Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Nearer My God To Thee"1 (Lyrics)
Recently, the Lord brought to mind my experience of what I called at the time, "The Blessing of Clear Sailing". Beginning in 1999, throughout a 21-month regime of medical treatments requiring many long car rides, we travelled without difficulties, and my health improved beyond expectation. People from several churches as well as our extended family were praying for me.
From then on, if I knew of someone facing surgery or medical treatments, I prayed — asking for "clear sailing" for them.
I was reminded of "clear sailing" recently during my Bible reading, when I found the prayer of the unnamed servant whom Abraham sent to find a bride for Isaac.
Genesis 24:12 – "O Lord, God of my master Abraham," he prayed, "please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham." (NLT)
In asking God for success, the servant invited the Lord to demonstrate His unfailing love. The prayer honoured God as God, Who is love.
Intrigued by the idea of God-organized "success", I found that the Hebrew word translated "success" is "qarah", which looks like and almost rhymes with the English word "care". An online lexicon/dictionary of the Bible offers the following interpretations:
- cause to meet
- cause to happen this day
- make opportune, convenient
- lay beams or joists to make the beams to meet one another, hence to frame, to build
- to be by chance, to happen
- good speed (the King James Version translation)
- go smoothly, make ends meet, God-speed (my paraphrases)
Boiled down, those meanings summarized my experience of "The Blessing of Clear Sailing". Broaden the application, expand our trust in God's love, and "Aha!" — we can ask for "qarah" at any time about all things pertaining to life and godliness.
Now, I deliberately ask for "qarah" in my prayers. If what I experienced as "The Blessing of Clear Sailing" fourteen years ago is available for the asking, and if God demonstrates His unfailing love with answers to prayer requests for "qarah", I want it in abundance for myself and everyone. I'm sure that you do, too!
These days, asking and thanking God for "qarah" is as much a part of my daily prayers as including the phrase, "Give us this day, our daily bread", from the Lord's Prayer.
Prayer: Father in heaven, You love us with a mysterious, generous tenderness, far exceeding our finite understanding. You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Way to come boldly to You for mercy and help. May we know the serenity of trusting in You, mixed with the joy found in seeing Your "qarah" in our lives. Remind us to ask You, in the name of Christ, for "qarah", and then to give You thanks for blessed opportunities, convenience, success, God-speed, good happenstance, and evidence of the loving care You provide. Amen.