2nd Sunday in Lent – February 28, 2010
Genesis 12:1-4a • Psalm 121 • Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 • John 3:1-17 or Matthew 17:1-9
Do you believe that God intends to fix the aspects of this world that are broken? For example, we know that 860 million people globally are currently without access to clean water (JMP 2008). In Isaiah 41:17-18 it says “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys…” Through Scripture, God reminds us of His promises, and on occasion we get to see those promises being fulfilled. In difficult situations such as the above example, I find it challenging to believe the vision that God has planted will actually come to fruition. Psalm 27:13 and 14 inspire my prayers; “God, help me to believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living, in the land where _I_ am living. But I need Your courage to be strong and believe…Yes, I will wait for the Lord.”
In Genesis 15 we read about Abram’s discussion with God concerning the fulfillment of His covenant. God had promised Abram that He would make him into a great nation, and that He would bless all the peoples of the earth through him. But in order for that to happen Abram needed an heir. And he and Sarai remained childless. Abram had started to lose hope in God’s promise. Instead of trying to reason with Abram, God casts a vision for him in verse 5. “See all those stars in the night sky, Abram? That is how immense the number of your descendants will be. Will you trust that I have this plan under control? Will you trust me?”
Abram faced a dilemma. Would he choose to believe that God would keep his promise of giving him an heir, thus
making him the father of a great nation? Or would he choose to “help” God by taking steps on his own to make this happen? It had been about 10 years since God had made the original promise to Abram…why was it taking Him so long to fulfill it?
My human wisdom tells me that I know how to fix this water access problem. If people only knew how to build protected well systems, if only people would relocate to areas that had reliable access to water, if only governments would do their part and provide access to water for their citizens. But my understanding is limited. God’s vision for the solution is so much grander (i.e. remember the stars in the sky). We have a God who promises to redeem and reconcile a broken world to Himself. And the redemption He brings to the broken things of this world is often through relationship with Him and His people. As we are well aware, relationships take time. Relationships are messy. The results they bring can be hard to quantify. But in the end the outcome is everlasting.
- In what ways do you see the goodness of the Lord in the land where you are living?
- What does a world that has complete water access for everyone look like? What is your part in that story? What is God’s part?
Write out your description of a world where everyone has access to clean water. Think about what the impact will be for developing nations on disease, family labor burden, and farmland production. Investigate organizations that help provide access to water for people in need. Consider how you might partner with them in their work.
By Julie Hettinger