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Overturned Tombstones

Some of the hardest prayers we can pray - almost to the point of being dangerous and downright uncomfortable - are those kind of prayers that give God permission to do something IN us or WITH us. Those words that tell God we are yielding ourselves into his hands are all it takes to set in motion things within our lives we had no idea would happen. These are indeed 'dangerous prayers' to speak forth because they will open or shut doors, challenge relationships to grow, and create a desire within us that is unquenchable. Whenever we ask God to dig deeper into our lives it is usually we are desiring to dig deeper into relationship with him!

Explore me, O God, and know the real me. Dig deeply and discover who I am. Put me to the test and watch how I handle the strain. Examine me to see if there is an evil bone in me, and guide me down Your path forever. (Psalm 139:23-24)

Don't pray these words if you don't mean them - if you aren't willing to have your world rocked. These are dangerous words - they should not be spoken flippantly. Mean them or don't speak them! When we ask God to explore us, don't ever think he will leave a stone unturned - God doesn't do anything 'half-way'. It is quite possible we will discover that some of those 'stones' in our lives are really self-erected tombstones - stones that mark dead places in our lives that definitely will remain dead until we experience his resurrection touch! We forget about these stones, but God has his eye on them because he is in the business of resurrecting, not burying!

Before we pray this kind of prayer we have to be sure we are serious about our intent - half-hearted intent isn't going to cut it when God sets to work to do this kind of digging in our lives. We need to be 'all in' if we are to embrace what he is about to do in and through us. I have been so committed at the beginning of these 'stone turning moments', but as soon as the discomfort of having those ugly places of my life exposed to his intense light just made me squirm like a worm! I wanted to pull back, find a new stone to hide that part of me under, and avoid the issues he exposed. Anyone else with me on this one? The 'stone turning' is not for the timid, fearful, or weak - there is something that will be hard in it all, but oh so totally worth every painful moment.

We might observe the freshly exposed earth under a stone we turn over in the desert or along a path - not because the soil is so interesting, but because we see things that have been hidden from our view. We see the tiny creatures that hung out in the dark places, their existence almost unknown to us until that stone was overturned. In much the same way, God goes about 'turning stones' in our lives - not to just get at the soil underneath it, but to allow us to see what has been hiding out under that 'stone' in our lives. Those 'hidden things' are what gets exposed when we pray these bold words to be searched, explored, tested, and examined. Words that should never be spoken in haste - words that will set a new course for our lives indeed. Just sayin!

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