Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Virus "Stay at Home" - 30 Day Retreat - Day 9

God Works in Mysterious Ways—Through Your Sermon! by Danny MacMunn ...  Abraham Pleads for Sodom- Genesis 18

When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

The story goes on, and Abraham ultimately convinces God if there are ten good people in Sodom to spare them. It may sound a little crazy, but I've imagined this prayer as I talk to God lately.  I am praying He will save us from this pandemic because so many good - "righteous" - people are suffering.  One mystery that is entirely beyond my understanding is the mystery of human suffering.  Even the best rational explanations of why suffering exists and how it fits into the whole order of things fall short.

I do know from many experiences in my life, that it is impossible to see God's Providence as it is happening.  We can only see it when we look back in reflection on the past. In times of crisis, it is tough to sense that God is present and working to bring good out of a bad situation. However, when we look back at such times, we can often see the gentle hand of God at work. After 9/11, an event so far from God's will, the love, and charity that poured out of all people, not only in the United States but around the world, was astounding!

In times of tragedy, we may not be able to see that God is there, leading us to peace and comfort, and so much more. However, we can rest assured that this world is set up in such a way that all can be bent and turned toward good.  God's work always takes on the faces of the saints who stand tall in the crisis.  Pray for our healthcare workers!  Pray for the truck drivers and warehouse workers and grocery clerks.  They are the face of God for us in these difficult times.

Prayer:  Pray as Abraham did for the people of Sodom.  Ask God to spare us from this crisis because excellent people are being hurt.

Action:  Call a nurse you know to thank them and let them know you are praying for them.

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