“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Thursday, February 05, 2015

National Prayer Breakfast 2015

I would encourage you to read President Obama's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. Some of us love him others of us not so much, but to think that our president, the leader of the free world would give the remarks he did can be nothing short of encouraging.

One comment that he made particularly struck me. He quoted Eleanor Roosevelt's frequent prayer in which she said,
Keep us at tasks too hard for us that we may be driven to Thee for strength

I don't think we pray that or live that enough. "Tasks too hard for us that we may be driven to Thee for strength." I wonder how much of the typical Christian's life is filled with those types of experiences. Sure they are often thrust upon us when family members develop cancer, or other diseases. It is also thrust upon us when our children are born with disabilities or we ourselves develop disabilities. Those situations will often cause us to be awaken as if by a cold shower to the fact that we truly do have no power, ultimately, in our lives.

But I would say it is one thing to have something thrust upon us and quite another to seek out the kinds of experiences, the "tasks" in which we have no power to resolve. Our only hope is to be driven to God for strength. Do you seek out those kinds of experiences in your life? As Christians, I would agree with Mrs. Roosevelt that we should.

It is amazing in a culture that teaches rugged individualism, how deluded I can be about who I am, how self sufficient I am, the "master of my own destiny" and the "captain of my own fate." But those are fool's lies. Perhaps I am self-sufficient (in my own mind) at the moment, but it is a delusion. I am quickly desperate and dependent reduced to total reliance on others. But why would I seek out that situation?

First, because that is the reality of who you are. Anything that convinces you otherwise is a lie. It is pride and self delusion.

Second, dependence on God is where He wants us to be. That I have been blessed to the point that I forget Him, reflect on me. I love the verse in 1 Corinthians 4:7. Paul asks, "What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why do you act as if it wasn't?" My blessings are not proof of my self-sufficiency. They are proof of my dependence, if I will open my eyes in gratitude to see. So I take that understanding of my blessings, look to my neighbor who is struggling because their life experience is different, and enter into their suffering so I can both be an agent of the Grace of God, and be reminded of my total and complete dependence on Him as I walk through that which drives me and my friend to Him for strength.

We need to embrace these kinds of involvements with others. We need to seek them out so we can enter into them. We need to aks God to draw us into situations where we learn total dependence on him perhaps through loving our neighbors.


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