Today’s scriptures are an interesting mix. They speak of a God who does not forget us; who cares for each of us. Esther calls out to God, "Help me, who am alone and have no help but you." The psalmist proclaims, "When I called, you answered me." And in Matthew, Jesus reassures us that if we just ask, seek and knock, God will answer us.
Have you ever wondered, has God forgotten about me? Does God really care about me? Does God see me? It’s easy to see the power of God. It’s easy to believe in the greatness of God. Just look around. The intricacy of nature, a flowing river, mountains, the earth, the stars. It’s harder to see a personal God. A God who knows my name, who knows what I’ve done, who knows what I’m doing right now. A God who actually cares about me. Christ reassures us in a great scripture lesson that God cares for us more than we can imagine. If only I could live my life with that thought in front of me. If only I would live my life with the thought that God never forgets me and is watching over me constantly.
A few months back, the wife of a boyhood friend called me and invited
me to a surprise 50th birthday party for my old friend. I had not
seen him in a long time and looked forward to the party. My friend
was completely surprised. It was a wonderful party. I saw people
I had not seen in years. Midway through the party, I spotted my
friend’s father across the room. I immediately went over and
greeted him. I could tell by his quizzical look that he did not
recognize me. I exclaimed, "Mr. Walker, don’t you know
me? It’s me, Dan O’Reilly." His reply broke my
heart. He said, "I’m sorry, I have the Alzheimer’s."
Sometimes I stress out over the goofiest things. I stress out over family, friends, job, money and normal things, but I stress out over goofy things, too. Like my relationship with God. Am I praying enough, am I reading the Bible enough, am I drifting away, does God really care about me? What do you do to relieve stress? What do you do when things start to boil and you know you’ve reached the end of your rope?
One of my stress relievers is to break up fire wood with a big ax. Nothing like some good, hard physical exertion to get rid of stress. Well, a week or two ago, I had hit a pretty high stress level . I really needed to smash something. I went out to the back yard and broke up an old chest of drawers. It hardly dented my stress level. I then went to work on an old, large stump. The first few swings of the ax didn’t even dent it. I brought it down with every ounce of force I had in my body. The ax hit the side of the log and spun out of control. I did a pirouette trying to avoid the spinning ax and wound up flat on my back gasping for breath. And then a voice came from above. "Don’t kill yourself!" It was my 17 year old son who had been watching the whole episode from an upstairs window. Not exactly the voice of God, but God was giving me a message through my son. Maybe some quiet prayer time would better relieve my stress.
My prayer today is for all those who, because of illness, depression, stress or whatever, believe that God has forgotten them. That we all would be assured or reassured that God loves us and will never forget us.
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