When Ginger Harrington and her family moved from North Carolina to California, she wasn’t worried about packing or adjusting to a new home base. Rather, she was worried about surviving! Medical testing had revealed that she had Graves’ disease, a hyperthyroid autoimmune disease and suddenly, all the roller coaster symptoms of anxiety and a body stuck in high gear began to make sense. Packing a supply of her new little pills along with her three young children and all their belongings into a moving van, she and her husband did what military families always do–except that this time, Ginger’s moving mojo was drowned in a flood of adrenaline. Sleepless by night and depleted by day, she was forced to reach deeply into the truth she knew but could not feel:
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God. . .” Isaiah 43:2, 3
Ginger’s journal became a spiritual climbing wall, a record of hand holds by which she pulled forward into the next grueling day:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“Don’t fret or worry.” (Philippians 4:6)
Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life, part memoir and part manifesto, is Ginger’s record of God’s faithfulness and a gift to readers in search of homely wisdom for living in sync with the promises of God. Fear and weakness forced Ginger to open her heart to the strength that comes only through prayer and to make one holy choice:
“Not every moment is good, but [she would] believe God is good in every moment.”
Truth that Transforms the Hard Moments
Far from stale “religion,” holiness is both practical and relevant to the life of a believer, for it is rooted in relationship with a holy God and grows in direct proportion to our willingness to be transformed in mind, will, and emotion. God’s invitation into holiness is a path away from a “disorderly and unkempt life” and toward a “life that is as beautiful on the inside as the outside.” For Ginger (and for all of us whose feet are walking broken paths), these are life-saving words, and anchor our hearts in the truth that God loves us as we are–not as we wish we were.
A Habit of Prayer in the Moment
Whether dealing with anxiety over major life adjustments or simply bad habits that have produced a hurried soul, redirection begins with the good choice to rest in God and to adopt a moment-by-moment trust. Prayer becomes the affirmation of total dependence upon God, especially as it becomes instinctive to “pray now rather than later.” (Loc 928)
Praying in the moment looks like grace flowing into everyday life:
- Write a prayer directly into a social media thread;
- Record your prayer in an email or text message and then hit “send”;
- Send private, emergency messages to the God who is always listening;
- View the fleeting thought about a person or a situation as a call to prayer.
In his classic work Practicing the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence refers to this mindfulness and ongoing dialogue as “continual conversation” with God.
Trust, Lean, Acknowledge
Holy living in the moment translates the familiar wisdom of Proverbs 3:5,6 from theoretical to the intensely practical in three action-oriented steps:
- Trust God with all your heart: Trust and love live in direct proportion to one another.
- Lean not on your own understanding: “Our own understanding steers crooked with the bias of self.” (Loc 1020) Resigning from our position as adviser to God and depending on His leading is a huge sign that we are depending on Him and not ourselves.
- In all your ways acknowledge Him: “To acknowledge God is a form of prayer,” and all our ways would include thoughts, feelings, responses, and decisions. As we embrace God’s way of doing and being, we discover that His promise of straight paths stands in direct contrast to our own broken and bent way of living.
Shimmering Glimpses of Wisdom
Oswald Chambers was known for teaching that prayer is all about relationship rather than answers:
“The purpose of prayer is to get a hold of God.”
“Aim for consistency but walk in grace.”
“You can choose the thoughts you will receive and the ones you will reject.”
“The faith way is to think,”I know my work is taxing, but Christ is my strength.”
“Far more than a doctrine to follow, holiness is a life to enjoy.”
“It’s important to understand that joy is not the absence of pain in circumstances, but rather the presence of God in the midst of them.”
Everyday choices build a life. Mundane moments of loving our kids, cherishing our husbands, and supporting our friends in ten thousand different ways over the course of a lifetime well-lived change us from the inside out. “Loving God whole-heartedly is choosing the life we were made for,” and one day, we discover that God is doing His work through us, and we shine with a glory that is not our own.
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