There is an old story preachers tell about a man trapped on the top of his house during a flood or hurricane or tsunami (insert your own natural disaster). The water is swiftly rising. As this man sits on his roof, fearful of being swept away by the current, he cries out to God, “God please deliver me.”
A few moments later, a farmer friend arrives with his boat. “Hey, friend, want a ride to safety?” he asks. “No,” replies the man on top of his house. “God is going to deliver me.”
An hour later, the water is up to the gutters. A voluntary rescue person comes by on his yellow raft. “Hey, let’s get you off of there—and on to safety,” he yells. But the man on top of his house refuses to go. “God is going to deliver me.”
Another hour passes and now the water is halfway up the roof. Roof Man is now on top of his chimney, nervously looking down at certain death and destruction. Fortunately, a Red Cross volunteer swings by in a canoe and offers to ride Roof Man to safety. But Roof Man refuses. “No, God is going to deliver me.”
A couple of hours pass by and the water sweeps over the top of Roof Man’s house. He is carried away by the current and drowns. When he gets to Heaven, he meets Jesus and says, “I thought you were going to deliver me.”
Jesus looks down at Roof Man and says, “I sent a boat, an inflatable raft, and a canoe—but you refused each one.”
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
These days people need help. They are worried and stressed out. We face trials daily. But how do we respond? To note just a few everyday trials; finances, loss of home, bankruptcy, rebellious teen, co-workers, marital problems, unemployment or a sick child. No matter what issue we face, they have to be resolved. Through reading Facebook comments and talking with friends, when it comes to troubles I’ve noticed a few patterns:
1. Keep it to yourself so people don’t know your business. Don’t ask for prayer at all. Shut out family and friends because you don’t want to tell everyone your problems, you think they don’t care or you don’t want to worry them.
2. Ask for prayers and information that will help but get aggravated when people ask questions. Avoid people who have suggestions that may lead to answers. Respond to the prayer warriors as if they are taking up too much of your time. Or just don’t respond to them at all.
3. Ask for prayers and information that will help and feel overjoyed that people respond with kindness. Express gratitude when people use their time to contact you with information or suggestions. Stay contacted to your prayer warriors. Keep them updated so they can be specific with their prayers. Let them know their concern is cherished.
“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;..”
Don’t ask for prayer and then ignore your prayer warriors. Don’t carry a burden alone when people will pray for you. Don’t say you’ll pray unless you are going to do it. Prayer is powerful.
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Love and prayers to all,