Friday, March 13, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 63)

Jesus said, “… your heavenly Father is well aware that you need all these things.”
— Matthew 6:32b (USC)
Running from the divine imperative — which is trudging the ancient path of peace — from within and without — we, in our forlorn humanness, are cast in the roles of deserters. We don’t know why we run. We just do.
Our innateness is our failing. We lean on our own understanding. We trust ourselves.
By trusting ourselves — which is truly no trust at all — for we give ourselves full authority to change ‘the script’ on a whim — we land in deeper water than we can endure.
We really do not have a clue, but we continue aimlessly until we are broken; until we are so tired or decrepit or vanquished of soul that we reach up, finally, for God — “God, if you are there, help me, please... please!”
He is not our Lord yet, but we are ready to receive help. We want to hear, and God won’t fail in helping if we sincerely want to hear. He or she who is desperate to hear from God will hear from him, alright.
We receive God when we find an inexplicable peace run over us, even in the midst of a situation God doesn’t change. We are given grace to handle our reality — to put one foot in front of the other until life is easier again. Until that time, there will need to be a steady, day-by-day reliance on God. We are stepping forward even though we are still in the worst of our lament.
And, perhaps we might pray that the tumult we are suffering will last sufficiently long that relying on God becomes habit — what we instinctively do for all the future to come. And, so to suffer for months is not bad in this way. What we gain cannot be lost, ever. In enduring this trial, God has shown us how to endure all things, by relying on a strength transcendently beyond our own, again, hardly explainable.
But then we come back to the scriptural context: worry over food, drink, and clothing. These things, without any doubt, the Father knows we need.
So, in being at peace with the inevitability of having our basic needs taken care of, we are also wise to rely in the Source of all our provision — and to gratefully thank the Lord at that!
1.     Make a short list of your actual needs. How well does God provide for you?
2.     How good is your thankfulness and gratitude for the things God gives you?
3.     If you haven’t yet experienced God’s love in a real way, how might you make another real step toward knowing him?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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