Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Prayer

Father,

You have blessed us with many great and precious promises. And as we are reminded of them we are amazed at what You have obligated Yourself to give to us. In our saner moments we admit that there is no good reason why You should do such a thing. We regularly forfeit any good from Your hand because of our sin. But even apart from that we, again in our saner moments, understand what we are. We are but bits of dust that You have scooped up and into which You have breathed life. What is that compared to being eternal God. It is we who are to be obligated to You and that should be the end of it. But You obligate Yourself to us. In our saner moments that makes absolutely no sense. That You, God, should make such glorious promises to us is beyond understanding.

Seeing these things makes how we, at times, respond to You all the more vile. We enjoy some of Your promises right now. We, right now, are Your children and Your fatherly love for us knows no bounds. How good it is to enjoy such love! But there are those other promises that we do not yet enjoy. You require us to wait for these promises to come to fruition. The day will come when every taste of evil will be gone. And every yearning of our hearts will be satisfied and more than just satisfied. But because of Your decision, our experience of those promises must wait.

Father, we aren't very good at waiting. By nature and then by environment we are an impatient people. And one way that we deal with our impatience is by forgetting that You have promised us some great things in our future. Because of our impatience, we sometimes find it easier for us to live as if there were no promises than to wait patiently for them. And so, instead of being hopeful and optimistic, rejoicing in how You are slowly but surely moving heaven and earth toward the day when all of Your promises will be kept - instead of that, we focus on the difficulties of today, the ways in which our yearnings are still unmet and to all appearances will never be met. We are grateful, Father, that we don't always act in this way, more evidence that the Spirit has done some work in our lives. But we do act in this way too often. And there is no excuse for that.

So, first, we ask that You would forgive us our foolishness. You have made promises that we don't expect to be met. How wrong! We are grateful that there is forgiveness because of Jesus. Where would we be without Him? But then, we ask Father that You would banish this unbelief that is rooted in impatience. Grant to us a growing faith that embraces those yet unkept promises and is assured that enjoying them is simply a matter of time. We ask for this so that we would be a people who are hopeful and optimistic, rejoicing in what You are doing, things that will inevitably lead to all the promises kept. Make us like this Father because we live in an increasingly hopeless, pessimistic and joyless society. Make us like this so that they will see the evidence of the Gospel in us and then come to us to find out how You do this.

Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Lamentations 3:25-26

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