By now, I guess we have all seen the gaffe by the president of the United States as he toasted the "snippity" queen of England. At least, that is the way that I see her- you know- like Laura Ingalls defined the little rich and bratty girl, Nellie- "just snippity, Pa"! I am a Laura student and I like that word," snippity", for people who think they are above the commoners of this world. I must admit, I could not illicit much sympathy at our Commander in Chief as the band struck up before he was finished with his eloquent toast. The picture of his condescension to the prime minister of the country who has been and should stay our staunchest ally kept coming to mind and I just didn't feel very sorry for him. He, probably, would surmise that the band was in error and should have waited on him and I am sure in either case, the queen set it right!
Let's imagine for a minute and I know that it will be a long stretch but suppose you and I were invited in two weeks to Buckingham Palace. Well, I said it was a l ooooooo ng stretch but just give me some liberty here, okay? We would never learn the protocol in that length of time, you know, the important questions to be asked and learned- "do I curtsy or not? at what time do I curtsy or not? Can I touch Her Majesty or what is the safe distance at which to stay? Is it alright to laugh at anything because she seems awfully serious? Do I call her Queen Elizabeth or Your Majesty or can I just forget the jargon and call her Liz? :) :) :) " I know that would get me sent to my room or maybe the dungeon- oh no, I am getting terribly stressed- now I want out of this imagined daydream because I don't even know which fork to use. Silly, I know, but as I viewed that humongous dining room the other night as all the" elites" were gathered, the thought came to me that entering our King's presence is so very different. And, mind you, this is the KING of all kings, the One Who beckons me and you and welcomes us at any time. I love the verse in Hebrews 4- "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Our Heavenly Father is in that throne room and we, as His children by grace through faith in His Son Jesus, are welcomed there. I love the picture from the 1960's of Pres. Kennedy working in the Oval Office where lots of important decisions were being made and under his desk are Caroline and John John playing. I remember a well-known and busy minister once remarking that his secretary knew that if the call was from his children, he was not too busy to take it. I love that and Saints, that is our Father's position to us.
I believe, with reverence, we approach Him today but as His children, we can confidently approach Him without the fanfare of protocol. My preacher boy, Jeff, wrote a Monday blog recently and asked for feedback on how those in ministry deal with those bone-tiring mornings after a day-long of pouring out yourself to those you shepherd. I didn't respond but for the last few years, most of my mornings, not just blue Mondays, start out with weariness and a fog in my head that I find myself crying out three words as I rise from my bed- "Lord, help me." Now, in what I refer to as my spiritual "teen" years when I thought I knew everything, I would have thought that to be a pretty pathetic prayer but it is what Peter prayed when he was sinking and really, when you are about to drown, there just isn't much time to diagram and paragraph correctly your prayer, is there? Let me assure you, dear Reader, that my quiet time in His Word and prayer amount to more than that regularly with intercession for others and thanksgiving because He has been so good to this lady who so little deserves it but there are times when words just fail me, whether from sorrow or pain or confusion. We have this promise- "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Rom.8:26
Amy related this Landon story to me a couple of weeks ago. He is very inquisitive of spiritual issues lately, things concerning Heaven and death and sin and salvation. As they rode down the road, a cd was playing and Amy had a grocery list on her mind so she wasn't paying attention to the lyrics and thought her little son wasn't either as he was playing his ds game in the backseat. LESSON101 to parents: They are listening when you think they aren't! "Mom", my precious grandson said, "could you turn the music off for a minute- I have a question for you." "Sure, Son, what is it?" The theme of the song was the secret place with God and Landon wanted to know how he could get there to that place. There was a particular line in which he was interested and as Amy rewound the cd, he stopped on the verse that emphasized where you go when you are tempted to sin. As Amy tried to explain to a 5-yr. old little boy about praying and reading the Word, he sadly said that he didn't even know how to read yet and Amy wisely responded, I believe, with these words: " Landon, when you are afraid or sad or tempted to do wrong, just call His name- just say Jesus, Jesus, Jesus- He will hear and help you, Son." Does that sound too simplistic to you, dear Believer, this morning? Jesus put it pretty simply when He said- "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28
Sometimes I find that secret place because I have sinned and He stands as my Advocate, ready to forgive and restore. In wiser moments, I run there while tempted and He is my Strength to overcome. When I am sad and confused, I breathe out His precious name and find He is my Comforter and Guide. He is my Companion when I am sick and I call His name- Jehovah-Rapha- for He is my Healer. Many times I find myself in that place with plain weariness and He is my soul Sustainer and Refresher. Often before I am finished speaking, the music breaks forth and I remember the verse from Zepheniah- "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy: He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing." Oh, I am so blessed when His music interrupts, yes, He can and does interrupt because He is our Sovereign Lord and we are the clay. The important message and I guess I took a long time to express it is that He beckons us to come- just as we are. He is the Creator and Sustainer of this great universe but He is never too busy for any one of His children, especially the one who feels the lowest today. I encourage you to find that secret place today- there are wonderful nuggets that He longs to give you, much more precious than anything that the palaces around the world hold today! "The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver." Ps. 119;72