Saturday, September 26, 2015

Before we call, He answers

"And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, 'Woman, you are freed from your sickness.' And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God. But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, 'There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day." Luke 13: 10-14 NASB

We began a new series this week. It began with Jesus Sees Us As We Are and yesterday's topic was Freed by Obedience (in case you want to get caught up, you can follow the links) 

To catch up a bit, a woman had been plagued by a spirit-caused disease that caused her to be bent double. As a result, her head was looking down toward the ground all the time. Jesus was teaching at the synagogue in a town outside Jerusalem. When He saw her, He called her over to Him and she went, despite the fact that He required her to walk to Him in front of everyone in the room.

As you may or may not know, I had a long night last night at the hospital with my dear neighbors, Sam and Jamie. Jamie is terribly sick and we need your prayers. After only a few hours sleep, my brain is not quite as sharp as usual, so I turned to my dear Matthew Henry commentary for help. He had the most beautiful words I've seen in his exegesis of this passage.

"Before she called, he answered." (MH)

That's exactly how this story unfolded. What's so amazing is that it's how our own stories unfold, as well. Before we call, our Lord answers us because He sees us. He knows us. He knows our needs and the conditions under which we labor.

Before I called, He answered me. Just yesterday, I saw the evidence of this. I was dressed for errands and had been working at my computer all day. Mid-afternoon, I wanted to do some yard work and intended to don my grubbiest jeans and head to the manure pile to shovel manure for a new raised bed. I had such hesitance that I delayed.

Wouldn't I have been a sight, trying to get Jamie out of the floor, my own jeans covered with dirt and dried manure? Could I have gone to the hospital like that? Of course not. Before I called, He answered and gave me the hesitance that kept me in clean clothes when clean clothes were needed.

We had a long wait in the emergency room, but before we called out asking for God to send us a good and caring physician, the ER staff schedule had been completed and an excellent, caring physician had already been scheduled. Caring and competent ambulance crews had already been scheduled. Everything we needed was already in place. Every person we needed was already scheduled. 

His answer was so complete that I had stopped by the gas station to fill my car's tank with gas, just in case, yesterday morning. Everything was already in place for a long and difficult afternoon-evening-night. 

It always is, if we are willing to look at our lives, to notice the circumstances God orchestrates for us. 

For today, take a look at the circumstances and events of your week. Where have you seen evidence that He answered before you called? Be sure to give thanks. 

He is faithful, even when we're not looking.
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Almighty God, who sees and knows and loves, thank you for your divine provision of everything we need, even before we need it. In Jesus' name, Amen.
#hegivesmeallIneed, disciple, Jesus, Bible study, faithful #divine provision