Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why Pray When You Can Worry?

We need to ask ourselves, “Why pray when you can worry,” because that is how we often live. It is truly a flaw in our human nature that finds us worrying instead of praying as our “default setting” in life. Isaiah 44:2 says “Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you in the womb and will help you: DO NOT FEAR, O Jacob my servant!” But we worry anyway. We worry because our faith is weak and we live with the erroneous notion that everything depends on us. God made us and promises to help us. We are not alone, even when God’s timing is slower than we would like it to be, or the provision is less than we wanted. It takes faith to believe that the timing and the provision is exactly what God had in mind and that kind of faith moves mountains.

Last fall I received a phone call from a Congolese student at Salisbury University. She was the daughter of a UM pastor in the Congo. She was beginning her senior year and had high hopes for a bright future working in the Congo as a teacher when suddenly her tuition money disappeared. Family members who had promised to pay were unable to help and the university had no choice but to deport her. That is when the United Methodist Church stepped in and between the Women’s Division and the Board of Higher Education and Ministry her tuition was paid. She just graduated last month and she sent me an email to thank me for the efforts that were made on her behalf. Looking back she could see God’s hand at work, even in the last-minute way it all came together.

Prayer is the greatest power on earth. It can change things, heal people, find money, and convert the world. Try praying instead of worry.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day

Jesus said “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 – NRSV) These words come to mind as I think about Memorial Day. Many who served in the armed forces literally laid down their life for their country in harm’s way. Many others suffered injuries (physical and psychological) that affected the quality of their remaining life. Still others, who did not suffer harm also made the sacrifice of putting themselves in the position of possibly dying or being injured. Love is the motivating factor in all of this. People do not willingly sacrifice unless there is great love and a great purpose that is worth dying for. This sacrificial spirit is very powerful. When something is worth dying for it speaks to the heart of all humans.

I thank God for the veterans who sacrificed and served and suffered for love of family, country and cause. May you spend some time this weekend pondering what is worth dying for in your life. Thank God for sending Jesus who loved us so much that he was willing to die for our sins.