Unless We Cry Out – 2 Chronicles 6
And just like that… December is upon us. The holiday season has snuck up on us in the sneaky way it knows how, and the busyness of our lives is at an all time high. Family dinners and gatherings, household chores, shopping lists to attend to, meals to prepare, miles to log on the treadmill, a 45 hour work week, recorded TV shows to catch up on, coffee dates with friends… the list is never ending.
But each of us knows that this list cannot erase the places in which we still long for God in our lives. The places in our hearts that still need God’s healing touch. The relationships that still need mending and forgiveness. The pain and suffering of having lost a loved one is exaggerated at this time of year, and we bear this stress each day.
So we plop down on the couch at the end of the evening, the snow glistening under the street lamps. The list is most certainly still there, but possibly we now have slowed down enough, even if it is a mere five minutes, to come before God with our thoughts, our requests. It is so easy to mindlessly turn on the television or head to bed exhausted, putting the prayers off another day… It ultimately is our choice if we turn to God. He is waiting.
In 2 Chronicles, chapter 6, Solomon is crying out to God on behalf of the people around him. He cries out. He talks to God.
“May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place. May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.”
God HEARS us.
God FORGIVES us.
Even though we pretend we do not need Him, we do. We know we need to talk to God about what is nagging at our hearts and souls just as Solomon cried out. We desperately need light where there is currently only darkness.
Again, later in chapter 6:
“Whatever the trouble is – and if your people offer a prayer concerning their troubles or sorrow, raising their hands toward this temple, then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive.”
So our holiday stress matters? Our family quarrels matter? Our poor time management matters? Our checkbooks matter? The healthy eating we know we need matters?
Once again in the passage:
“Then hear their prayers from heaven and uphold their cause.”
“Then hear their prayers from heaven where you live.”
So do we talk? Do we allow God into our sin and our pain?
The beauty of our God is that no matter what – He is there to listen at any time and in any place. And the most beautiful part – is that He forgives us. Over and over again He forgives. So what if those few minutes spent worrying if our prayer or complaint is of value to Him – we instead just lifted our ramblings and concerns straight to Him – the God of the Earth, the God of even the busy holiday season. What if we asked for forgiveness in the spots we know we need it most?
A lot of times we ask ourselves if the problem or situation we have going on is something that God would care about before we pray to Him. Is this not a waste of our time? Doesn’t God care about every little detail of our lives? Is he not a God who knows us intimately through and through, every fiber of our being, even before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs?
He HEARS our cries.
But we must communicate with our Father in Heaven so he knows our requests, so he knows our hearts. We must do the talking. He needs to know the dark and not-so-beautiful places in our hearts.
1 John 5:14
“And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will.”
He HEARS when we ask.
It is so easy to forget to talk to God or know He will always be there; so we wait another day. But can we be a people that continue to cry out this holiday season? Can we set aside bits of time to communicate with God?
May we not allow the busyness of the holiday season to take the place of a genuine exchange with our Creator God. Because He is waiting to hear from us.
Jettie was born and raised in the booming metropolis of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has had a consistent passion for serving teenagers and has served in the high school ministry at her church for the last 12 years. Last year, she completed her masters in psychology at Western Michigan University; she is currently employed as a foster care case manager at Bethany Christian Services, enjoying it more than she ever had imagined. In her free time, Jettie loves reading, writing, dancing, laughing, traveling, and enjoying a good meal with loved ones. A great deal of her time is spent with her fiancé David, who also has the cutest dog in the entire world, named Sadie. The three of them enjoy hiking together throughout the streets and woods of Holland, Michigan. A consistent theme in Jettie’s life has been a passion for words and communication, and it is a complete joy and honor to share some thoughts on Pick Your Portion.