Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Cleanse Me"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 11:9-10 – And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (NLT)
I have worked for the past fifteen years in the justice system, hands-on as a social worker, speaking with offenders in their living units and trying to assist them to untangle the situations in which they found themselves. Sometimes, it was providing contact information for community resources. Often, it was discussing their recovery from addictions and their plans to move forward, clean and sober. Though some went on to new lives, many unfortunately returned to their old ways. I tried to take solace in the fact that as Alcoholics Anonymous states, We are in the efforts business, not the results business. However, after such a period of time, the cumulative effect of all these experiences had begun to take its toll on me. I lost my faith in God and stopped going to church. I started to see each day as an endless black hole, and decided that the job had stained my soul irrevocably, to the point where I would never again feel joy.
When I reached my lowest point, I returned to my faith and decided to pray for help. Not convinced at that time that anything would change, but feeling as if it were worth a try, I did my knocking on the door. Then, I decided to return to church. As with my return to faith, it was a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, going through the motions to get dressed and show up. However, after a short time, the door was opened, and I felt a call to participate in the music liturgy. These days, I am a member of the choir and even act occasionally as cantor, singing the weekly psalm.
I have also started to notice the daily miracles that occur in my life. This morning, I knocked my glasses under the bed. Both my wife and I looked everywhere to no avail. I stopped, took a deep breath, and then prayed about it. I then walked back into the bedroom, and there were my glasses sitting on the bed, a place that I had searched thoroughly.
Since returning to faith, the days are brighter now. Each early morning as I am out with my two Shih Tzu dogs, I say a prayer of gratitude to God for the day that He has given me.
Let us all resolve to keep on knocking and maintain a strong faith and sense of gratitude, no matter how dark the future looks.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, hear us knocking and open the door, so that we may rejoice in Your grace. Through Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.