodies with limited energy, limited resources and limited ideas. In talking with one Christian sister, she said, “I feel like I’m not doing enough.”

Each one of us will have to answer that question. We are the only ones who know the private pain of our families and friends who also need our time. My response to her was, “You are doing this work for a season and then you will be given other work to do. The important thing is, we are not called to do it all ourselves.”

We need rest for our body and mind just as Jesus did. Rest for our soul comes when we are called home. While here, we are responsible for resting our body and mind so that we may be renewed and press on. Don’t deny yourself the rest you need. That is egotistical - I am doing the Lord’s work. I don’t need rest. That makes your work more important than the work Jesus did when his physical body walked the hills, healing the sick, fed the multitudes, and preached the salvation of God. He rested. Allow yourself to do the same. Let us pray:

“Holy father God, Lord of all who call upon you, we praise your holy name. We pray that your kingdom may come in your time and that your plan may be completed in this world. We know you have work for us to do while we stop here for a season. You may call us to establish a great cathedral, found a vast network of colleges and hospitals, or save the child who lives next door. We are amazed that the one small soul is equal to the largest mission facility, but it is. You don’t place a value on one work over another. Amazingly, to work for the Lord in the heart of a neighbor is the same as working for the Lord in a foreign land. May we occasionally get a glimpse of you in the eyes of those around us both near and far. Forgive us when we think that only big efforts are worth our efforts. May we realize that big usually means recognition. The only one we want recognized in the work we do - is you. May we pause when we need physical rest and inspiration to press on. We pray for this life of mission in the name of your son, our savior, Jesus Christ. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Life seems like an old metal desk. I saw it by the curb with a “make an offer” sign on it. It looked like a sturdy thing for my husband’s garage workbench. My father had a big old heavy wooden one in the basement. Bill brought it home that day and started organizing his tools. This morning I smiled as I thought about the old desk and how it is a little like our lives.

The legs are sturdy and well planted, like being well grounded in the word of God. The drawers are a different matter. As we get busy, we can compartmentalize the important things in our lives in order to have a clear differentiation between tasks and responsibilities. But, if we do that too well, the smooth transition or flow of the complete self from one part of our lives to another, is blocked. And yet, that’s not totally bad. A university administrator once told me, “We were raised to do everything well. When we worked, we worked hard and when we played, we played hard.” We must make sure that our compartments are helpful in sorting things out and not used to isolate us from being able to find joy in all we do.

The old desk had a missing lock and the hole gapped in the middle like a first-grader’s smile. But, that lack of security made access to the contents easier, like walls we finally tear down around our wounded ego.

The top was smooth and seemed to be waiting for Bill’s next plan to complete. Right now, I hear him sanding on the metal frame he is constructing for a fun cart. The waiting, open surface is like God standing there, ready to receive whatever problem or puzzle we lay in his warm lap.

To top off the desk’s history, it came out of the Dan Quayle Museum here in Huntington, so it has a pedigree. We too have an ancestry, the linage of a king, for we are children of God, inheritors of all he has through belief in his son, our brother, Jesus Christ. So, in some ways, we too are like an old metal desk, with much use still in us, just waiting for our Father to give us our next blessed task. Let us pray:

“Loving Father, God of all, we praise your holy name. We pray that your kingdom may come swiftly, in your own time. We thank you for all the tasks you have intrusted to us. May we always be aware of what is your work and what is self-aggrandizing. Wherever we can work for you in secret, we seek that blessing. We know we will be of use to you as long as we draw breath for that is why we were created, to serve and to love you. Forgive us when we bemoan our privilege, to work untiringly for you. Increase the surface of our desks that we may receive from you and be ready to provide a clear surface from which to build your next project. In the name of Jesus our Savior we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, July 5, 2010


Mandi is getting married today! Our youngest daughter, Amanda, is making a new beginning this afternoon, her day of Jubilee. Mandi and Zach are starting out with very little, as most young people have done over the years, but they have what matters, Love.

It reminded me of the Biblical, Year of Jubilee when all debts between the children of Israel where to be cancelled (Deut. 15:2). That is what Jesus Christ did for us. He cancelled all of our debts that matter. Let us all realize that each new day in the family of God, is a new beginning, a day to celebrate what Jesus did for us. His sacrifice cancelled all our debts that matter to God. Every day is a Day of Jubilee for those who believe and accept the gift Jesus willingly gave us. Let us pray:

“Our father God, your name is more precious than any jewel we thought had value. Your are holy and holy is your name. May we wake up each day into a Day of Jubilee, a new beginning that we recognize and accept. Then, we will truly live in your kingdom, for as Jesus said, it is at hand. Forgive us when we have thought our problems were insurmountable or were too large for you to heal. Nothing is beyond you, Father, when we truly realize what is important, what is durable, and what is enduring. Our part is so simple, to accept your love, acknowledge Christ’s sacrifice for us, and live in Love. In the name of Jesus Christ, your son, our Lord and Savior we pray. Amen.”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”