I heard someone say onetime that the first thing they seek to know in any time of crisis is, "What is God seeking to tell me in and through this."  I must say that too often, that has not been my first response.  I'm thinking it hasn't been yours either.  Our first response to pressing need is generally to cry out to in desperation for Him to either remove the problems or circumstances that make for the crisis, or just remove it, or us, from the the midst of them.  If that doesn't "work," then generally we move into complaint/whining mode.  Why have You allowed this?  Why aren't You taking care of this?  Why won't You listen to me?  If we were not so consumed with ourselves in it all, we might notice that we sound much like the 12 year old with the sense of entitlement.  If we were not so self-consumed.  Because we are, it doesn't occur to us that maybe, just maybe, the Father seeks to speak to us in this time, reveal something deeper about Himself and ourself in it.  Or even to discover that He may well have allowed this very crisis, pain, need, in order to take us deeper into His life, and deeper into our knowledge and understanding of Him.
     Author Andy Andrews said, "God's perspective is what's most needed in any crisis.  We're so desperate to have an answer that we grasp at something that falls short of that perspective.  We live at the 'almost.' "  In Isaiah 37, after the Assyrian king has threatened Hezekiah the king and the kingdom of Judah with utter destruction in a letter, we are told that Hezekiah took the letter and "spread it out before the Lord" in prayer.  Yes, he sought God's response, but more, He sought the mind and heart of the Father.  He brought not only the need, but all of Himself, and, his heart determination was that more than the need being met, he wanted all the fullness of his God that he might have.  In response, God not only delivered he and his kingdom, but He revealed to Hezekiah a much deeper understanding of who He was, and is.  The prophet Habakkuk spent an entire chapter pouring out his heart, even his "complaint" to God, but Habakkuk 2:1 says that he would then, "Climb up into my watchtower and wait to see what the Lord will say to me."  He not only sought to hear from Him, but he sought the strongest position he could in order to hear the voice and heart of his God.  He knew his understanding, his perspective, was flawed.  He would not settle for an "almost."  Nothing other than the heart and mind of the Father Himself would do, and he would wait until he had that.
     Such was the pattern of Paul, of John, of Peter, of Bunyan, Wesley, and countess others whose names we don't know, but because they sought Him out, all of Him, there's was the joy and wonder of having shared with them the thoughts and purposes of God.  Will we join them?  Will we cease to grasp for the "almost?"  Will we, like Habakkuk, ascend our prayertowers, and watch and wait for Him, until we hear, until we see.  "But our need is great and we must have help now," we say.  Can we dare to believe that He knows that, and that He purposes to reveal to us what He sees and knows in all of it, and how, at least in part, he means to work it all for His glory and our good?  I heard a friend speak recently on the two perspectives of prayer, using the weaving of a tapestry as the example.  When one looks from underneath, everything in the weaving looks to be a confused mass of threads.  Yet, when viewed from above it, the beauty and purpose of it may be seen.  It is so with prayer.  When we look at our lives and what takes place in them only with the eyes and understanding of the flesh, all we get is confusion, but if we see as He sees, understand as He does, we may begin to see that He weaves with great care, a pattern of wonder and blessing in and for us.  As concerns your life right now, and the work of the Weaver, what do you see?  What would you see?

Pastor O 
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  March 2018  
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