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Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Day Is Coming...

I have really grappled with this since Makiah's death.  And I don't have it figured out.  Probably never will.  How to pray???

"I have a bad feeling," he says.  The last time he said that on a trip we came home without our daughter.  Oh, we prayed psalm 91 for protection.  I thought those sort of scriptures were promises back then.  Sort of an unspoken contract that praying the right scripture ensured God's protection.   Her death has left me floundering.

So today on the drive home when he says "I have a bad feeling," a knot forms in the pit of my stomach.  My mind is scrambling for the way to pray.  Claim protection?  Ask for angels to gaurd us?  I fumble for the words as a few muddled scriptures come to mind.  Then I land on it.

The prayer of Jabez.  Cameron preached on this recently.  Jabez was a man in the bible whose name means " pain."  His mother literally named him pain!  It says he cried out to God and asked him to bless him and to keep him from evil/harm so that it wouldn't bring him pain.  The bible says God granted his request.  

So I pray it.  I ask that God would put His hand on us and keep us from evil and harm and pain.  Before, I might have thought this was a selfish prayer, but it's in there.  Written in black and white for us to read.  Jabez asked to be kept from pain.

And that day God granted his request.

 And then I remember that Jesus prayed it, too.  He said to ask that God would keep us from temptation.  Then in the garden before his death, he asked God to let this cup pass from him.  With blood and tears he cried out in inner agony and asked to be kept from evil and pain.  But he finished by praying for God's will to be done regardless.

And that day God did not grant his request.  At least not fully.

So when we look at life with that sinking feeling deep down, what can we do?  We can ask to be kept from pain!  We can't demand it because we live in a broken world where evil is permitted to exist.  For a time.  It will not always be this way.  The day is coming when God will wrap things up down here and pain will be eradicated.  The bible says he is stalling in hopes that more people will turn their hearts toward him and take the gift of life Jesus bought on that dreadful, glorious day when he drank the cup of pain and death.  For. Us.  He drank it so we don't have to.  Oh, we will still have pain and death on earth.   But we don't have to carry it into eternity.  It doesn't have to go on forever.  It doesn't have to be the end of the story now!

As we step into a new year, I don' t know what day it is for me or you.  The day we are kept from evil or the day we must endure it.  But I know what day is coming.  The day when he will wipe the tears from our eyes forever!  So as my family drives the rest of the way home, I fix my heart on that.  And the butterflies deep down seem to lite on this truth.  Their fluttering wings ceasing for now...

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