Daily Reflection
June 30th, 1999
by
Daniel Patrick OíReilly
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Genesis 21:5, 8-20
Psalms 34:7-8, 10-13
Matthew 8:28-34
 
The Scripture readings today are very diverse, the lessons are numerous and some are humorous.  In Genesis, the first lesson is that God has a sense of humor.  I have a picture in my mind of God dropping the newborn Isaac in Abrahamís hundred year old lap and sitting back and chuckling.  Iíve always viewed children as Godís gift to and joke on us.  God gives us these little bundles that will drain us emotionally, physically and financially and the moment they are in our arms, we fall in love with them.  Abraham was probably overjoyed and overwhelmed at the same time.  The second lesson is that one wife is plenty.  Already overwhelmed with a newborn, Abraham now faces squabbling wives delivering ultimatums.  A great argument for a monogamous marriage.  And lastly, God always keeps His promises.  God promises Abraham that he will take care of Ishmael, Abraham trusts God and God delivers.  A simple lesson that we can carry with us every day of our lives.

The Psalmist echoes this trust theme from Genesis.  ďThose who seek the Lord lack no good thingĒ.

The story from Matthew is one of those where all I can do is scratch my head.  You know how some stories donít end the way you expect them to?  Or someone reacts just the opposite of how you would expect them to react?  This is one of those stories.  Christ comes upon two men possessed by demons.  He casts the demons out, the demons go into a herd of swine and the pigs rush into the sea and drown.  Witnesses run into town and report what has happened.  The whole town comes out and when they see Jesus....   they plead with him to leave.  What?!?  The Son of God shows up, performs a great miracle and youíre concerned about some pigs?  What the heck is wrong with these people?  However, on second thought, I wonder how much Iím like the towns people.  How often does the Holy Spirit nudge me and I ignore it?  ďThe pig business is just fine right now, please leave me aloneĒ.  I would hope that I would be more open to Godís guidance than the towns people in the story, but I wonder.  Recently, a niece who graduated from high school asked me if I feared death.  I gave the pat ďno, Iím a ChristianĒ answer and then became frustrated when she questioned further.  In retrospect, I feel God opened a door for me about as wide as He could, but my own doubts and fears kept me from stepping through.  My hope is that I have not closed the door completely on my niece and another opportunity will be presented.  My prayer today would be that I would be open to Godís guidance and that I would trust in Godís promises enough to step through the doors that He opens.

 daniel@creighton.edu
 
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