Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Holy CPR (or Just a little faith)

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 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”
Matthew 13:31-32 (NLT)
Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
Romans 4:18-24 (NLT)
I woke up yesterday morning feeling my familiar slightly numb self. Things weren't exactly bad. Just ... bleh.  I started about my morning routine and a thought flashed through my mind: "Why are you avoiding me?"  It didn't take me long to determine the source of that thought.  A quick review of the past few weeks showed prayer only in response to prayer requests from others (and right there on the spot).  When I'm by myself, with no demands, I just blanked out with Facebook or TV. Lord, what's there to talk about? All the same things I don't want to think about?  It's hard to avoid things when you are talking to God.  
It was a dead end conversation, but I decided that when the God of the Universe taps me on the shoulder, I should take heed.  Leaning into a thought a friend shared recently (pray as you can, not as you can't), I emerged myself in my favorite worship music and trusted that God would help me.  And He did.
It so happened that one of my favorite online speakers was talking about faith that day, and read Romans 4.  I noticed that Abraham kept hoping (in spite of laughing when God spoke and a few bad decisions).  He faced his reality (he was 100 and Sara was 90!) and he believed in the resurrecting power of an amazing God.  God reminded me that the things I see right now aren't necessarily the reality.  Gigantic mustard trees do grow from infinitesimally small seeds.  Walls do crumble when we shout and hand sized clouds create floods.  God is busy executing His plans, actively working on my behalf and on behalf of my loved ones.  He's got it.  The Word created another new day inside me. It was as if He has held my nostrils and blew His breath into my lungs, like He did to Adam on that first day.   I got up, dusted myself off and decided again: It's time to believe, time to hope, time to fight to agree with God.  It is as He says it is. Period.
Dear God, Thank you for your Word, so powerfully alive, able to correct us on our insides, to heal and make us new.  Please remind us about what You have said about the situations we face today.  Remind us to agree with you. Move the clouds of apathy that cover our disappointment and despair.  Help us to speak and walk in faith today.
Amen

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