Devotional Thought of the day:
When the servant of the man of God got up early and went out, he discovered an army with horses and chariots surrounding the city. So he asked Elisha, “Oh, my master, what are we to do?”
16 Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid, for those who are with us outnumber those who are with them.”
17 Then Elisha prayed, “LORD, please open his eyes and let him see.” So the LORD opened the servant’s eyes. He looked and saw that the mountain was covered with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 1 King 6:15-17 HCSB
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:26-29 (NLT)
404 You say you’ve failed! We never fail. You placed your confidence wholly in God. And you did not neglect any human means. Convince yourself of this truth: your success—this time— was to fail. Give thanks to our Lord, and try again!
There was a great desire to sleep in this morning, to pretend Monday didn’t exist. While Mondays are a study day, I have to admit Holy Week exhausted me.
And while I didn’t feel like a failure yesterday, today I am not so sure! (This is called the Elijah syndrome – after major spiritual victories we want to hide!) But I’ve often dealt with failure, especially on Mondays. Not just the feeling I’ve failed, but the knowledge I have failed, or I am actively experiencing failure.
In those moments, I feel like Elisha’s servant, all I see around me is pressing in on me, and there is no escape. “Oh no, it’s Monday, what are we to do!!!” And the sake of being alone, and without hope rises like the tide and we fear it will drown us.
At least that’s how my Mondays and several other days a month often feel.
It’s as if I’ve forgotten the promise in Romans 8:28, that all things work for good, including Mondays. That I can’t picture God doing something in the present circumstances, so I can’t understand my success is found right in the midst of the failure. Just as the time between the cross and the resurrection was not a failure in the true sense of the word, neither is this time or failure, or anxiety about it, a true failure.
We need to have our eyes opened to this, just as Elisha’s servant did. We need our trust in God rekindled until we can go through the dark times, and trust that the good times are coming.
For God is with us, Jesus is risen indeed, and that means we are given life and a life where the plan all works together….
His plan, not mine.
This is why I adore Him (when I can remember this!) This is why I praise Him, for He is our God, and we are the people whom He loves.
Just need to remember that on Mondays…. and every other day that has a d in it.
Let me pray for you ( and please pray for me)
As our Lord opens your eyes to His presence today, may you rest, as you dwell in His peace!
Question of the day….. how does knowing you are loved help you through the hardest of days?
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 1013-1015). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
The devotional thought of the day:
35 When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, Jesus found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He asked, “Who is the Son of Man, sir, so that I can believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him. The Son of Man is the one talking with you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe!” Then the man worshiped Jesus. 39 Jesus said, “I came into this world so that the world could be judged. I came so that the blind n would see and so that those who see will become blind. 40 Some of the Pharisees who were nearby heard Jesus say this and asked, “Are you saying we are blind, too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But since you keep saying you see, your guilt remains.” John 9:35-41 NCV
Open our eyes Lord
We want to see Jesus
To reach out and touch Him
And say that we love Him
Open our ears Lord
And help us to listen
Open our eyes Lord
We want to see Jesus (1)
445 If you abandon prayer you may at first live on spiritual reserves… and after that, by cheating.
The Pharisees struggled with this idea of Jesus healing a blind man.
They had even more of a problem with this man showing them the obvious, that the one who healed them was the prophet promised by Moses, the One they were waiting for, the Messiah and Savior, not just of Israel, but the world. (they had trouble with that as wel!)
One of the earliest praise songs I can remember learning to play is in green above. Simple lyrics, some might say too simple. They are a prayer we need to consider, to pray for ourselves, to teach others to pray.
They are what Jesus is getting at, as he responds to the Pharisees, noting their blindness, a blindness so complete that they do not even realize they cannot see. Some would read Jesus’ words as simply chastising the men, but that would overlook His love for them, and the mission He has been sent on by the Father. (Luke 4) He is there to open the eyes of all the blind, the ones that cry out to him for healing, and those who don’t even know what it is like to see.
If we only hear Him chastising them, as much as I hate to say it, we must realize that we are no better than them. We have become just like them.
My instinct is that it is then we have forgotten to love a life of prayer, a life not just studying about Jesus, but listening to Him, and realizing that we can tell Him that we love Him, that we adore Him. We get judgmental, condescending and condemning when we’ve forgotten this, and yes it happens to all of us.
We get spiritually dry, our reserves have been depleted, we’ve been overwhelmed, and in our dryness, justify and try to find comfort in our position, or our knowledge. We are better than them, whether they be those who are new to the Kingdom of God, or they are our neighbors, or our family, whoever is the one who reminds us that we cannot see God at the moment.
The blessing is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Repentance isn’t far from us, and the opportunity to pray is always there. You don’t have to take a number or remain on the on hold.
God is with you… ready to cleanse and bless and comfort you and I…
So Lord have mercy on us, and open our eyes… we need to see You!
(1) A praise song by Bob Cull 1976
(2) Escriva, Josemaria. Furrow (Kindle Locations 1975-1977). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.