I pray, and I pray a lot (I’m a pastor, and it’s what we do). One of the components of prayer is petitioning (asking). I ask, and I ask a lot because a guy named James told me, “You do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2b)
One of the things I ask for is, “Help!”
I pray, “Lord, please fix this mess!”
Sometimes He does, and sometimes He doesn’t. I’m okay either way to be honest because I trust this Guy to do what is right concerning me and others.
Our youngest son Jack has had two different motorcycle wrecks in the last year. Two surgeries later, along with a number of metal plates, bolts and screws, he continues to recover both physically, financially, mentally and emotionally. I praise God for how good He is to Jack and how he has taken care of him over and over.
Psalm 23:4 says, God is with us even in the valleys of life, the hard seasons and the motorcycle wrecks (you could insert sickness, loss of friendships, job losses, divorces, etc.). I’ve decided it’s hard, and we have to get used to it. It’s hard, but God is good!
There’s a great story in Luke 7 about Jesus hanging out in a little town called Nain. When Jesus got to town, He walked into the middle of a funeral: The only son of a widow had died. Verse 13 says He had “compassion on her.” Then He told the dead guy to get up, and he did — problem solved. The dead don’t always rise, but Jesus is always compassionate.
A friend of ours was telling us about a sermon they had recently heard. The pastor was sharing how we sometimes get in pits, and we all have those friends that yell from the top of the pit, “You can do it!”
Truth is we don’t always need cheerleaders; sometimes we need first responders. What I’m saying is we don’t need people encouraging us from outside the pit — we need people to climb down into the pit with us and actually help us. Jesus is that guy.
That day in the city of Nain, crying became laughter, and sadness became joy. A funeral became a party. As I walk with Christ, I experience this a lot.
In verse 16 of Luke 7 it says, “God has visited His people!”
As God responds to my conversations with Him about life — the good, the bad and the ugly — my testimony is that He still visits His people today. Sometimes the visit includes what we call a “positive” answer, but the visit always reveals what is good and right. He told me to tell you that.