Monday, September 24, 2012
Up Close and Personal
I keep getting the SAME MESSAGE everywhere I turn lately. God is in the details. He is deeply personal and cares about the details we care about. At church a couple of weeks in a row, the pastor sort of went off track to talk emphasize that our God is a personal God who relates to everyone in their "language." Why? Because he is a personal God, who cares about the details.
When he talks to this woman in the passage below, he speaks to her in a parable that she totally understands because she answers him the same way. Frankly, Jesus lost me a little bit with the dogs, but she understands him clearly.
24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.[g] He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. Mark 7:24-30
In the passage immediately following that, he does pantomimes to show a deaf man he is about to be healed.
31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.[h] 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.
33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
He obviously didn't have to touch this guy's ears or tongue, he did it to communicate the only way this guy could. To speak his language. The guy could have been healed without him even knowing Jesus saw him. And please note this was not my observation, I heard a sermon on this and am completely stealing this man's ideas.
Someone told me today a story about praying over the mundane, because he cares about it all. I watched a video, the speaker said something about him speaking to us all in a personal way. I keep hearing the same thing every time I turn around.
So, I sat down tonight to write a prayer request for each member of my family that will be prayed over them by a group of people all year long. I take this seriously because I absolutely believe in the power of prayer and have been praying/thinking for a couple of weeks about what to write down. So I wrote down something for each of us but just didn't quite feel settled about it. Then I read this blog, one of only ones that I regularly read. If you don't click the link, it's about what this woman is praying over her kids. Seriously. God ABSOLUTELY meets us where we are, even if that's in blogland. Because he's personal and he knows us and wants us to know him.
The only other time I've ever gotten such a clear and direct answer to prayer was praying about adoption. I haven't shared this much because I think it sounds a little like a weirdo story but this is what happened and I feel led to share it now. So, before I was pregnant with Hayes I was really not sure what to do about having a third. We had more or less decided to have a third and I just couldn't get settled about it, even though part of me was really excited. I was torn up about it because I strongly felt we should adopt, that we literally have a child somewhere else. I prayed and prayed about the situation and in the middle of the day I was playing with my boys in the living room and felt like I should stand up, walk out of the room, and turn my bible to Jeremiah 49:11. I had never (that I remember) read that scripture and felt a little odd. I was questioning if I was putting thoughts into my own head or what was going on and had no idea what this scripture would be. I was certainly not expecting what I saw.
Here it is:
‘Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive.
Your widows too can depend on me.’”
God speaks to us in ways we can grasp. He had to spell it out for me.....I got 'em, sister. You do what you need to do, I've got these orphans.
I really don't know why I'm typing all this tonight, but it feels like the story should be shared, this evening. So, that's all I've got. He's personal. He wants to know you and be known. And he'll talk through a blog, through the bible, whatever. He is our Father that finds us where we are and delights in us.
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”