Sometimes I feel lost in the crowd…skipped over…forgotten.
But then I hear You say “Everyone who asks, receives.”
Focus of the Month: “You have heard it said…”
“How much do I have to do? How many times must I call out to You? Why do I have to endure this suffering? Lord, don’t You see? Don’t You hear? Don’t You care? I’m surrounded by everyone, yet feel all alone. Swallowed up by the circumstances swirling around me, I sink even deeper in despair. A sea of voices roll through my mind, but none speak truth. Where are You? I need You!”
Have you ever felt this way? I have. Perhaps surprisingly, we are no different than the disciples when the waves filled their boat with water. Frantically they awoke Jesus, screaming, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Or, we like Martha who, exhausted from her preparations while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, exclaimed, “Lord, do You not care that my sister left me to do all the serving alone?” Further, we are like David who wrote, “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God for help.”
The truth is, the Lord DID answer each cry of distress, frustration, and despair. Jesus asked the disciples why they were afraid, and if they had no faith. He told Martha she worried about many things. David recounted the chaos all around, and suddenly God responded and rescued him. God heard each cry, and He answered.
God hears you. He answers you. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).
The answer isn’t always what we expect…or what we want to hear. If we are in fear, out of faith, and worried about many things – then we probably will not hear clearly or receive fully the answer we need in the moment of chaos. Even the disciples, when Jesus confronted them about their faith in the midst of the storm, asked among themselves, “Who is this that even the wind and sea obey Him?” They had been with Jesus and witnessed the truth of His power. How could they not know who He was?
Yet, in the midst of the storms of life, we do lose focus of who God is and who we are in Christ. Most often, we must quiet ourselves, surrender all, and turn our hearts fully to the Lord so that we can comprehend the answer He provides. Sometimes that surrender comes too late. It wasn’t until Jonah was in the belly of the whale that he chose to pray to the Lord. Jonah called out of his distress to the Lord, and the Lord answered him. He cried for help, and the Lord heard his voice. God delivered Jonah from the grips of death, and gave him an assignment that involved forgiveness, deliverance, and reconciliation.
God hears your voice – your cries – your prayers. If you have asked something of the Lord, you are an “everyone.” He hears you, He answers you, and you shall receive. Are you ready for the answer? Will you recognize Jesus and His words of instruction when they come? Are you prepared to hear an answer that opposes your “logical” desires to reach the deliverance you need?
Be assured: You are not lost in the crowd, insignificant, or forgotten. Ask. Believe you receive. And trust in the one, true, living God. He is your Rescuer, your Deliverer, your Answer.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Mark 4:35-41; Luke 10:38-42; Psalm 18:6-19; Jonah 2-3; Psalm 3; Mark 11:24