(July 24, 2014)
Solomon’s dedicatory prayer was a fantastic example to me of teaching through prayer. As I read through that prayer, I could easily identify times in my life when I found myself in various positions – times of famine because of sin, times when I was a stranger calling on God, and so forth. Noticeably, the text of the prayer is almost always focused on how we approach God when we have sinned – after all, that is the condition that we always find ourselves in (sinners trying to approach God).
At this point in my life, I feel as though I am a captive held in a foreign land. To a certain extent (but not as totally as some believe), I am a captive because of my sins and my mistakes. As I have turned and continue to turn from those sins, I find myself not being released from my captivity. And that mirrors the words of Solomon, amazingly enough. The repentance rectifies the transgression (including the temporal consequences) in most of the prayer – rain falls when the people repent, for example. But with captivity, the freedom is not necessarily the consequence of repentance – just compassion from your captor.
In the past month or so, I have diligently tried to make the best of my time ‘captive’ in a foreign land. For a long time now, I have been trying to repent, and I have been calling on the name of the Lord for forgiveness. While I have not been released from my captivity, I have felt this compassion. Whereas only a month ago I felt utterly destroyed by the matters that I had no control over, now I find myself at peace. I can only do the very best that I can do, and things beyond my control are in the Hands of the Lord. As I grow closer to Him, I trust Him more and am more willing to allow Him to do His work. Doing what He has asked of me is more than enough, and maybe when I have mastered that I can look to Him with requests. For now, though, my repentance has brought peace and understanding and a willingness to trust (along with the comfort that comes with that).