Friday, January 20, 2017

Urgency and Expectation

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
    for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
    for I put my trust in you.
You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
    abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
    listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
    because you answer me.
~ Psalm 86:1-7, NIV~

I named my little kitty Indiana, after the famed Indiana Jones. She’s quite old in kitty years, about 18, I believe. She’s so old that every time she falls asleep I feel the need to check to see if she is still breathing. But even at 18, she’s still sassy and spunky and she still loves to eat. Her morning routine is always the same. She starts off the day, sitting to the side of the kitchen, head tilted slightly to the side, staring at me. And I know what she wants because we’ve been through this before.

As I go about my morning routine, Indiana scootches just a little closer.This goes on for quite a while, with Indiana slowly scootching towards me, head tilted to the side, staring in a not-so-subtle fashion. Do you know when it is that I finally stop what I’m doing and feed her? When she’s urgently asking for her breakfast. When she wraps herself around my legs until I trip over her, when she’s meowing so loudly I can’t hear myself think, and finally, when she can’t bear her hunger any longer, she stands up on her hind feet and sinks just the very tips of her claws into the fleshy part of my leg, clinging for dear life. Indiana clings only to me because she knows that when she cries out to me, I’ll meet her most basic, desperate need. Food!
King David shows us a model of prayer for when we are desperately in need. In Psalm 86, David cries out to God, urgently, for God to save Him from His enemies. He acknowledges his dependence on God, acknowledges his trust in God, he praises God, and he asks God for mercy from his enemies. He cries out to God because he knows that God will answer him.
Most of us probably don’t have enemies beating down our door to do away us with, but we do face struggle. Whether it’s work stress, or health stress, or loss, or a broken heart for a loved one with special needs, we all struggle. We want something more from this daily grind we call our lives. We all need to cling tightly to God’s mercy. We need to admit our dependence on Him, we need to believe, like King David, that God will answer our prayers and act on our behalf.

Are you hungry for something different, better in your life?  When was the last time you clung to and cried out to Him to act on your behalf? Did you get down on your knees and cry out to God for mercy, or did you stand across the room, head tilted, staring, wondering if God would hear your prayer? Did you go to Him with urgency, with expectation that He would meet your need?

Most Merciful God, I need You in my life today, but I have nothing to offer You except for my love and my trust. I am desperate for a change, for something different, something better; I need You to break me free of my struggles. Have mercy on me, God, and act on my behalf and on behalf of my loved ones who are struggling today. In the name of Jesus, Amen


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