Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
June 28th, 2011
Daniel Patrick O'Reilly

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Today’s scripture readings speak of the power of God and how we can tap into that power via bold faith.  In Genesis we hear the age old story of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Lot flees, his wife becomes a pillar of salt and the towns are destroyed.  The psalmist proclaims, “Your mercy is before my eyes.”  At first I thought this was kind of strange.  A wrathful God (the stereotypical image that turns so many off), followed by the psalmist talking about God’s mercy.  And in Matthew, we hear the story of Jesus and the disciples in a boat facing a storm.  The disciples panic and Jesus calms the wind and the sea.  The disciples are amazed.

I love these two stories.  And I love the contrast between Lot and the disciples.  A violent storm comes up and the disciples run to Jesus pleading, “Lord save us!”  Jesus calms the storm and saves the disciples.  They are amazed.  By their reaction, I would guess they really didn’t expect Jesus to save them.  They were desperate and God was their last resort.  The Hail Mary pass if you will.  They really didn’t think God would come through.  They don’t even thank Jesus.  They simply mumble amongst themselves in amazement that God actually came through.

And then there is Lot.  Talk about bold faith.  It isn’t that Lot doubts God’s power.  Lot knows God will destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  Yet when the Lord tells Lot to head for the hills, Lot asks God to allow him to escape to Zoar.  Please Lord, it’s just a teeny, tiny town.  Please, just let me go there.  I imagine God saying, Really?  C’mon, Lot, really?  Zoar?  Sparing your life is not enough?  Can I get you a new pair of sandals for the walk?  Maybe you’d like some Twinkies for the road?  And yet, God grants Lot’s request.  And the town of Zoar is spared.  The power of the faith of one man.  One wonders what the disciples could have accomplished if they simply had more faith in their relationship with Christ.

I read a great story recently that showed the power of one.  In 2004 the Ukraine held presidential elections.  The candidate who was the challenger to the powers that be was actually poisoned.  Yet he remained in the race and hoped that Election Day would bring victory.  The outgoing president’s hand-picked man proclaimed that he had beaten the challenger.  There was evidence that the vote had been rigged.  The state run television station began broadcasting the election results.  A woman, whose parents were deaf, had the job of translating the news broadcast into sign language for a deaf audience.  Instead of the party line, she signed that the Electoral Commission was lying and the challenger had won.  One woman.  Did she really think she could change the outcome of a presidential election?  Did she believe she could beat the powers of this world?  As you may already have guessed, deaf people texted their friends, sparking what was called the Orange Revolution.  New elections were held and the challenger was declared president.

As much as I would like to be like Lot and the Ukrainian woman, I know that I’m more like the disciples.  I know God is all powerful.  I’d love to change the world.  But I’m only one man.  When I pray I want to expect something glorious, a miracle.  And yet I often feel timid or even cynical and that I’m just going through the motions of another unanswered prayer.  How do I get to the point where my faith feels strong and authentic?  I want God’s spark to ignite the fire in me that will provide light to a needy world.  How do I get there?  Prayer and scripture reading are two parts of the answer to that question.

My prayer today is for those of us who don’t seem to be able to tap into God’s power.  That we could have the faith of Lot in our relationship with God. 

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