Sunday, 18 October 2020
Topic : God listened
By Elder Tan Seng Kee
In the morning on the day I wrote this devotion I was in my car chatting away with my daughter when it dawned upon me how amazing it is that God brought to me a business partner of tremendous help in reviving a difficult venture I manage. I prayed, of course, for a resolution over many months, and often I told God the type of solution which I thought was most appropriate. However the answer from God was not what I had asked for or even anticipated because what God gave me was beyond what my earthly reasoning could expect or my faith could hope for. My heart was filled with gratefulness and I had a deep sense of peace in acknowledging that God heard me and blessed me in ways unimaginable.
So often in life when help is needed the natural thing to do is to run to someone I am confident is able to assist me. I would go to a doctor if I am unwell. I go to a plumber if house pipes are leaking. Often I do not go to God fast enough or “first” when I need help. That is however not unusual because in Psalm 34:6, the Psalmist records that “In my desperation I prayed and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.” So here the Psalmist turned to God only when he was desperate. Would it therefore make more sense that the Psalmist and we do not wait until we are desperate before we go to God for help?
Today for almost every single thing that bothers us whether medical, financial, emotional or even on relationships, we turn to GOOGLE for an answer or for a variety of options to understand the issues and for solutions. I arrived at 63 years old two weeks ago. I cannot say that there were no problems in my life nor were there no unassailable challenges … there were and often, plenty of them. Yet the amazing thing is that in the more than 3 score years that I lived I can today look back and see the unrelenting presence of God in my life. I recall His presence when I had to look at bleak circumstances; I feel His care when hardly anyone seems to understand, I remember many answered prayers which encouraged me onwards and today I can stand confident to face the future because God’s love had been steadfast in the past.
At 63 years old, I must admit I am not physically as agile as I was when I was 53 years, but at 63 years I have even more vivid memories of God’s goodness than when I was 53 years old. Each day I learn to begin the morning with prayers and meditation on God’s words. I learn to ‘replay’ in my mind the goodness of God in whatever I can recollect had happened in my life. Some days I can remember more and in other days, less, but all the same, the love of God was brightly clear as I take time to spend time remembering. I like how Psalm 34:6 records that “the Lord listened.” It is such a joy to know that all my prayers all these years, however eloquent, selfish or even foolish, “the Lord listened”. This verse 6 ends with “he saves me from all my troubles.” In other words, the Psalmist pulled through (or survived) in spite of his troubles. God does not always take away our troubles but he promised to save us and because God is there with me, I will manage and I will triumph through the troubles. Let us all learn to trust in God more.
Lord, help me to call on You when circumstances are not yet desperate so that I can learn to live each day in Your abiding presence. I thank You that You listen to all my prayers and I ask that You help me to pray more each day. Help me to put all my hope and trust in You alone. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.