Empty Hands“God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are fullthere’s nowhere for Him to put it.”
If you’re ever in the mood to squirm, come be our guest at Sunday school. Included in our number are two guys with doctorate degrees, an architect, several business owners, a couple of realtors, a high school math teacher, and more than one devil’s advocate.
“The point is that prayer is relationship,” said one middle-aged mom. “We don’t always know God’s will in a situation. But we pray anyway. And He shows us His ways through our relationship with Him.”
“But if we don’t know His will, what good does it do to pray?”
“But if we don’t get to know Him by praying, what good would it be to know His will?”
I couldn’t help but think about King David, who couldn’t help but pray for God to spare the life of his son, even though God had already revealed through the prophet Nathan that the boy would die.
Every time I read this story (found in 2 Samuel 12), I’m amazed by David’s guts. Here he’d just completed an elaborately planned scheme to have a soldier killed in battle so that he could claim the man’s beautiful widow as his own wife. Bathsheba—whose former residence included a bathtub on the roof, you’ll remember—moved into the king’s palace, married him, and bore him a son.
God wasn’t thrilled with this turn of events. Through the prophet Nathan, He let David have it. “Look at everything I’ve given you! Everything you’ve asked for and more! But then you had to take what belonged to another?”
David’s hands were full, all right—not only with the legitimate blessings God had given him, but also with his new wife Bathsheba, their young son who lay at death’s door, and the blood of an innocent man. How dare he turn to God in prayer?
And yet, he prayed. Until he heard from his servants that his son had finally died, he didn’t cease imploring God to spare the child. But if Nathan had already declared that the boy would die, why did David bother to pray?
“Prayer is relationship,” the woman in Sunday school said. “Even if He doesn’t answer the way we’d like Him to, prayer is how we get to know God better.”
By the time David finished praying, I’m thinking his hands were empty of everything but the one thing God still wanted to give him: A clean heart.
Posted by Katy on 04/04/05 at 09:11 AMFallible Comments...
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