Prayer commits us at a heart level to what we endorse at a head level.
Prayer mingles our tears, our longings, our observances and our assessments.
Looking at the world’s deepest pain shows us the problem.
Praying makes it Our Problem.
Looking allows us to glimpse the opportunity.
Praying requires us to seize it.
It forces us to care about what we know about. – M.Buchanan
A friend wrote to me not long ago, “I’m fascinated, challenged, even at times plain jealous of the passion and zeal that you have to know God and serve Him.”
My response could only turn inwardly, as she did not know how it was all started.
It was all started not knowing the passion and zeal for the King would be the natural outflow after being anointed by His great power and love.
It was all started when I looked at the deepest pain humanity has ever endured. It was when I tried to understand and even raise up my fist to question the goodness of God in such a world of evil and injustice,
“Where are you God?”
It was in return in this very ugly, evil place, I encountered the goodness of the Lord.
His goodness stripped away my capability to understand, stripped away my immediate surrounding.
His goodness stripped bare my vision to ponder on the visible, but upon one focus I looked up. It’s Him who has been watching over me. He has been watching over my coming and going. He has been watching over my life. He has been watching over me when I sleep. He has been watching over me when my foot slipped. He has been watching over me both then and now.
His goodness invited me to solely and wholly rely on Him as He is the only portion that I had then and have in the present.
His goodness challenged me to hand over my faith to be tested.
His goodness rolled out a red carpet welcome to receive my barrels of weaknesses as a mere offering with which He will take them in arms-load, breathe life into and over them and multiply. In just about that moment, I am aware I am playing a part in His redemption story.
How can His goodness be capable of doing such an upside down impact to my life?
How can it be? And can it be that I should gain an interest in Saviour’s blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain. For me, who Him to death pursued? Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me? Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
That one trip back to Asia to bury my father, it was then I alone raised up that fist to demand an answer from Him who has promised to watch oer me. It was when there was no friends nor families around to gingerly offer me an answer. It was when I was all alone with God, feeling absolutely lonely and angry and simply outraged at Him, He showed me His kindness and goodness, and re-directed my focus.
Do you know how He answered my rage and anguish?
He demanded me to pray for Cambodia, to pray for a little girl who was at high risk of being trafficked. Such requests dawned on my grieving nerves and yet to realize where I was geographically was not far from her and the country she lives in.
In the midst of my grief and anger to Him, He showed me this outrageous demand out of me, He showed me that I ought to look past the immediate pain and suffering, personally and nationally, but to LOOK UP, whether it’s losing my dad or knowing transactions are constantly being negotiated of buying and selling of children.
He said, “Look up, look for me, I am there to meet you.”
He urged me to remember His vision instilled in me for a nation I hadn’t then set my feet on. That’s where He wanted me to start — by looking up first. That’s where He started to carve my heart to receive Him in midst of immense pain and grief.
That was where the collision happened. When the world’s deepest pain and my heart’s deepest desire collide, the result is a full blown Mount Everest uprightly reaching to the sky when the earth gives away. It was then the splendor of His glory and magnificence that root my feet firmly on. Then they break ground and sprawl deep, acknowledging He is the King of the universe and the Creator of all things.
Do you see what I see? Can you feel what I feel? It’s so pulsatingly nauseous, and yet it worth every single bout of throwing up if this ride demands that much out of one weakling, demands that much out of my little faith in such a magnificent God!
It’s time to look up!! Today, I need this reminder even more so. It’s time to look up, jessy!!
… come on, my soul, come on, my soul, let down the walls down and sing my soul,
come on, come on, come on, come on, it’s time to look up …
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.