Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).”
Jeremiah 33: 3
“Show” – To make visible. To guide, point out, and conduct. To manifest. To indicate.
What would I like for God to “show” me?
Not An Umbrella
“Lord, help us not to
Look on You as an umbrella,
But as someone who
Helps us to enjoy
“(God) shewed the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith, and not that of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Ephesians 2: 7, 8
King James Version
I’m certain many of you remember being in elementary school and your teacher announced there was going to be a “Show and Tell” event. For those of you who may not have experienced this activity, I’ll explain what usually happened. Each child in the classroom would bring something from home that they would show to the class. Of course, there was the “telling” part where you were asked to explain or give facts about the item you had on display. I’ll never forget in second grade when one of my friends brought his pet frog and, of course, it got loose in the classroom and we were able to disrupt class to find the wayward frog – which we did! There was always a slightly competitive side to “Show and Tell” with each student trying to outdo the other with their “big surprise.”
Even as adults, there’s still a little “Show and Tell” in all of us. I know my husband, a huge car lover, can’t resist sharing news of a new automobile with his “car buddies.” And I love taking my sister to town so we can get something new to wear. Honestly, the fun of those occasional shopping sprees is seeing her face light up as she models a potential new outfit for me.
Our wonderful God of love is certainly aware of the delight His human children take in seeing things. Just look at the variety in our world that our Creator has given us to feast our eyes upon. Whether it’s the beauty of a table of food…the awe we feel gazing on a natural wonder like the Grand Canyon…or the playful antics of a squirrel feasting on nuts and grains – God “shows” us every day that He takes pleasure in seeing us come to the banquet table of His gifts.
As we pull up our chairs to the table laden with God’s beauty, He wants to give us a bigger, wider and deeper view of “Who” He is. Oh yes, we can see all He has created. We can breather the air, feel the warm sun, and be refreshed by water – all gifts from His generous hand. But God wants us to see more than a surprising frog or magic rock when we come to His “Show and Tell.” And there’s a good reason why.
You see, when God asks me to “Draw nigh to Him” to come to my Father, the King of the Universe, He wants me to understand completely why I can trust Him with the most important – the most intimate – and the most precious people and events in my own life. And how does He do this? How can God get me to understand that He, and He alone, can take care of absolutely everything that burdens my heart and destroys my happiness?
There’s only one way. At God’s “Show and Tell” He brings the biggest, the best and the only gift He has to “show” us how much He cares for us. God began to “show” what He would do in the Old Testament when He told the prophet Jeremiah “When you cry and call on Me, I will answer your request by showing you big things that are hidden now” (Jeremiah 33: 3). It’s as if God said, “When I come to “Show and Tell” you’ll never forget what I’m bringing -- and God was right. Because as the apostle Paul writes in the New Testament, where God showed us His ultimate gift – it was unimaginable by us poor little human beings. His amazingly spectacular surprise was His only begotten Son – Jesus Christ. Now I ask you, why would God come to our earthly “Show and Tell” with such a magnificent gift?
Well, I want to go back to the way we started our study on the gift of prayer – direct communication with the King of the Universe – Our Father. First, our Father invites us to draw near to Him. “Come close.” He says, “Don’t be afraid to get near Me.” Then He says, “Call on me. Cry out. Holler if you have to. But just talk to Me.” But He doesn’t stop there. He tells us to ask Him for anything -- big or small. And He promises that not only is He listening before we ask, He also hears, pays attention to, and comprehends every request that comes to Him. There’s more He promises He will answer – in the exact way that is best for our lives. What a relief. God doesn’t just give me every goofy thing I ask for. Sometimes I don’t know what’s best for myself. Instead, He gives me what He knows is for my ultimate good!
STOP! For what happens next is the key to ultimate communication between two people. God doesn’t just say, “OK, Dorothy. I know what’s best for you -- so you have to trust Me on this one.” No, He doesn’t do that. He gives me indisputable proof that He has put everything on the line for my own good. The apostle Paul in Ephesians 2 tells us “God shewed us all His riches, His best gift, His biggest gift, His most spectacular kindness…when He gave us the gift of Christ Jesus.” Now to be honest with you, it took me quite a while to understand what God’s gift of Jesus has to do with my personal prayer life. I understand that God sent His Son to save me; most of us have heard this all our lives. But how does God sending His Son to this earth help me when my dad just dropped dead or my sister is diagnosed with cancer or when my best friend’s husband of 30 years leaves her for a woman half her age? When our feet hit the hard cold earth —what does God do to “show” us He has things in control? His hand’s on the throttle. He’s taken the wheel and He’s going to get me safely through?
He gives His Son! He gives me the greatest gift in the universe – His child! He couldn’t give anything bigger or better! He couldn’t give more. He gave the ultimate. Why? Because by giving all He had to give He has “shown” me that when it comes to handling the problems I bring Him every day, He is the only person capable and willing to put His all on the line to fix my world. He gave me all when He gave me Jesus – the greatest gift in the entire universe. And He’ll give me His all when my marriage is falling apart or my health is a disaster or my finances are in a shambles. He’s proven Himself by showing us! And believe me, I’m willing to trust Someone who has put His whole world on the line for me – aren’t you, also?
“The power of prayer is certainly wonderful. One might liken it to a queen who always has free access to the king and can obtain everything she asks.”
St. Therese of Lisieux
Sermon in a Sentence
He Will Meet Your Need
“Of what avail this restless, hurrying activity?
This heavy weight of earthly duties?
God’s purposes stand firm,
And thou, His little one,
Needest one thing alone.
Trust in His power and He will meet thy need,
Thy burden resteth safe on Him,
And thou, his little one,
Mayest play securely at His side
This is the sum and substance of it all.
God loveth thee,
God beareth all thy care.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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