For a person who sees the glass half full, it is difficult sometimes for me to accept that others will not look up to the heavens or at least reach outward to the extended hands of those willing to help. I mourn with Jeremiah for my people:
Astonishment has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead; Is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery For the health of the daughter of my people? – Jeremiah 8:21, 22
Believe me, I am not privileged or unscathed in the battles that I start or are drafted into; in fact, quite the contrary. So I reason that I am different by temperament or blessed with stamina and strong will which teaches me to survive. Is God then, just my religion in the foxhole? I was thinking about this while driving to work; and when the religious supplications I had uttered seemed flat and without meaning. Again, I experienced this brain jolt as I texted a friend to say that I was praying for her father to be healed. I was unsure in both situations that my words were grounded in the will of God.
Wouldn’t it be great if we were moved to pray and seek God’s favor with the confidence of Joseph’s family?
Joshua 8:14 Then the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given us only one lot and one share to inherit since we are a great people, inasmuch as the Lord has blessed us until now (my emphasis)?”
Joshua 8:18 …And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph – to Ephraim and Manasseh – saying, “You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, but the mountain country shall be yours.”
Notice how the children of Joseph gave God credit for their burgeoning numbers of people. Can confidence also be based on the multitude of blessings (too many to count) that I have received? Also note Joshua’s answer – more would be given. Can I seek God for favor or am I asking too much too often and mostly for material things? Am I even praying according to God’s will?
Just as I get caught up in this cycle of questioning that leads back to feeling inadequate, a more humble me whispers, “Look up!”
Matthew 22: 41-43 Jesus asked them, saying “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit (my emphasis) call Him ‘Lord’…”
I am reminded that Christ is not limited by human hands and feet or time and place or mood and thought content. I am not limited by my own humanity when I am in the Spirit. Looking up to Christ is to be filled with the Holy Spirit who is able to speak to me and through me – that is my confidence.
So with the psalmist, I say, “Let them praise the name of the Lord For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.” – “Psalm 148:13-14.
The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, 2002.