Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Readings for Mar 15, 2020; Third Sunday in Lent
Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95:1-9; Romans 5:1-8; John 4:5-26
“Is the Lord among us or not?” Exodus 17:7b
How many times have you asked that question: Is the Lord among us or not? How many times have you been faced with trials and burdens, seemingly responsible for carrying a terribly heavy load upon your fragile shoulders alone? A season in life where it seems like an impossible situation from which to escape, and where you can see no presence of God? To some degree or another, we’ve all been there. I will not claim to know or understand the depth of pain, anxiety, worry, or (fill in with the word that best fits your state) that you are going through, but I can assure you God has not left you.
No, God has never left you. He has promised that “he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6b) He is there for you, desiring you to earnestly call on him, to seek his grace and guidance, even in the midst of the impossible. And he will answer. He desires you to place him as the priority relationship in your life, not just when times are bad, but afterwards when this terribly tough season is over, or especially when you feel this terrible season has endured too long. May I encourage you not to give into the temptation to deny God’s faithfulness and put him to the test, as the Israelites did.
No, God is not a good luck charm or a genie in a bottle to call on just when we need him. Oh don’t get me wrong, our amazing God, in his grace, will certainly be there and answer you when you call during these times, and he will leave you to your freewill when life is once again rosy. However, his ultimate desire is that you see and seek him, give thanks and worship him, especially after you’ve endured the storm; to give him yourself even in the peaceful, calm days. For it is here when you flourish and grow, and when the love, peace and grace of Christ flows from you to those around you, so that when others ask, “Is the Lord among us or not?” You can respond with a resounding, “Yes, He most certainly is!”
Prayer: Dear Jesus, some days are so difficult. It is hard to endure, and at time I feel so alone carrying these heavy burdens. Lord, please forgive me for testing you, for turning from you, for questioning you. Please give me the patient endurance to weather the storms. Give me a willing spirit to walk where you lead, at all times, in the storms and the calm, until the day I pass from the storm of death into your eternal presence. In Your name I pray. AMEN!