His Most Meaningful Lesson!

Read: 1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 62:8; Genesis 18:22-33


My husband and I voted this week, and voting always triggers a memory for me concerning my father. Although my father passed away several years ago, I can still hear his voice reminding me that if I do not vote, I can't complain. Although I'm not sure of the veracity of that statement since people complain anyway, I smile after voting knowing my father would heartily approve.


Of course, my dad had other often repeated lessons:

1. Always wash your hands after touching money. There is nothing dirtier.

2. You can't take back the spoken word once it comes out of your mouth.

Both helpful, and they come to mind often; however, there was one special lesson he taught me when he was well into his 80s that I had never heard from him, and I would have never learned it if I had not asked a simple question. I was talking with him on the phone, and I thought of something that I had never asked my dad. All his adult life prior to retirement, he worked as either a teacher or principal, and as we talked I asked him who had been his favorite principal? I don't remember if he ever named the lady whom he worked for in Chicago, but I remember his response clearly. His favorite principal was one who cared about those who worked for her and listened to them. Caring and listening. So basic, but so meaningful when you are on the receiving end of them. Especially when they come from one who has authority over you. She took time to do the work of listening and caring, and even many decades after having worked for her, this lady still stood out in my father's mind.


How winsome it is to see these qualities in another person. Yet, what's sweeter still is the knowledge that Almighty God perfectly displays both caring and listening. The One Who has all knowledge, is present everywhere and holds all power, cares and listens to His children. The One Who both created everything and also holds it together,

Colossians 1:15-17, cares about us and also listens when we talk with Him in prayer, 1Peter 3:12. Unlike the principal my father lauded, people, including me at times, sometimes aren't listening fully when someone is talking. How easy it is to find our minds drifting to what we might say even before another has finished speaking.


Thankfully, it is not like that with God. He is the One Who is attentive to our cries and even tells us in His word to pour out our hearts to Him, Psalm 62:8. We are invited to cast our cares upon Him, with the reminder that He cares for Us, 1 Peter 5:7. How beautiful it is to know that God isn't longing to usher us out of His throne room before we have finished talking with Him. Nor is He merely tolerating us, simply waiting for the more important people to approach Him. Instead, we are invited to approach His throne of grace to find help in our times of need, Hebrews 4:14-16. Jesus showed us God's caring and listening when He walked on the earth among us, John 1:14.


Many times, His compassion was on display when He touched and heals people in need. He stopped often to listen and help those whom those around Him deemed to be unimportant, Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 5:24-34. In Genesis 18:22-33, we read a remarkable account that showcases how God listened and cared for Abraham. Many of us have read the account so often that we know the ending prior to having read the verses. Yet, what stands out for me right now is that Abraham didn't know the ending. As he called out to the Lord on behalf of those in Sodom, especially Lot and his loved ones, the patriarch didn't know what God would say. I love how Abraham kept speaking with the Lord. He displayed the qualities that the writer to the Hebrews speaks of in Hebrews 4:14-16. Abraham spoke with the Lord with humility as well as boldness. Abraham appears to understand that Almighty God truly both cares and listens when His children pray. There is no brashness or entitlement here, but there is an appeal for God to do what is right. God's caring is not sentimentality. It is His best poured out in answer to our prayers. Therefore, in the case of Sodom and Lot's family, the Lord didn't find ten righteous; so, Sodom was destroyed. However, He graciously spared Lot, his wife and his daughters. They were escorted by the angels out of the city.


Often, we wonder how we can show others a glimpse of what Jesus is like. What if we ask Him to help us listen with His ears and care with His heart for the ones around us? Then, if it is a surprise to someone that we listen and care, we can introduce him to the One Who always does it perfectly.




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