1 Kings 19:4-8But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked that he might die, saying, "It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers."
5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree; and behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, "Arise and eat."
6 And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank, and lay down again.
7 And the angel of the LORD came again a second time, and touched him, and said, "Arise and eat, else the journey will be too great for you."
8 And he arose, and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.
This might have been like the Disciples felt during the seismic type storm on the Sea of Galilee. About to die. Jesus is asleep in the boat. And then to Live!
My oldest son was traveling home from Houston on I-45. It hasn't rained in a long, long time, we are in a stage 4 drought. At about 10 a.m. he slid, on new tires, across 4 lanes of traffic with cars all around him. During the slide his car rotated 540'. He narrowly missed a concrete barrier. When he came to a halt, he was facing oncoming traffic. All the cars and all the objects had been missed and he was not harmed. Thank God for His mercy.
We have prayed for my ears. This is tied to my Thyroid and some days my ears are better and some days not as good. Not too bad for the yellow car covered pollen times of spring.
We are praying right now for a lady who is 101 years old and her recovery is pretty typical for elder recovery 2 steps forward, a detour, a recovery and a new thing and still a recovery.
Not all prayers are answered in a linear fashion. The storm the disciples encountered is very much like wind sheer rushing from the Golan Heights that could push a plane from the sky. A storm fishermen would want very much to avoid.
Jesus Slept? Yes. Jesus Slept.
And to tie these points together like a mosiac with a repeat pattern - recently I watched the Spike Lee movie, "Do the Right Thing." All of the people were experiencing distress. Poverty, family loss, heat wave, angry sons fortunate to have a job, unhappy to be part of the family business - facing life in the pizzeria. Angry people inflicting hurt on antique cars. Angry demands instead of wisdom. Handicapped people as seen as unhealed and unhappy. A struggling pizzeria man, struggling to support a son and wife, put down for his color. A man running his business unhappy to see one son unwinding in racism, hateful and ungrateful at all turns. A boycott planned just to show jealousy. Peace is found in - - - convenience. Finally instead of turning a polite answer - instead of turning off the lights. A victory becomes a tragedy for the self-righteous anger of a victory, a momentary peace - denied. And explosion that lead through the whole area.
Not all prayers are answered in a linear fashion.
Jesus knew something about this - the week of the Transfiguration - coming down from His momentary Victory - the Disciples are upset they could not heal a young boy.
And being Jesus - He did not throw up His Arms and Yell - He just needed time and space and let Him alone.
The father who professed doubts about all the healing and the seriousness of his son's terrible, terrible problem - Jesus said emphatically, "Yes you can trust me, yes do not doubt." The father didn't start screaming life had been hard for him too. Instead the father finds the way, the life, the truth - and tells the truth. "I have faith! Help me to have more faith!"
Amazing, holding on with hope, faith and Love. What Truth will bring. One more calm reply. One more picking up the tempo. One more apology. One more healing. One more Miracle.
Gives Jesus and Life so many more times that Mercy will bring a new path, a new plan, and a whole new path - for the boy who was healed by Jesus instantly.
And for us? Jesus did not say to the Disciples like a Rock Star, "Wow lucky I was here for that boy. Wow!"
Jesus knows what He is about - Ministry. Jesus gives Life. Words of Life.
"This one requires Prayer."
Jesus told the Parable about not being a corrupt Judge. Having prayer with the idea Jesus is Willing. And Good.
For Lent? what will we bring? Maybe something more meaningful than the loss of Chocolate.
Something Meaningful. Life provides opportunities. For good health, exercise - the Temple of God - our bodies.
Helping with multiplication tables. Listening to a litany of health concerns. Less alcohol. More prayer for a sick friend and a suffering wife. Remembering the day of an operation. One more errand to make someone's day. Give someone some Light.
Our Father, Father who gives us Jesus.
Finally and always, in the Goodness of God, rejoice in the Lord. He has given us Jesus.
Worship by the Spirit of God!
And glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. The surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Thanks be to God for the righteousness coming from You, depending on the Faith You have given — that I may know Jesus and the power of His Eternal Life, and may share in becoming like Him. From today on - Life everlasting. Trusting You for Good in all circumstances.
Thanks be to You Father God, who alone is Good. With You, I will press on to make the Life of Christ Jesus my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. In GOD, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
With His Help, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
In Jesus we will hold true to what we have attained.
We will place the ones we love in God's vast framework where You, Father God, will find the path and the hope for those we love. We will rejoice in the day You have brought. We will lift up those we pray for with Expectation of Your Goodness. We will pray with Hope for the Nation and the concerns of all the people You have given us. And By God, We Will Find the Joy. Today.
Jesus is Lord. This Lent help us to be Light Bringers. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves! †