Friday, October 28, 2011

28th October

I’ve been watching and waiting today. Obviously a little impatient, but who wouldn’t be? But I do feel a little better, and I decided to have a lie in until around 10am this morning to try and catch up on sleep after a poor few nights. I still woke around 6am before resuming my late snooze and at that early time completed my morning Sudoku and read for an hour. Apart from the novel I’ve now finished I’ve been enjoying an ESV study Bible, on my Kindle, every morning before getting up. The last couple of years my devotional time focussed upon simply reading a chapter of the Bible (NLT) before working on memorising quite big chunks. So I’d forgotten how valuable a good study Bible can be when used verse by verse and today I looked at Luke 11 where Jesus teaches on prayer, specifically introducing a version of the very familiar Lord’s Prayer. But it’s the following few verses that the study opened my eyes to, the story of the midnight visitor knocking his friend out of bed simply to ask for bread. Now I must have read these verses dozens of times over the years and probably heard them used in quite a few preaches as well, and I always heard the message about persistent prayer yielding results. But apparently the original doesn’t actually use the word persistent even though it’s an obvious interpretation in the context of the following verses. So really it’s more to do with impudence and the NIV translates it as shameless audacity which certainly puts a whole different perspective on how we might approach Almighty God in our prayers! And that certainly fits with the childlike walk of faith that we’re called to… my adult kids know that they can ask for just about anything and I’ll do my best to give it to them. How much more does the Lord desire to answer our prayers as we come boldly before his throne of grace?

Oh yes, the watching and waiting thing. That’s about my new bird table, fully loaded with seed and water waiting for hungry visitors. They’ve been taking seed from my feeder very regularly over the past few months and I’m expecting great things. But so far I’ve seen nothing, though previous changes took quite a while for birds to connect with. The problem is that I don’t actually spend very much time looking out of my window so the chances are that I’ll miss the action anyway. But that won’t stop me putting food out…

And that makes me think of my faith journey. We can’t actually see Jesus Christ can we? Nor is it always easy to recognise or understand the work he’s doing in our lives until after the event. So, today, I journey through my season of loss and to be honest I don’t always feel very appreciative or particularly thankful to the Lord for being left all alone without my wife to help me along the way. Of course I’m thankful that he’s received her to himself and that her suffering has ended, but I’m still walking through the trials of life and it’s much harder on your own than with a partner. I’ll get used to it, for sure, and even though I don’t always recognise the hand of God upon my life and even though I don’t always feel thankful… I will still proclaim that his hand of favour is towards me and I will daily give thanks for his goodness. Maybe in the same way that the birds take their food without being seen, the Lord will direct my paths and take away some of my problems without his obvious intervention. Isn’t that what faith is all about? Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1).

Psalm 23:1-2 ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.’ (NLT)

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