Sunday, August 21, 2016
Ask. Seek. Knock.
I was in the hospital last month for a couple of nights due to a medication complication. That rhyme was intended to disguise my fear. But it's remarkable how daily Bible readings aligned with my plight...informing a prayer that spanned several days...and a good outcome!
I need you...in this hospital...in my body. I want to be positive and confident. But shouldn't I be realistic? I can't keep my brain from scanning the downside.
Then came assurance from a reading in Hosea. God announced his presence: For I am God, and not a man - the Holy One among you. (Hosea 11:9)
From the commentary: God's love, experienced in mercy and grace, is never conditional or situational...the Abba Father who exemplifies mercy and loves us even when we are at our worst. (a)
Still, there was accommodation of my doubt in the story from Mark 9 where Jesus proclaims: "Everything is possible for one who believes." Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24)
And I was invited to make a bold request, an audacious ask: ...because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Luke 11:8-9)
From the commentary: God answers because God loves us more than any parent could love a child. God gives God's self in intimate relationship to all who ask. (b)
Put aside this hospital anxiety. Get me outta here!!! I pray for a full recovery, recharged and reset! May it be so. Amen.
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I wish I could tell you that God speaks directly to me, but no, that's not the case. There is messaging, however. It comes through Scripture, more precisely, through a habit of daily Bible study. This routine includes a devotional based on the lectionary and a systematic study. I keep a journal, too. Your spiritual diet is critical to the health of your faith!
The Upper Room Disciplines 2016
(a) Transforming Mercies, Sue Engle, Memphis Conference of The United
(b) Intimacy with God, Rev. Steven Lottering, Methodist Church of Southern Africa