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Sunday, February 9, 2014

When We Call

My "little brother" Judah just turned two. He is the love of my life and I am the love of his. No questions asked! Last week we got spoiled. We spent time together four days in a row!

This week has been a bit stressful to say the least. Work obligations, social commitments, health issues, financial stresses… I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed and buried under the weight of it.

One afternoon at work, I received this in a text message from my host mom. It was Judah:
(Turn your volume on and click play in the top left corner of the photo.)


My heart was rocked! I was ready to leave work, jump in my car and drive to wherever he was. I would be whatever he needed me to be - wherever he needed me to be it. The desperation of "Heatheyyyy" moved my heart to tears yet put a smile on my face to hear his sweet voice cry out for me. It was the most precious thing I've ever heard!

It was days later as the pressure of the week mounted that I was able to see the spiritual parallel. If that little baby moved my heart when he screamed "Heatheyyy," how much more is the Father's heart moved when I cry out for Him? 

Confession: I haven't been doing much of that lately. I've grown frustrated with unchanging circumstances - prayers I don't see answers to. Unfortunately, I've been falling into the "I can do it myself" mindset. Just calling out the name Jesus and expecting Him to arrive in my circumstance and be the I Am was not on my list of things to do - Mainly because of my fleshly pride. 

2 Chronicles 32 tells the story of King Sennacherib of Assyria and his plan to invade and destroy Judah. Upon hearing the plan of the impending siege against Jerusalem, King Hezekiah told his people Be strong and courageous, Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles. The people were encouraged by the words of Hezekiah. What faith did that man have! Would I have been able to say that? Nope. 

But of course, when we lay our faith out on the line as King Hezekiah did, that's when the enemy likes to sneak in and rattle us even more. And that's exactly what happened. King Sennacherib began to blaspheme the God of Judah and Jerusalem. He mocked the people, their God and their king. He even went so far as writing hate-mail to them, mocking in writing all of their beliefs and trying to instill fear in the hearts and minds of the people. 

Then Hezekiah…prayed because of all this and cried out to heaven. v.20 

Cried out. In his position, knowing the ability of and history of the Assyrians, I imagine King Hezekiah was in a place of desperation. There was no way out - other than by the hand of God. He prayed and cried out. Two different actions. 

His faith and posture of prayer - crying out, desperate for intervention - solicited the favor of God. The Lord sent an angel who took out the Assyrian army. 

Did Hezekiah's cry for the Lord sound anything like Judah's cry for me? Luke 18:17 tells us that we must receive the kingdom of God like a child. Maybe it did… Maybe it was short and simple. Maybe it was just the name of the Lord. Maybe he was only capable of groans and tears. 

What do you do when a Sennacherib shows up in your life to taunt you, instill fear and mock the God you serve? Hezekiah could have tried to develop an amazing battle strategy. He could have figured out a plan of retreat or the details of surrender. He could have tried to escape and left his people vulnerable. But he let go of his own strength and laid it out before the Lord. He didn't just pray. He cried out. 

Was your heart moved by hearing my little brother's yell? How much more is your Heavenly Father's heart moved to run to you; to be what you need when you cry out for Him? 

So, my knees hit the floor and I cried out. Angrily at first, like Judah did. "God… where are you?" Then quietly and softly, "God, I need you." And a peace rushed over my heart. Did my circumstances magically change? No. But my heart did. 

You don't need to explain the situation to Him. He knows who/what your Sennacherib is. He already promised you and I He would fight for us and perfect all that concerns us. We just need to cry out. Void of pride, ultimatums, and fear. He will show up. He is moved by your voice. 

But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears. 2 Samuel 22:7 

But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:6