Jeremiah 33:3 Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
God’s phone number, Jeremiah 33:3. Thirty-three three. 333. His Word that tells us to call out to Him and He will answer by showing us great and mighty things. It is what a group of my friends, family, and myself are doing for these next forty days. Day 2 of my If My People prayer pilgrimage finds me thinking about calling on God and quieting my fears and anger enough to actually hear what He is saying to me in regards to the crisis our nation now finds itself in.
Calling out to God. Asking, begging, His Holy Spirit to bring guidance to the citizens of our nation. We are wounded, non-communicative, angry people who have become so used to the separation, segregation, discrimination that we have become blinded to it. Terms being tossed around right now include things like “white privilege,” “post traumatic slave syndrome,” and the like. Then we deal with #BlackLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMatter, #LoveAboveAll, and so forth. All these labels tossed around bringing confusion, and denial, and irritation, and frustration across all peoples in our nation, whose main difference among them is that some have more pigment in their skin than others. And where has it gotten us on our own… just more separation and confusion and anger. More death and violence. Fear; that perfect love is finding challenging to overcome these days (1 John 4:18). God is quite specific in His Word about calling out to Him. Just look at Psalm 86:3, “Have mercy on me, O’Lord, for I call you all day long. and Psalm: 145:18, . , “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.” Even Jonah was told by the ship captain, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your God.” (Jonah 1:6). As a nation, are we sleeping like Jonah rather than looking to God to show us great and mighty things for our country? Who among us is calling out to God? Who is crying out for healing and guidance for our people? Calling aloud? Roaring to God about the fright and the injustice that is filling our news stories and social media? Is it you? Is it me? James tells us that “We do not hear because we do not ask God.” (James 4:2). It is time to start asking Him what He desires for our nation to bring glory to Him. People, I seriously doubt it is more labels, more hashtags, more violence, more death. Just sayin’…
We must shout out to God now. Then we must quiet ourselves and let go of what we think we are going to hear from Him. We must listen, quietly, for His still small voice to answer us. The Lord will hear us when we call to Him (Psalm 4:3) and will answer us. Getting on our knees, grabbing our Bible and rosary, and crying out to Him is not the hard part. The challenge in all of this is to let go of a lifetime of beliefs, thoughts, feelings of what it means to have a relationship with people who are different than us… Them…. The challenge will be to listen to what He tells us that He wants for our nation and follow His leading in this regard. I read in a post today from a social media “friend” that she is approaching people of color and apologizing for what us “privileged whites” have done to them. I was outraged when I read what she is doing. All I could think of is “How dare she speak for us… for me.” And what is this response…. Ego, fear, anger…plain and simple. Why not in this time of great racial tension approach those who are different and offer an olive branch of love, kindness, humility? As Mother Teresa of Calcutta is quoted as listing many things in life that are hard to do and then she admonishes us to do them anyway. I’m sure it was hard for my friend to say to perfect strangers that she was sorry for the discrimination that they have had to live with, but she did it anyway. Who am I to not offer this kindness to those around me. For me, this is the hard stuff. Wouldn’t it be nice if God waved a magic wand and made it so that we did not have to humble ourselves with one another. Alas, He is quite clear in yesterday’s Word of 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people… humble themselves and pray…” Humbling oneself is difficult in our culture of “I am the center of the universe and can do and say what I want regardless of the effect it may have on another.” Yet we must keep in our very heart the following thought: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control will beget only more self-control, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, kindness, forbearance, peace, joy, and love (Galations 5:22-23).
Encouraging you to keep God’s phone number close at hand. Feel free to use it any and all times these next forty days. Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:15) and listen for God’s response. He will do mighty and wondrous things for our country and bring true healing to all our citizens. All we need do is ask.
May you find gratitude and peace in every moment on our prayer pilgrimage for our beautiful country.