A Time To Reflect

Most of you are probably reading this from home, some of you are working from home, others just home. There is no question, in the last few weeks, we all have been forced into a new rhythm of life. I know for me there are some aspects of slowing down that I am enjoying, others parts not so much.

By far, the hardest part is not being able to be with friends and family.

How ever you are feeling about things, in uncertain times it’s easy to feel stress and it can be difficult to find peace. I am grateful to have a few minutes to share something with you that God spoke to me this week.

For some of us, we can loose sight of God in diffulicult times, we can feel afraid and ask ourselves why is this happening? I am big on the WHY question, I am always’s asking WHY this or WHY that.

I was thinking about “why” this week, “why” this virus and then I came across a passage in the Hebrew scriptures in the book of 11 Chronicles 7: 11

Soloman, who we are told was the son of King David, and the richest and wisest man to ever live, has just completed the most important work of his life, building the Temple of God in Jerusalem, and his own palace. This is the one place on earth where God’s presence would be with man, and the entire Jewish Nation from all over the world would come to worship God.

Soloman had completed building the Temple of the Lord and prayed a prayer dedicating God’s new home. They Jewish people celebrated for 7 days and then one night God appears to Soloman and this is what God says to him.

“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. 13 At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you.14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. 16 For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.”

In the days before Jesus was born on earth God’s dwelling was in the Temple, but today as followers of Jesus we are His Temple, Jesus presence through His Holy Spirit is in each of His followers. 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

No one can truly know the purpose God has in allowing difficult times in our lives, but we do learn something from His Words to Soloman.
1. In difficult times, God hears the prayers of His people – He says “15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.” Bring your worry to God, He is waiting to hear your prayer.

2. Difficult times are an opportunity to humble ourselves and seek God. Not all of us, but many of us have margin right now, God is giving some of us the gift of time, lets use it to move close and listen to His voice, spend time in the Books of the Bible and allow His voice to speak to you.
Humility does not come easy for me. Maybe it’s not easy for you either. I heard a wise man say. it’s a much easier path to humble yourself before God, then to be humbled by God.

3. Difficult times can motivate us to examine our own lives and confess to God anything that does not please him and turn from our sin. Soloman’s Father David wrote these words of confession when he had fallen into sin.

Psalm 51 1-4
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight

Is this virus that is plaguing our world allowed by God to cause both Christians and non-Christians alike to turn to God, I frankly do not know, but, lets not waste a moment of the crisis we face, lets all together use this as an opportunity to evaluate where we are with God, and step toward Him, in fact lets run into His arms of Grace and Mercy.