The FW weekly challenge last week was "Hope". My husband Joe preached a sermon on hope many, many years ago. At the time we were not married, and I am not sure if we were even courting at the time. He hadn't been a Christian for long, but he has a kind of inbuilt maturity about him and had been asked to bring the word. At the time he was lodging with another lad, Dave, in the church, who was also the manager of a large hotel in Inverness. After Joe had spoken, Dave went up to him to apologise for not paying enough attention to what he'd said. Joe had a strong Glaswegian accent and sometimes speaks quite quickly, so he just thought that he had not toned down the accent enough. However that was not the problem. Dave had been sitting next to really tall fellow named Rab. Just as Joe was getting started - he made a point of telling a joke to put everyone at ease - Rab had turned to Dave and said, "See, that's some tie the wee fella's wearing!"
I had quite quickly latched on to the story of Anna, the prophetess, in Luke's gospel. There may be just three verses but I have been really encouraged as I have meditated on them. It took a while to find a way in - my computer is littered with opening paragraphs that I abandoned along the way, and half a dozen verses of a poem that just wasn't lighting my fire. In the end I wrote about a statue in an art gallery. It wasn't a real statue, or a real art gallery, but by the end of the piece I could see it in my mind's eye. There are times when I lament that I can't do the artist thing.
Thinking about Anna - my neurons have just been firing and I will seriously have to sit down and put a proper piece together. One of the things that has stirred in me is the need to put myself in the place to hear from God. Scripture says that she practically lived in the Temple, worshipping day and night. The temple is where the presence of God was most clearly felt - it was the place that He had chosen to dwell. Physically she was in the right place. Through her worship, prayer and fasting, she had put herself in the right spiritual place - the right frame of mind to experience His presence.
Putting yourself in the right place to experience God - what a challenge! Day and night Anna was in the right place - it was inevitable that God would speak to her. What often impresses me is that some people make themselves irresistible to God by their manner and approach. God cannot but help be drawn to people who place themselves physically and spiritually in His path. I want to be like that. I want to be irresistible to God too - just like she was. I want to make the place where God is found to be my dwelling place.