The Daily Office | February 25, 2018
Genesis 9:1-17 (and 11:1-9)
Collect: Ash Wednesday
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect: The Second Sunday in Lent
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
Sometimes we let our dreams die because it is too painful to see them unfulfilled month after month, year after year. We accept what is and move on. Hope becomes hard and believing a promise of a hope fulfilled after so much disappointment seems risky. So Sarah laughs a “too good to be true” laugh and reminds herself of her barren reality. But God answers, “Is anything to hard for the Lord?” and he restates the promise of a coming son.
A father has lost a son—one who betrayed his family by taking his inheritance and running off to live how he pleased. But again the impossible happens and the father rejoices and acknowledges that this son was dead but is alive again.
Jesus is in the garden praying, aware of what is coming. He prays what he well knows, “Father, everything is possible for you.” There is no doubt of God’s ability in Jesus. There is no hiding from the Father that he would like things to be different. But Jesus shows us how to hold confidence in God along with a heart that bends to His will. “Not what I will, but what you will.”
An atheist challenged me once by asking why I only prayed for what seemed possible. It was a convicting moment. Do you truly believe that everything is possible for God? Can you ask with confidence for your deepest longings and dreams? He already knows our hearts. You do not have to hide. God’s heart is tender toward you, and knowing the love of God for you allows you to honestly say, "but your will and not mine.” Hold on today to knowing that God is bigger and more able than you can imagine. What feels too hard? Take that to the Father in faith and trust.