Have you ever called out to God in a moment of crisis? Or, better put, how often have you cried out to God in a moment of crisis?
(The Atlantic via The Christian Post).
Of course we have all been there, and it will not change. God, after all, did not promise to keep us from life’s troubles. He just promised to be with us through them.
UK-born atheist, Christoper Hitchens, in a lengthy profile in Britain’s The Observer newspaper, said, “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”
Hitchens is dying of esophageal cancer, has written an atheist’s apologia against God, and has debated across the continent with the fervent Christian Dinesh D’Souza. None of us can evaluate his emotional wrestling-matches – he evidently was touched by a widespread “Pray for Christopher Hitchens Day” in September – but I shudder to contemplate if he is tempted to cry to God… but is deterred by pride.
If a reliance on God (please: no “higher being”; no “man upstairs” – I mean the God the Bible) is a basic yearning of every person’s soul, then we must admit that pride is a universal stumbling-block to exercising that reliance. How common is the realization that we turn for help… when we need help? The logic of it does not mitigate the embarrassment: “God, it’s me again. Sorry it’s been awhile…”
Too often we pray fervently in times of crises, and pray casually – or not at all – when blessings are flowing. Human nature.
God knows it is human nature. That is why He provided ways to counter that aspect. Communication, constant communication, which He calls prayer. And the testimony of our hearts, which He can read, and knows better than we ourselves do. God seeks communication with us – and half of that is hearing from us. He takes joy in every manner of our turning to Him. And He is grieved when we do not. In Micah 6:3 we have the picture of a God who is offended and hurt when we ignore Him: “O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me!”
So, if God receives pleasure when we seek Him and communicate through prayer, and if we generally tend to seek Him and pray only when things go bad… wouldn’t it be in the nature of a loving God to “allow” some “bad” things to buffet us?
I do not believe that He sends sickness or disease on His children – the Lord of the universe is not a child abuser – but for us to see Him as “an ever-present help in times of trouble,” there must be trouble. Following that, He will answer, and help, and communicate what we need to know: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17); “Thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee” (Psalm 9:10).
Is God at work in our lives when crises and problems beset us… if those are the only times when we seek fellowship with Him? Is this good theology? I don’t know. I’m just sayin’…
Here is a heartfelt spiritual song that briefly illustrates the anguished call to God we all experience at times. It is one of the very last songs that a feeble Johnny Cash recorded, but one of the most powerful of messages: “Help Me, Lord.”
Have a great week. Chat up a storm with your Creator.