I’ve been slowly reading through 1 Kings and I thought by now something would have jumped out at me. I usually read till something stands out and then I research it or write about it or simply ponder and pray. But lately nothing has jumped out at me….and well….instead I’ve pondered that. In 1 Kings Solomon becomes King of Israel and a lot of good things are happening. He builds a glorious temple, there’s relative peace and prosperity in the land, there’s no famine. It’s all in all a pretty good time for Israel. So I’ve been thinking about when times are good.
Times have been pretty good lately. Life is getting back to normal. Besides my rather painful pulled muscle I’m healthy and my family is healthy.
It’s these times I have the tendency to pull away from God. Life gets busy with the good things in life. Christmas Shopping, school activities, and even church activities fill our time and communing with God becomes secondary and sometime obsolete.
It’s when I’m really hurting that I sit at the feet of my Father. I can sense his comfort. His loving arms.
When I read about Solomon I sense his desire for closeness to God even in a time of prosperity. Here’s a sample of Solomon’s gratitude in 1 Kings 8:22-24.
“Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said:
“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.”
It reminds me of my kids when they’re given candy or a gift. They get so excited to “have” something and they become so engrossed in their joy they forget to be thankful. Their attention has shifted to the “gift” rather than the “giver.”
I recently watched the movie called “Facing the Giants.” I can’t say it was my favorite movie. It had the making of a “health, wealth and prosperity” gospel….but there was a theme that wove through it that stood out to me. Basically, through everything good or bad, they decided they would praise God. In defeat, they would give him praise, and in victory they would give him praise.
I have come to realize that it’s in the good time that I establish my relationship with God. So that on nights like last Friday, when I become stricken with fear that the cancer has come back…..I can hear a resounding “trust me” from somewhere in the darkness. It comes through clear as day. It is a “blatant” calm to my storm.
It is my great desire to keep covenant with God through times of prosperity, as well as times of turmoil. To give him praise always. To read his love story to us constantly even when it doesn’t move my heart.
Here’s my prayer, borrowed with liberties from Solomon in 1 Kings 8:57-61
“May the LORD my God abide with me as he has for generations before me; may he never leave me nor forsake me. May he turn my heart to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commands, decrees and regulations because they are safe and comforting. And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people according to each day’s need, so that all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other. My desire is for my heart to be wildly committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, right now and always. (Amen)”