Jump Start # 3267
Psalms 116:1-2 “I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.”
These words of our passage are so real, personal and touching to me. As most of our readers know, our family has been on an emotional and spiritual roller coaster the past two weeks. A mass was discovered in our son Jordan’s colon. From that, doctors were fearful that it was cancerous and had spread to his liver. Tests. Meeting with an oncologist where he mapped out a very intense plan of chemo and surgery. And, waiting. Waiting and waiting for tests results. Word spread. The nation of God prayed. I prayed day and night. I had a hard time understanding why him and not me. It should have been me going through all of this. He’s young and just hitting his stride as a preacher. News came that he has no cancer. After a major surgery he needs to recoup and get stronger. The Lord, as our verse tells us, inclined His ear. Glory to our Lord! Thankful to our Lord.
First, prayer does work. I told Jordan one day that the angels in Heaven must be wondering what’s going on. There was a war in Ukraine with Russia but the name “Jordan” was being sent Heavenward by hundreds and hundreds of God’s people. What a blessing prayer is. What a power prayer is. What a privilege prayer is. I love the Lord, our verse today says, because He hears my voice.
Second, waiting for news and the answer to prayers is hard. And, it’s in those waiting moments that we must keep trusting. We must not give up. Faith must be strong. Faith must endure. The storms that we go through do not end immediately. Often, there are aftermath effects from the storms that must be dealt with. Patience is hard. It’s a trust factor. Keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. The answer comes in His time, not our time. It’s during those times of waiting that character and faith are truly demonstrated. Do we become short with each other? Do we get stressed? Do we lash out at others? Do we show the world Jesus?
Third, why some get great news and others do not is hard to understand. On this journey we’ve been on the past couple of weeks, I heard from many others whose grown children not only had the cancer scare, but they actually had cancer. And, for some, the news wasn’t good. Some didn’t make it. That’s hard to understand. And, some of those very families were praying for us and so happy for our good news, it made me feel sad that personally they did not have the same results. We’d like to find a reason, a verse that makes sense of all of this. James and John, two of the apostles, brothers, both in the flesh and in the spirit, yet one was the first to die as a martyred apostle and the other, the last to die. Why? One family dances with joy and another family prepares for a funeral. Everyone prays. For some, the answer is more time here. For others, that’s not the answer.
Life isn’t fair and it reminds us that we haven’t figured everything out. We don’t understand all things. We struggle with these things. We are not in control. There is an appointed time with God and only God knows when that is.
Fourth, our love will never equal the Lord’s love for us. God cannot love us anymore than what He does right now. We have in our minds, if we went to services more, then God would love us more. That’s the way we think. It’s not the way God operates. His love isn’t based upon our behavior. His love is a choice. God so loved the world, is not based upon us returning that love to Him. Romans reminds us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. At the worst possible time, WHILE we were yet sinners, the BEST came. He didn’t come AFTER we stopped sinning. He didn’t come after we promised to go to services more. He came while we were yet sinners. Our passage is written from the perspective of earth, the Psalmist’s view point. He loves the Lord because the Lord heard his prayer. There is a because statement there. With God, there is no because statement. God does not love you because you are good. If that were the case, then the conclusion would be that God doesn’t love others. It is remarkable that God loves us. We are not the cute puppies in a pet shop window that look so adorable that God just had to take us home. Not at all. The image from the Bible is that we are wicked. We are rebellious. We are lawless. We are selfish. When He is thinking about us, we are not thinking about Him at all. While He blesses us, we ignore Him. While He tries to go after us, we run farther away. While He wants us, we don’t want Him. He is holy and we are not. He is good and we are not. We are broken. We are a mess. And, God has every reason to toss us away. He has every right to say, ‘You got into this mess, find your way out.’ But He doesn’t. He never gives up on us. He never stops trying. God loves us when we are not very loveable. And, that is amazing. His love is not based upon us.
All of this reminds us that we need to be thankful to the Lord when He answers our prayers in a way that we were asking. You have the ear of God. He wants to hear from you.
I love the Lord because He hears my voice.