Prayer....Land of Entitlement?
Yesterday my husband told me about a middle-aged man who started a Christian motorcycle club for his friends. He planned trips and it started to grow. It was going really well for a while. But then one man had a heart attack. Another took a spill on his bike and broke a leg. Someone’s aunt had cancer and asked him to pray for her. Pretty soon, he had so many prayer requests he felt burdened. Too many people having issues. It wasn’t fun—so he stopped. Why?
This morning I was thinking. The worst place for my mind to wander is into that Land of Entitlement. Have you been there?
It doesn’t matter how old we are... when that thinking starts, discontent begins.
The thinking I don’t want a life of any problems or to hear about any more problems.
Well, we all know the truth is there is a circle of life we live in and so do those in our circle! It goes like this: “WE are either going into a trial (problem or testing) and amping up courage and wisdom to face it. We are in a trial and taking life daily, leaning on God to get us through. Or we are coming out of a trial hopefully having developed insights and character and a closeness with God—being the better for it. It is the circle of life.
“I have worked hard and put up with a lot. I need to be able to rest without responsibilities.”
“I don’t want any drama. Just quiet and control—not controlling chaos."( or listening to it.)
“I have had financial difficulties before. Do I have to deal with them again God?” or someone else’s?
“Okay, I know my back is an issue, but not my knee…Really?
“My spouse, child, nephew, niece, grandchild, co-worker, friend, dog, cat, just got well! What is going on now?”
“I brush my teeth every day! How can I have a cavity?”
The list goes on.
And the older we get…every decade has a new set. I thought it would lessen when I reached a certain age, had a certain job, lived in a certain place, changed people around me, etc. etc. We cannot escape the inescapable. We will never be entitled to any benefits on this side of heaven other than the blessing of belonging to God, experiencing His love and the people He has given us to love.
Love means not only do we cast our cares on God because he cares for us, but we share care with our friends and family, because we care for them. We care about our parents, we care about the kids. We care about our friends and their kids. One prayer is sent out and five boomerangs back. There is no motorcycle ride away from reality.
Instead more than ever, God is calling us to stay engaged. To trust. To keep sending up prayers to Him. Shooting star prayers, a friend once called them. Not prayers to load in our pockets and carry around all day.
Release them to God in the morning in the evening, in our car on our breaks. Just shoot them up to God… and Let go. Honor Him with trust.
Only He is Able. Only He can help. It is a blessing to text my prayer requests to friends and feel physically eased and mentally relieved as the burdens lift. It is a blessing to give as I have been given and reciprocate for others. All of us depend on Him to answer sooner…or later. How we hope or surrender to even the worst-case scenario, He can bring good in ways we cannot envision, determines our peace. A rainbow after a storm is a slice of beauty, even standing in wreckage.
“I will rescue my flock” Ezekiel 34:10
He is our Shepherd. He is our Rock, an anchor when the waves roll into tropical storms. We need to let the One who can walk on water lead us on and keep our eyes fixed on Him. Even if we see another storm rising in the horizon. Roll our eyes off the dark skies and rising winds and look at our Help. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Other sounds will fade to mute.
Reach for the helping Hand of our Almighty God, not the almighty dollar or Uncle Sam.
Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you have not seen. Jeremiah 33:3.
Look for the unexplainable and the miracle which can’t be reckoned.
I recently read how a tourist in Jerusalem watched a little Jewish boy panic, separated across the street from his dad. “Abba, abba” he cried. A man crossed the street and swept the little boy up in his arms. The boy quieted, safe in his daddy’s arms.
WE are safe, our friends and family are safe when we yell “Help” to our *Abba Father. He has the whole world in His hands. His eyes are on the faithful in the land. (Psalm 101:6) He knows what to do. His wisdom and truth can light our way through the darkness of difficulty and crisis of challenges in our lives.
He has the counsel, He knows the connection to a multitude of counselors who can lead us safely with perspective and clarity to make those decisions precisely at the Y in the road we need to navigate with jurisprudence. He will not let us stumble. His Word is a lamp to our feet and light to our path when we need to make good choices regarding health, finances, work, and relationships. The Proverbs contains a plethora of pearls to enhance good decisions. A proverb a day for our mind to digest is as healthy as an apple to our body.
We will never find refuge from care by dropping out or planning escape—watching reality shows about the Pleasure Islands and pretty people. Rather relief and comfort come when we call on Him for help like that little boy. Let God be to you the Father Jesus came to tell us about. “I am always working and my Father is always working,” he explained then as now (John 5:17) . Behind the scenes, upstream and out of sight. Just around the bend...He is working His will in all things as we ask and pray and believe.
*Romans 8:16 Dee Aspin