I Was Thinking…
I read this past week that a bride-to-be said “It was a God-thing that Hurricane Irma turned away from our wedding venue leaving little damage and therefore my wedding occurred on schedule.” That’s what she said a ‘God-thing’. So what about all those folks that were in the hurricane’s path and suffered greatly? Was it because God loved her more than them? Was it because her wedding was more important than their important plans? Was it because she prayed more fervently than those who were hit and hit hard by the hurricane? She said it was a ‘God-thing’.
Several years ago Gainesville, Georgia was, like most of Georgia at the time, in a severe drought. Lake Lanier looked more like a river on Mars than a thriving lake. It was concerning to the entire community so several of us preacher types held a prayer event in downtown Gainesville praying for rain. We held up our umbrellas in faith that God would soon send rain. It made the front page of the Gainesville Times. However one of the community leading Pastors sent a representative rather than attend himself because he wasn’t so sure we should be praying for such things. Should we pray for rain in the middle of droughts? Should we pray for hurricanes to spare our area while it demolishes another area?
The longer I live on this earth, the more questions I have about such matters. I do believe we should pray about any and all things but I wonder if in our prayers there ought always be the line “Nevertheless God, not my will but your will be done.” I know there is power in prayer but when my prayer is over and against someone else’s good, I’m not sure that prayer has much of a chance. Human nature has such an easy bent to selfishness and when that kind of prayer is prayed, God is gracious and kind, but I think God is hoping we’ll realize our sin in such praying and ask for forgiveness.
The entrance into the Lord’s Prayer gives us a clue to this struggle. It begins “Our Father…” not “My Father…” All of ‘us’ are equally loved by God and all of our prayers are equally important to God. Why God seems to answer some prayers and not others, I cannot say. But I do believe come hurricanes, droughts, floods or you name it…God is in the midst of it all to help us by God’s power.
Sometimes weddings get cancelled and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it rains and sometimes we have to wait a long time for it to rain. But I wonder if the only ‘God-thing’ in it is that God is omnipresent…God is everywhere…come what may.
This past Sunday’s Epistle Lesson was from Paul’s letter to the Romans and he writes “If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:8 NRSV)…Now that IS a ‘God-thing’!
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