After the recent shootings, continued violence in the world, personal tragedy, or even the mundane bad day at work I hear and see social media posts wondering why we bother to pray, or why we should praise in the face of such pain. Today I’d like to attempt to explain the false teaching which is not serving us well which leads to a lot of this.
The teaching or personal interpretation many people ascribe to follows this analogy:
- Homemade brownies, warm and soft from the oven. He is desirable, satisfying to our senses, and improves our sense of well being. We rest comfortably in assurance that we can always take more, but we also limit our portions even as we praise them.
- Then in another instance, say after surgery when the nurse arrives with lemon gelatin and unsalted chicken broth, we find ourselves lamenting the absence of the brownie. We despair of the lemon gelatin and bland juices.
- Finally a chef arrives with artisan cheesecake, and we eat – delighted – brownie forgotten.
Thus is the case with the facebook poster and master of U Twit who posts items about how they find it hard to pray to God when such pain abounds. Jesus is neither homemade comfort food, nor bland diet, nor culinary masterpiece. He is “the living bread,”(John 6:51) who feeds your soul, and redeems a troubled world.He is there both when we wish him to be and when we forget him. Jesus was in the pew in Charleston, and in the man who pulled the trigger. He feels your pain and he feels the pain of separation each time one of us strays. He is in the abandoned child and the lost mother. And He has broad shoulders, He will carry your burdens if you will trust Him enough to give them. That is why we pray when we are in pain, and that is why we find joy again.