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Son of Promise

On this Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

In David’s youth, he seemed to have direct access to God.  David asks God if he should attack the Philistines at Keilah and the Lord answers.  1 Sm. 23:2.  David asks God if Saul will betray David in Keilah, and again the Lord answers him.  1 Sm. 23:10.  David asks God if he should pursue the raiders who destroyed Ziklang, and God answers him.  1 Sm. 30:8.  When David asks God where he should go after Saul’s death, the Lord tells him to go to Hebron.  2 Sm. 2:1.  David asks God if he should attach the Philistines at Rephaim, and even asks how he should attack.  And God answers.  2 Sm. 5:18-25.

But eventually this direct line of communication seems to dry up and the Lord begins communicating with David through prophets.

When David contemplates building a house for God, the Lord sends Nathan as His mouthpiece.  And David listens.  Is this what is meant when David is described as being after God’s own heart?  Acts 13:22.  Is it because David can hear the voice of God in any medium God uses?

I’ve heard people talking about how God told them something.  Maybe He told them to do something.  Or not to do something.  Or to be patient.  Or be “not afraid.”  I don’t remember ever have such direct communications with God.  Sure, I pray and I am confident He listens and answers.  But I don’t ever recall a burning bush experience, a finger drawing on the wall, or a voice in the night.

Instead, it seems God speaks to me through the circumstances I find myself in.  He speaks through the scale that tells me I have a few extra pounds and need to adjust my eating habits.

Mostly, God speaks to me through the people He blesses my life with.

God speaks through my son when he tells me and my wife, “stop arguing!”

God speaks through my wife when she reminds me to drive safely.

And God speaks through my dad when he tells to get back into running.

How do receive God’s messages and little nudges?  I know I can be very resistant.  I blame my pride.  It’s not so much that I’m expecting God to “tell it to my face.”  In fact, I’m afraid He might!

It’s more that either I don’t think the message is meant for me (“I AM driving safely!”) or I didn’t get the right messenger (“you’re no better a driver than I am!”)

So I now pray that I listen more closely to God, no matter how He tells me or whom He chooses to deliver the message.

Day 34-1

I ask God for the humility to accept His corrections no matter He uses to deliver the message.  He has blessed me abundantly and I know will bless me many-fold again if I only listen to His call.

Day 34-2


God’s Plan for Moses

On this Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.

God hears His people crying out to Him from captivity in Egypt.  So He tasks Moses with delivering the Israelites from Egypt—Moses, who was already rejected by his kinfolk and hunted by Pharaoh for murdering an Egyptian.

Moses—very much aware of his status in Egypt and among the Israelites—resists God’s call.

First: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

Then:  “if I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what do I tell them?”  Ex. 3:11 and 13.

After his initial resistance, Moses finally goes to Egypt.  The Israelites are receptive to Moses—at first.  But when Pharaoh begins to come down hard on the Israelites, the Israelites blame Moses.

This makes me wonder—who has God sent to “deliver” me from evil?  How have I received God’s messengers?

  • When I get “nagging” calls from the Membership Director of the local Knights of Columbus Council, do I view him as an annoyance, or do I recognize him as sent by God to deliver me by offering me fellowship and service opportunities?  
  • When my wife points out a flaws in my behavior or actions to help me improve, do I hear “nag nag nag” or do I accept the message in the spirit she intends it?  
  • And when my son makes a valid point in response to my rebuke, do I respond in pride—“I’m your father!”—or do I accept his wise observations?

God regularly sends messengers to help deliver me from my human condition, my weaknesses, my fallen nature.  When I reject His messengers, I reject Him.

Likewise, when I reject His call to deliver messages to others, I again reject Him.  How many opportunities does He present me to evangelize?  Do I recognize these opportunities?  Do I reject them, or shy away (“please, Lord, send someone else!”).

When God sends me, will I see a burning bush?  Am I waiting for the burning bush instead of listening for a whispered call, like when He called Samuel?

Day 23-1

I pray that I recognize not only His call, but those He sends.Day 23-2

Death of a Comet

A voice in the wilderness  warns all who hear:
“Make straight your pathways!  Salvation is near!”
His words a stark contrast to the everyday din;
A bright guiding comet ‘gainst the darkness of sin.

The icy bright tail light draws all those who thirst
For something to fill them and shatter their curse.
His following grows as he spreads the Good News
“Salvation is coming to all those who choose!”

And soon he starts washing them, dipping their brows
In the Jordan’s riparian aqueous flow.
“I baptize in water, He’ll baptize with fire.
He’ll satisfy hunger.  He’ll fill your desire.”

And those who would follow this heavenly sight
As he traveled, a bright flash against the dark night,
Their attention would draw to a much brighter star
The brightest celestial body by far.

And humbly, the comet would meekly submit.
“To loosen your sandals?  Lord, I am not fit!”
But not before dipping one more head in the flow.
Then, having completed his job, John would go.

The comet had drawn our attention to light
Flashing brightly in darkness to capture our sight
And now that its purpose was finished and done
Its brightness turns dim in the light of the Son.

This example I seek as my model for life
To help others find Him who gives peace in the strife.
And I hope I can say, at the end of my story,
That all that I’ve done was to seek out His glory.

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