Archive for June 21st, 2018

2 Chronicles 1Our Requests

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Several days ago we reflected on David’s last words and what our own might be.  Today we look at what immediately follows.  Solomon’s request gives us hope for this people who have struggled against odds to be a nation of their own.  When we read the entire story we know how things end for Solomon; but rather than focus on hopes dashed by tragic defects, we might instead consider what we might ask of God if he were to say to us as he does to Solomon: Make a request of me, and I will grant it to you. 

God actually appears to Solomon and this we might envy, wishing that God would approach us in human form to speak with us directly.  Yet, have we considered that God does this daily by appearing through others?  And when God does appear, what is it that we ask of him?  Do we ask for comfort and ease?  Something that brings us and others justice?  Do we look for some wide and sweeping gift like world peace, or good leaders?  Or do we ask for something small for each of us: freedom from fear of any kind, respect for others and for the planet? 

God actually appears to us every minute of every day – although we may not feel his presence he is there all the same.  Jesus lived among humans for a brief time and the resurrected Christ appeared to the twelve, to the seventy and seventy-two and to hundreds and thousands.  Jesus continues to appear to us each day and each night always asking us – just as he did for the blind, the lame, the sick and the sorrowful: What is that you want?   Jesus is constantly saying to us in both little ways and big ways – just as he did for those who accompanied him in his ministry – Do not be afraid, you have nothing to fear, I am with you. 

God wants to grant our heart’s desire.  God has plans of joy for us.  God loves us beyond measure.  God wants us to be happy.  God wants to bring us justice.  God holds us and cares for us constantly.  God’s Spirit has chosen to dwell within us just as God chose to live among the Israelites in the tent we read about today.  God exists and abides with us; we just want proof that he is actually where we want him to be . . . looking like someone we want him to look like . . . acting like someone we want him to act like . . . saying what we want him to say.  But this is not how God works.  Still . . .

Make a request of me, and I will grant it to you. 

We constantly complain that we might be happier, more prosperous, better looking, and less cranky if only . . .   If only I had a better job, if only the church service were more interesting,  if only my family understood where I was coming from, if only the government would . . . if only.  Yet, when we honestly examine our lives we discover that we have most of what we have requested and often more besides – just like Solomon; but we have allowed ourselves to become so overwhelmed by what our culture demands of us – which often runs counter to what God asks of us – that we have not even noticed.  And so we add more if onlys” to our litany.

Make a request of me, and I will grant it to you. 

God grants Solomon the gifts of wisdom and knowledge and more besides; God also gives Solomon riches, treasures and glory.   It is Solomon who struggles to handle all of this.  It is Solomon who becomes influenced by the world and who turns away from God . . . it is not God who ignores or abandons Solomon.

Make a request of me, and I will grant it to you. 

We may want to spend some reflection time today pondering what it is exactly that we want from God . . . and what it is exactly that we will do with these gifts – for God will surely grant our request.

We may also want to spend some time pondering how it is exactly that we will share these gifts, how it is exactly that we plan to remain close to God, how it is exactly that we will bear fruit back to this marvelous God who loves us so much that he says to us daily . . . Make a request of me, and I will grant it to you. 

We will be away from the Internet for several days. Please enjoy this reflection first posted on June 21, 2011. 

Images from: http://www.thesunblog.com/gourmetgal/2009/01/ and http://www.thesunblog.com/gourmetgal/2009/01/

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