Ready

So, were you ready on September 18th?  You didn’t know?  It was national “Get Ready Day”.

I didn’t have it on my calendar either.  But the American Public Health Association identified that as a day to draw attention to our need to be ready for at least 31 types of disaster.  They had a list ranging from volcano eruptions, tsunamis, disease carrying mosquitoes, power outages and wildfires, to home disasters, work emergencies, nuclear and radiation exposure, mental health emergencies and landslides.

I’m exhausted just thinking about everything I need to do.  🙂

I’m all for preparation.  I live in an area prone to hurricanes, so I know all about making sure I have the candles and the water and the emergency food in case a storm turns in our direction.

But there are things in life that are more difficult to prepare for.

Are we ever really ready to get a phone call at 4:00 in the morning?  You know the ones – the phone calls that bring bad news?  Are we ever really ready for those situations that catch us off guard and leave us blindsided and confused?

There are no checklists for times like those, no storage closets for the things we’ll need to get us through.  And yet, while we can’t really stockpile calm and peace and clear thinking, we can know where to reach for them when the time comes.

God has an unlimited supply of everything we’ll need.  Being “ready” for the seeming disasters in our lives means knowing that nothing happens outside of His control or behind His back, and believing that He is ready and willing to give us whatever it takes to get us through.

I might not always be completely ready for the unexpected, but I’ll be ready to trust the one who has it all under control.

Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.  Psalm 46:2

So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”  Hebrews 13:6

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.   Psalm 50:15

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.           Psalm 23:4

He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.  Psalm 112:7

Beyond

It’s funny sometimes how a song you haven’t heard in years will suddenly pop into your head…and your heart.

I was having one of those “Why, Lord?” moments yesterday during my quiet time, wondering what was happening (or not happening) in my life.  And God brought the words to this song to my mind.  I went in search of the CD and as soon as I started playing it, I knew God was trying to tell me something.

His faithfulness exceeds Beyond What I Can See

My God is faithful
For not one promise He has made
Has gone unfulfilled
According to His will
And He is able
For by His grace He supplies
My every need
His faithfulness exceeds
Beyond what I can see

And God is worthy
If not another blessing came
I’d still give Him praise
The balance of my days
And He’s forgiving
Though I’ve caused Him much pain
Still He calls me friend
His love and grace exceed
Beyond what I can see

God is holy
And He delivered me from sin
To be the same
And to Him I remain
Forever thankful
For though I’d broken His commands
He still set me free
His love for me exceeds
Beyond what I can see

Chorus:
Beyond what I can see
Beyond what I can see
Though the road’s not clear
I will not fear
The way He’s leading me
So, until the morning light
When my faith ends in sight
I’ll rest assured
In whom I have believed
And follow on beyond what I can see.

recorded by Larnelle Harris

For we walk by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

Specific

I think it should have been pretty obvious.

Two blind men sitting by the side of a road.  Jesus comes by with a huge crowd following close behind. The blind men are making a commotion with their cries for mercy. The crowd tries to get  them to be quiet and that makes them cry out even more.

The stage is set. Here’s the omnipotent miracle worker and two sightless men and a worked-up crowd.  But Jesus doesn’t do the obvious.  He stops and asks them a question instead.

“What do you want Me to do for you?”  

Really?  Couldn’t He  have figured it out?  They’re blind!  I wonder if they thought He was kidding.  But they didn’t skip a beat.  They answered quickly, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened”.

Sometimes you just need to be specific.

So, if I was sitting by the side of the road and Jesus came by and asked me exactly what I wanted Him to do for me, what would I say?    Would I stumble over my words?  Would I stutter and avert my eyes and say something acceptable and generic like, “Well, Lord, whatever You want”?

Would Jesus take my lowered chin in His hand, lift it up, look me in the eyes and say, “Really, Sharon, what do you want me to do for you?”

Of course He knows our need. Of course He knows what will happen next.  But sometimes He wants to hear it from us, in our words, from our hearts. Jesus wants us to ask.

Don’t just cry out.  Don’t be shy.

Be specific.

What do you want me to do for you?  Matthew 20:32

Until now you have asked nothing in My name.  Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.  John 16:24

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble.  You will prepare their heart.  You will cause Your ear to hear.  Psalm 10:17

Then you will call upon Me, and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.   Jeremiah 29:12

(adapted from a post originally published in 2010)