The Praying Mantis and a Parking Sign
Don't give up.
Be persistent in prayer; pray without ceasing!
"...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (Eph. 6:28).
Pray through and never give up.
I feel God reminded me of this through His little creature, the praying mantis, who has been following me over the last couple of weeks.
There is a 'thing' I've been wanting to happen for a long time now...for several years. I have wanted it so badly that it has become an area of frustration in my life. I have felt, for so long now, that this thing, or project (for lack of a better word), has been needed and would open doors that have not yet been explored or even thought about. The process has begun, but the good ol' devil is trying to hinder it any way possible! For reasons out of our control, we are at a stand still - at least for such a time as this. This hurts my heart, as I was so extremely excited that it was finally coming to fruition, or at least, the beginning stages of the project were starting to unfold.
When the process came to a standstill, my heart just ached and frustration set in again. No one is at fault in this delay....it just is what it is. God has allowed this, for such a time as this, so I know He has plans underway that far exceed my expectations!
It's like building a house....once the process gets started, you are sooooo excited that it is finally happening! Then....you run into snags over and over and over again ... sometimes you feel overwhelmed, and then frustration and discouragement set in and you think it will never happen.
Another area of anxiety is my boys' future. It seems the older they get, the more I worry. Right now I worry about their chosing the right profession, choosing the right college, so on and so forth....the list goes on and on and on.
My heart has just been in a holding place....a place of worry and anxiety...
Look at this.....
Where did this praying mantis land?? Right smack dab in the middle of a Handicapped Parking sign!
No, I didn't 'get it' right away. It took several visits from this praying mantis for me to finally realize that I could glean a spiritual lesson from God's little creature!
He started out in the parking lot, but as I was going about my business, I realized he kept moving closer and closer to my office. Here, you can see him on the column that is located under the awning right outside my office window.
He then decided he liked it so much he'd just hang out around that area.
Here he is on a bed of flowers close to the front door.
And here, my last sighting of him (in hopes there will be more), he is seen right in front of the front office window, just peeking in!
After seeing him a couple of times, my mind went back to my first sighting of him on the Handicapped Parking sign; and THAT'S when it hit me.... sometimes we handicap ourselves by our own 'stinkin' thinkin' and thwart those areas of prosperity that God has in store for us, basically, because we do not have faith, or we have lost faith.
After stopping and thinking about this praying mantis, I said to myself, "you stupid girl....cast all your cares (anxieties) upon the Lord, for He cares for you!" (1 Peter 5:7)
"You have been praying to Him, but you haven't CAST your anxieties upon Him!"
There are 7 different definitions of the verb 'cast' in the Webster's dictionary, all of which use a form of the verb 'throw' to define it. So, in essence, to cast your care upon the Lord means to throw it in His direction as if to send off/away or to get rid of.
Rather than worry about this project, and rather than worry about my boys' future, I need to throw those worries to God, let HIM handle it in HIS own timing and in HIS own way, rather than getting anxious and frustrated if I don't see the future clearly or if something doesn't happen in MY time frame. I must TRUST in His plans, for HIS plans are far better than I could ever ask or imagine!
Yes, I do have my quiet time every day. Yes, I am in communion with God on a daily basis...every day all through the day and sometimes through the night. However, I have gotten caught up in my own desires rather than focusing on the desires of HIS heart, and this has allowed worry to creep in slowly, but oh, so surely!
I looked up the facts on the praying mantis and his defensive tactics: The praying mantis will either flee from danger if necessary, or he will confront his enemy by putting up his dukes and fighting like a boxer.
The fact that the praying mantis will stand his ground by putting up his front legs and fighting has reminded me that I may not see a quick answer to my prayers, but I must stand my ground by being persistent in prayer and never giving up until I see the answer, whatever it may be. I must flee from the devil - from the worry - by putting on the whole armor of God - DAILY.
God is a patient God.
God is a faithful God.
God is a loving God.
I must be patient.
I must persevere!
"...though he will not rise and give to him..., yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs" (Luke 11:5-8).
Just keep asking in prayer. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).
And, whenever you see a praying mantis, remember....it's time to keep praying!!
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).