Prayer Closets and Rock Climbing

Last month I spent 16 days in an unfamiliar hospital 3 hours from our home with my 21-year old son, Joe. Joe was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. With 20 surgeries and more than 200 nights in the hospital under his belt, he is one of my heroes. This round included ICU, Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring, 2 shunt surgeries (it’s the thing that drains fluid from his head), hours of unrelenting nerve pain in his legs, and fighting fear with every fiber of our souls. Some of Joe’s medical “adventures” turn into brutal, bitter trials that last 6-12 months. Fear attempts to pull us under.

Through the darkest of valleys, I have been challenged to “Live Like Eternity Matters.”

I have discovered only one way to make that happen: daily encounters with the Living God. Face to face. Toe to toe. My head on His chest – listening to His heart beat (for me).

Life is too hard. Too distracting. Too painful. Too overwhelming. There is only one way for my head and heart to stay above the waves and wind that attempt to destroy me. Head to the hills … find a prayer closet … steal away to a hiding place. God will provide. Tiled hospital bathrooms work well.

I call to you from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me, for you have been a refuge for me, a strong tower in the face of the enemy. Psalm 61:2-3 (HCSB)

One thing is needed: face-to-face time with Jesus – wherever and however I can get it.

With hiking boots laced, my war cry becomes, “Lead me to the rock.”

Psalm 18:2 (NIV-1983) reminds me that it is an exquisitely personal mountain trek. The word “my” is used 7 times. God knows what I need. That promise is sure. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God is my rock in whom I take refuge … my shield and my stronghold.

Where is your rock?
Your prayer closet?
Your hiding place?
Go there – today.
And when you do, make Psalm 61 yours. It is a Psalm that reminds me to, Live Like Eternity Matters.

This week, if waves and wind are pulling you under, dive into Psalm 18 (also found in 2 Samuel 22). Go slow. Bit by bit. Read each day until He has a Word for you and your weariness. Allow that gift, for that day, to be your anchor. Onward! (P.S. Joe is back on track with only meddlesome problems, mending well, and working towards getting back on course with his senior year at Grace College. We are so very grateful.)

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8 thoughts on “Prayer Closets and Rock Climbing”

  1. Thank you so much for this devotion. I have been struggling so hard these last couple of weeks with family matters that I was feeling just this way! Barely keeping my head above water. Being battered around the ocean to and fro. This was just the reminder I needed to go to my prayer closet!



    • Chris, Lifting up a prayer for you right now and the sweet, tenderness we find when we slip away with Jesus.
      Psalm 143 is also a go-to place when he flood and the fire are very real.
      Eyes on Jesus!

  2. This is powerful, Brenda. Thank you. Yes, with kids back in school, there’s some quiet time, private time. Now I just have to get back into the habit of Sabbath.

  3. Thank you Brenda! This is my prayer for all my women-friends and women out there who find the busyness in their lives overwhelming and can’t (won’t) get off the crazy-train. We all need that quiet place, even if it is for just 5 min to rest with Jesus. Young moms struggle with this because of little ones tugging, middle-moms struggle because their kids are “their all” or they are driving them everywhere. Older moms…well I see the need now more than ever especially for those younger than me.
    Find the quiet place. Jesus is there. Even if it’s sitting next to your little one playing or doing homework or stealing away in the bathroom. Better yet, teach your children the importance of a quiet place and do it together. He is our strong tower…we just need to lean in and let him.
    Looking forward to your retreat in May. It’s going to be my Mother’s Day present.

    • Faith – Your encouraging words bless me.
      So true. So true!
      See you in May.
      The retreat makes a wonderful Mother’s Day Gift – !
      Eyes on Jesus, Brenda


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