There are beautiful pictures of being comforted all around us.
He was headed to his garden when her clucks stopped his wide stride. He had frightened a turkey hen with her chicks that were feeding on the hillside. Motionless, he watched the chicks scurry under their mama’s wings. They knew her cluck was a warning and they obeyed immediately. He stood completely still until she felt safe enough to move to the yummy seeds dangling on the grass stems still wet with dew. And just as quickly, the baby chicks wobbled off in a dozen directions to feed.
Wow! What a precious sight.
Her protectiveness…her love…her wisdom warmed his heart.
A mama foul protecting her brood is a common sighting in a rural setting. No doubt a scene that Jesus used in Luke 13:34. We see Jesus had the same heart…comforting, protecting, loving and guiding… longing for the people to respond to His voice.
But you have to let him comfort you.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. Luke 13:34 NIV
But Jerusalem didn’t respond accordingly to Jesus and the results were disastrous. “Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'” Luke 13:35 NIV
This story grieves my heart.
They missed Him! They missed Jesus.
Revelation 3 shows us another picture of the longing, loving heart of God.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20 NIV
Frequently this illustration is used for lost people. While it is an accurate illustration, it was not written to the sinner. It was written to the church.
I love the wording in the NIV. Here I am!
Oh how He longs to spend time with us.
Receiving our love.
Talking to us.
Listening to us.
How do we…His children respond?
We’re too busy!
Too mad at Him because
He didn’t do what we thought He should
when we thought He should.
Too enamored with what makes us feel good.
Too afraid that He will want to talk about things
that we want to keep hidden and locked away in a closet.
So we ignore His knock.
And miss His grace.
But life goes on.
Like hamsters on a hamster wheel we whirl and spin.
We look good. Our faces don’t reflect the hollowness inside.
Our bank accounts don’t reflect the bankrupt souls.
Big plates pilled high with luscious foods can’t feed malnourished spirits.
We are more than bodies that need to be cared for and nourished.
We are more than emotional beings with minds that need to be trained.
Our spirits need to be fed with the nourishment that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
That means we feed our spirits with Scripture and prayer.
That means we receive His love and power that makes our spirits strong and viral.
That means we make Him a priority.
We schedule priorities.
We make room for priorities when there is no room.
We follow through with priorities.
For me that means I get up early to pray.
For you, it might mean you go to your prayer place as soon as you put the kids to bed.
Or it might mean, you don’t watch television until you’ve prayed. Or that the television goes off an hour early so you have time to pray and read before you go to sleep.
Or that you eat breakfast or lunch while you read your Bible.
Some prayer suggestions.
1. Set a time to pray. Not necessarily on the clock, but something that will remind you that it’s prayer time.
2. Keep prayer needs on your favorite list place. Include verses you love to pray. Sometimes I write my prayers.
3. Have a notebook to write down thoughts and “To Do” reminders that will interrupt your prayer time.
4. Keep your appointment with God. Make it a priority, but not legalistic. It’s a date with God to look anticipate, not dread.
5. Use the Lord’s prayer as a pattern to shape your prayer, instead of a prayer to say.
6. Quiet your spirit with thankfulness and worship.
7. Do more than talk…listen for God to speak. Don’t be afraid of quiet. It’s good for you.
Don’t miss Him! Open the door…daily…frequently….
Ahhh! What a difference His presence makes.