“Then he said, “Oh do not let the Lord be
angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten
I will not destroy it.” And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and
Abraham returned to his place”
Have you ever wondered why it is a prayer can feel like both a hug and a
stranglehold? When we pray we can certainly feel the warming presence of God, that presence of the
Holy Spirit bringing comfort, strength and even conviction. Now, of course, having this type of
experience this requires honesty and intimacy on our part. This is part of being in a relationship.
But what happens when we feel the tightness, that uncomfortable presence almost sqeezing us? Could
it be this same honesty and intimacy brings us to facing a part of who we are, that we are not, or
have not been ready to face? Could it be we are coming face to face with our flaws, our shortcomings
our imperfections? is all about God’s grace and love, nothing less.
Hear the Good News, as we come into the presence of God, it is about God's Love and His Grace, nothing less. When we come into the presence of God, in fact, we come face to face with who we are and who God is. Who God is, is the one who never stopped granting Abraham's requests to save Sodom, to save his family. Who we are, are the one's who stop asking before God stops granting. We are the folks who underestimate God, His Love and his Grace.
What could we learn from God if only we started to listen to God and for God? What might we find out about our Creator, our Father? What might we find out about ourselves? Maybe we would find out that God is about more than destroying cities and more about loving His children. We might even come to find out we don't need to respond to God because we are afraid of what might happen, but out of His Passionate Love, His Word, The Word. Shoot, we might even realize we aren't "all that and a bag of chips to boot", rather we are all His, His precious child. If we could and would only listen.
If you are ready to listen, He's talking. It's right there, it is the Living Word, the Word made fresh, the Word made Flesh. Encounter it, encounter Him today. Not a “Hey”. “Hey”. “How-are-you-doing?”, “Fine?”, dialogue. But a living encounter with the Word. Could it be there is hope in the listening?
Gracious God, thank You for speaking to me. I know when things get crazy I put you on the back burner. I know I forget to hear You. Forgive me. Please open my ears today that I might hear Your truth in my life. Thank You for all You have done and all You continue to do. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Grace & Peace,Rev. David Banks
First United Methodist Church of Onalaska
PO Box 596
Onalaska, TX 77360