Prayer At The End Of The Day

Day is done.

Night is upon us.

God’s Spirit fills us with his grace.

Sleep awaits us to renew us and to sort out the mysteries of this day past and prepare us for the new day that awaits our presence bringing the grace of God to all who cross our paths.

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Thou Art The Man

In 2 Samuel 12,  7 we hear the story of two men, one was wealthy and had thousands of sheep in his flocks. The other man was poor and had only one small sheep that lived with his family as a pet.

When the wealthy man had a visitor he wanted to impress he sent his servants to take the one lamb of the poor man to feed his guest rather than take one from his flocks of thousands.

Nathan the prophet used this story to shame David for taking the wife of Uriah and having a child with her. David could have had any woman in Israel as his wife to raise up children, but instead he took the wife of a solder and had the solder killed.

Nathan pointed out that David had indeed done the very same thing as the wealthy man who took the one and only sheep from the poor man. When he told the story to David, he became enraged that anyone would do such a thing. At that point, Nathan said to David, “Thou art the man”.

This simple story from antiquity is a good example for us today to strive to increase our awareness so that we do not do similar things unknowingly. In this age of rampant selfishness, we tend to think only of ourselves and what feels good to us as the sole criterion for our behavior.

We see the powerful of our day, even those in leadership, who have many resources and yet take from those who have only a few. This happens even in the Church where we see Christians so possessed of selfishness that they behave as if they never have enough and are on the lookout to take from those who only have a little. Those who are gifted in serving others will sometime use their gifts to feel important rather than let one less gifted use his small gift to serve another.

We see those with much reach for the little that others have and never seem to be aware of what they are doing. We need a Nathan today to tell us, “Thou art the Man.”

Why Did You Let That Happen, Lord?

When we have to face the death of a young person it often leaves us with a loss for words. We cannot explain it. It doesn’t make sense. They were just beginning their lives when they were cut down by death. Part of the void we feel in us has to do with those unanswered questions.

If the person is very old, we will grieve for them when they die but usually there aren’t the haunting questions that pop into our minds when the person is young. It’s almost as if we understand that because the person was old they had plenty of time to work out their relationship with God and thus we don’t feel quite the same sense of ‘loss before their time’ with the accompanying questions.

If the person is somewhere between the two extremes of young and old, then we are likely to linger over thoughts of their deaths with rationalizations such as, ‘they accomplished a lot’, ‘they’re in a better place’, or, ‘it was just too soon for them to go’. But, the disturbing questions we ask when a young person dies just don’t apply.

Death, is such a large part of life that it literally qualifies to be called a mystery. Even though we know that it awaits all of us, still, it is beyond our reason. At some point in our dealing with the death of a family member or a friend, we arrive at the point where we know, we don’t know, and gradually move toward acceptance. The questions still have not been answered. The feelings of loss still linger.

Scripture asks the question, “Oh death, where is your sting”. I think the sting is precisely at the point where we just don’t know what lies beyond it. The unknown is thrust upon us like it or not. As humans we like to be in control and understand life in a way that makes sense to us. When we are not in control or when it does not makes sense we are stung to the center of our being.

The Good News is that even in the face of the unknown we have the God-given gift of faith in Him. We know this world is a place of preparation for the next, and so whatever happens here will prepare us for what comes next, beyond this world.

We know that God loves us and His every response to us, is for our good and not our woe – even those things that we do not understand. It is our faith in Him that will see us through all the tough times that come our way that can help prepare us for the next world where we will see Him in His glory.

Once we arrive there, we can ask Him all the questions we have saved up to ask Him. Only, once we arrive, it won’t matter anymore, because we will be home with Him.