Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "We Give Thee But Thine Own"1 (Lyrics)
Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (ESV)
Recently, our family was visiting my wife's mother in Rochdale, England. Caroline decided to take the children and her mum on a shopping trip into nearby Manchester, leaving me at the house.
As I slurped my tea, I received a telephone call from Caroline. I could tell that she was anxious as she recounted how thirteen-year-old Sophia had managed to get herself separated from the rest of the family in the middle of the crowded shopping mall.
She asked for us to pray together over the telephone. So, we prayed for Sophia to be safe and for Jesus to be there, bringing peace and a quick resolution to the situation.
I know that I can ask Jesus, and I know that Jesus hears our prayers, because He calls His followers friends. As our Friend, Jesus does not always answer prayers in the manner or timing that we want, but we can always persist in hope.
Like the New Testament disciples, I have prayed for people and there has been no change. Sometimes, I pray for people and their petitions are answered right away. It is Jesus' kingdom. Being a control freak, it is tough for me not to know for certain beforehand how Jesus will answer my prayers for His intervention, but that is the way of things; it's called faith.
After I prayed with Caroline, I sensed the Holy Spirit being present to say that He was there with us at either end of the telephone. I knew not how the prayer would be answered, just that Jesus was there. Later, Caroline rang me to say that Sophia had done the right thing and made herself known at an information desk. Subsequently, the security guards escorted Caroline to Sophia and they continued to enjoy the day.
Sometimes, Jesus as Friend encourages me to know that I am loved as I walk with Him, meditate upon Him, and worship Him. Sometimes, when I am overly focused on life and the tasks in the moment, Jesus as Friend seems a distant reality, only because His presence is not the main focus. It is a tension that I live with, but I always know where my help comes from.
The heart of the matter is the answer to this question: How much faith or doubt is there in our relationship with Jesus when life throws us a curveball or when we find ourselves with something unknown?
Today, if our faith seems to be missing in action, let us ask Jesus, Who is always faithful, to meet with us where we are, in our doubts or confusion, to take us deeper into relationship, bringing His immeasurable love and peace with Him. He is just waiting for us to ask.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for being the One Whom we can trust in prayer to be with us and guide us always. As followers, we rejoice in Your unfailing love. This we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.