With the water rising, dark clouds still coming and the spectre of spending the night floating in flood water; the man was sitting on his rooftop praying for God to rescue him. In the past 15 minutes a flash flood had filled the house up, water on the brink of the roof. With dusk quickly turning into dark, the hopes of a rescue were slim at best.
Then out of the gray horizon, cutting through the pouring rain, a rescue boat arrived! The man refused to board the rescue boat saying, “God said he will rescue me. Go on and rescue others. I am safe and trust God’s promise.” So the rescue boat left with its rescuers bewildered by the man’s choice. Two hours later, with the water above and beyond the roof the man was sitting on, a rescue chopper spotted the man clinging for his life on the flimsy Aluminum TV antenna. The rescuers were rebuffed, yet again, by the man with the same words he confidently spoke earlier, “God said he will rescue me. Go on and rescue others. I am safe and trust God’s promise.”
An hour later the man found himself fighting to survive in the raging river-like flood waters. It finally overwhelmed him and the man found himself being interviewed at heaven’s gates. He asked “Why did God not rescue me? I held on to his word faithfully and trusted he would rescue me from the flood.”
“I sent you the people in the rescue boat and you refused their help,” God began. “I figured maybe you needed a bigger vehicle to rescue you so I sent the people in the chopper yet you refused their help as well.”
If you use Social Media Sites, you’d be accustomed to seeing posts that request for prayers and praying for miracles to happen. You would usually also see comments that support the poster that the prayers will be answered or the miracles and blessing will be theirs.
This got me thinking.
If I simply pray and not “respond” and “take action” to what my higher power may be telling me, then my offer and actual prayer is an empty gong. If I can “BE” and take action but choose NOT TO, for whatever reason, then I am a hypocrite.
“I’ll pray for your kids healing.”
“I’ll pray for your intention/blessing.”
If I don’t act on the urging of God on something I can make a difference in, then I’ve not really done my part. Say a devastating flood hits and people need your presence and whatever used clothes you can afford to let go of. If you say “I’ve said a prayer for them” instead of being a living extension of God and be a response to the prayer people are waiting for, then you too have not done your part. The act of being an answered prayer to someone is better than the act of simply praying for someone else. If you can help and make a difference in other’s lives, you should do it.
In the same way the sick kid won’t be healed without the doctor who God has prepared and sent (unbenownst to the doctor, perhaps) to diagnose and be a channel of healing. The blessing your friend is praying for can only happen if someone actually responds to the urges of God which the prayer of the faithful hope to bring about.
Let’s say a loved one dies and passes on and nobody shows up at the wake. Instead you receive emails and messages that in lieu of that they will simply pray for the soul and the family left behind. You think these make a difference more than actually being there to grieve with that friend?
You’ve likely heard a similar version of “the man waiting for god to rescue him” story I told earlier. One lesson that we pickup from the story is that God works his blessings and miracles for people through people. God uses other people to be a source of blessing and miracles in your life.
That deal you just made.
That client who just signed.
That product that may have just been released.
That sickness was healed.
That donation for charity that came through.
That exam you passed because you “knew” the answers.
When God wasn’t working through other people for you, he was working through you himself. You don’t pass the exam without actually answering the questions. You still had to do your part to receive the blessing you claimed in faith from God. You think the position you prayed to win during the elections will be yours if people don’t actually go out and cast their vote for you? You think the deal you made was “all about you”? That client you’ve been pursuing suddenly agrees to the terms and you think that’s “because of you”? You really think your sick child was healed because of your efforts alone. The people involved in each of these situations were instruments of blessing that God used to deliver the miracle you prayed in faith for.
Now the challenge is how will you respond and take action to be a blessing and be a miracle in other’s lives? Will you simply stay put and pray for other’s intentions? OR Will you give yourself a chance to “BE” a blessing and “BE” a miracle in other’s lives?
Let’s be people of action, not just intention.