Often when we are asking for help when experiencing a challenge, whether it is physical, financial or problems with relationships, there is doubt of deserving God’s help. This was what I was thinking when I was reading about Peter cutting off the ear of the soldier who was arresting Jesus. He didn’t hesitate in reprimanding Peter and immediately healed the man’s ear. Surely, humanly this soldier didn’t merit this act of forgiveness.
From there, I begin to think of the world’s concept of riches is grasping and hoarding while God’s way includes letting go and giving. Humanly, none of us are probably worthy of God’s goodness, but it is given us by grace. 1 Peter 1:8 reads “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” This is all possible by the grace of God.
This morning I watched a video someone posted about a large high school choir on the balconies of a huge hotel singing “Down to the River to Pray” Acappella and it was simply beautiful. Listening to this, I was thinking of the many unselfish hours given to practicing for the joy of others. Watching the students and seeing their focus on the one Choir Director and the harmony they produced and realizing this was only possible with that one focal point and the blending came from joined efforts; not one being louder or better than another.
Then I thought of a spinning ballerina having to maintain her balance by one focal point who would otherwise become confused and dizzy. My point is by keeping my focus on God and not human circumstances, I can remain in balance. Hebrews 12:2 reads “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
This morning as I was awakened by a telephone call where someone needed prayerful support, I was instantly reminded of my prayer yesterday. My prayer is always to do good daily and be always willing to turn to God immediately. While I was thinking along these lines, I was led to Matthew 20:30 which reads “Behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David.'” This took place while Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem where He was met with betrayal, condemnation and crucifixion, but He stops to heal them.
After reading this, I became so aware that rather than turn people away, He gladly and lovingly received them, no matter what was going on. Shouldn’t I do the same?
As I ponder this story of Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at the well, there are so many things that made it an unusual occurrence. Firstly, for a Jewish man to talk to a woman, much less a Samaritan woman was rare. Her reputation couldn’t have been pristine if she had five previous husbands and was not married to the man she was currently living with at the time. When His disciples returned and found Him, they, too, were surprised. The one thing that Jesus was positive about, was her receptivity; therefore, her recognition of the Christ as He told her about herself. In her humility , she expressed gratitude for this conversation.
1 Samuel 16:7 states “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the lord looks at the heart.'” Jesus was certainly looking at the Samaritan woman’s heart that day and it remains that way. Today, I will actively work about keeping my heart free from worry, anxiety, jealousy, envy, bitterness and pray that it be filled with grace, love and kindness. That is what God will see.
As I study about the many healings of Jesus this morning, I began to think about them. There was no place that Jesus asked people how long they had had a condition, or if either of their parents were sick of the same disease, or what they had been thinking and on and on! He just simply saw through God’s/Love’s eyes which is the perfection and harmony of their true being. Never was it mentioned that they were being punished for some evil. He always started with God! Matthew 9:35 reads “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Today, I ask to see what God is seeing; Life and Harmony and Health everywhere!
While studying the Bible Lesson yesterday about the rich young ruler, it occurred to me that Jesus was telling him to give up his old false cherished beliefs and listen for God’s message. When sharing this with a friend, he remarked that he thought not because he thought it was about not obeying God. After our conversation, I realized there is no right or wrong answer when we humbly ask God for inspiration. Next time I read it, something totally different may be revealed to me. Genesis 3:8-9 states “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they his from the Lord God among the trees of the garden, but the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’.”
Then a light came on in my thinking that I am fine wherever I am. God is right here!
Many years ago, I took a class where the teacher wanted to make a point with hypothetical thinking. She began by asking what if we had two heads? Would we wear a hat on each head and would our hair be the same color? She went on this way while the class saw this exercise comical, annoying and then irritating, but she was making a point. How often do we question the future with a number of “what ifs?” What if this happens or what if that happens? Whenever I am tempted down that road of thinking, immediately, I ask myself “What if I had two heads?”
Luke 12:22-25 states “Then Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear…Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?'”