Yikes. Nice title, right? You know me well enough by now to know this will all make sense. Promise.
When anxiety strikes, what part of your body does it hit? We all experience anxiety differently – maybe it’s migraines, an upset stomach – for me, anxiety gives me what I call Ground Beef Heart. Yes, it feels as yucky as it sounds.
Worry and doubt can grind up my peaceful heart until it feels raw. Those vivid “worst case scenarios” our brains are so good at launch themselves on my heart and stick. When my heart is not strong, the “what if’s” settle into the mush.
You get the picture. Now, here’s where TACOS come in. TACOS, while a great food, is an even better acronym for how to pray. Here it is:
T A C O S
T-Thanks. Start by giving thanks for the people around you, the food you’re about to eat, the day you had. Step one is saying thank you.
A-Adoration. Think of words you would use to describe God and tell Him. Here are some ideas; awesome, good, sweet, faithful, loyal, steady.
C-Confession. This is where you check your heart and share with God where you may have messed up or gone wrong.
O-Oration. Pray for someone who needs it. Pray for a situation that you can’t heal or help.
S-Silence. Shhhhhh… time to be quiet now. Take a deep breath in and listen. Give it a minute. Just shhhhhh.
To review: Ground Beef Heart can be remedied through TACOS. Haha, imagine if we just left it there.
Pretty much all of life’s big and small moments are made better with TACOS (to be fair, that’s true for actual tacos and the prayer structure).
Now for a little throwback to Moses, made real for you and me now…
“No one (no thought, no worry, no doubt) will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, SO I WILL BE WITH YOU. I will never leave or forsake you. Be strong and courageous.”
Thank you God for the Ground Beef Heart that brought me to this moment.
Awesome and patient and steady and faithful are just some of the words I know to be true of you.
Checking my heart reveals that it feels like ground beef because I don’t have control of everything and I don’t like that. Help me with that issue please.
Oh, I pray for anyone reading this that they may see YOU in my anxiety and immaturity and awkward faithfulness.
Sitting now in quiet and listening for your word God.
Lily’s been home sick with the flu this week. We HAD to get out of the house to pick up groceries at Walmart. I told her this would be the easiest “job.” We park, we wait, we get the groceries and off we go.
“Moooooom. That’s the hardest. Waiting is the hardest. Waiting feels like hard work.”
Doesn’t it though?
The hard work of waiting makes me think of Moses. Everybody knows Moses. And while we could look to his story for so many reasons; for now, let’s focus on his relationship with God. The connection Moses has with God is goooooooood. In fact, it is so goooooood; Jews, Christians AND Muslims recorded his walk with God into words on pages for you and me to read.
So, let’s do this: Moses and God. Me and God. And yes, You and God.
Exodus 14:21-22 describes this scene: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back with a powerful east wind all that night and turned the seas into dry land. So then waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with the waters like a wall to them on their right and their left.”
Moses stretched out his hand over the sea.
Right this moment, would you stand up and stretch out your hand? I dare you. Hold your hand out there for a moment.
In this story, Moses is struggling but Moses is trying. He’s all vulnerable, stretching his hand out away from his body over a mass of dark water. God told Moses to stretch his hand over water and Moses is listening.
The next sentence reads “the Lord drove the sea back… all that night.” This is profoundly beautiful and powerful. At Moses’ darkest, God himself is working right alongside him. Moses wasn’t able to see it happening but God was working.
Moses does his part and God is right next to him. Moses’ blind faith and God’s almighty power working together so “the waters were divided and the Israelites went THROUGH the sea on DRY GROUND.” Come on. There is real power when we say yes to God.
Now, there is another element to Moses’ life story that is so worth lingering with just a bit longer. When Moses couldn’t hear God, he didn’t give up on Him. And because God wasn’t showing up in a burning bush or booming voice, also doesn’t mean that God wasn’t still right alongside Moses.
And just a few chapters later, we read about one other way God works with us, for us. While the Jews were still recovering from their escape, they came under attack by the Amalekites. Moses ordered Joshua to choose a group of elite soldiers to go fight. In the meantime, Moses would go stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in his hands to pray with his friends, Aaron and Hur.
Standing on the top of that hill, watching Joshua and his men fight the angry Amalekites; Moses holds up the rod and prays to God. But war takes time. And over time, the three men noticed something interesting.
Exodus 17:11 “As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands the Amalekites were winning. When Moses hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Then, Aaron and Hur held his hands up — one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady…”
The outcome of war depended on Moses holding his hands up. That’s a lot of pressure. And when the weight of the waiting and war became too much, God sent Moses a few friends to carry the burden. So they “held his hands up… and his hands remained steady.” The Amalekites were defeated.
Sometimes, when we’re looking, trying, holding our hands up; God sends a friend. I see it over and over in my life. I’m sure you do too. After I shared about Grounding and my pain, you showed up in the most beautiful ways – with carefully mixed essential oils for my pain, with a mug that says “Stay Grounded,” with fun earrings, with messages of encouragement. You, my beautiful friends, reflect God in the sweetest ways.
The detailed, loving ways YOU show up for me give me glimpses of the way GOD cares for me.
Here’s where it all comes together.
The God who helped Moses – the God who worked right beside him, the God who sent Moses a friend, the God who split the sea, the God who listened, answered, kept showing up – Moses’ God is your God.
Present tense now.
That means God works right beside you, God will send you a friend, God will make a way for you, God listens to you, God answers you, God keeps showing up.
Maybe you’re still waiting. Maybe you’ve seen or heard God before but it’s been a while. Maybe you’ve never seen or heard God. Scroll through some of my older posts. Let my glimpses be your first glimpse.
This is where I WISH I could fade in the music! But I can’t so click on this link.
CLAP. YOUR. HANDS.
God did it for Moses. He is doing it for me. God wants to do it for you.