Monday, September 1, 2014

What's the Issue?

"Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

I have unfortunately noted a trend in womanhood--acidic to the soul, crippling the ability to incorporate sound choices, a silencer. 

Why is it such an issue for women, wives, and mothers so neglectful to approach the subject of their own needs?

Shame can arrive at any moment: we may see our own faults in the actions of our children or become fearful at any given moment that our own flaws or past mistakes or regrets may surface, manifesting in order to wound us again, to harm and shame the ones we love so much.

If you are struggling with approaching God--maybe for the 10th time in one day--to receive mercy and grace, consider who confidently interacted with God in the Bible:

1. Hagar

Hagar was chosen by Abraham's wife to bear children for him when God's promise was not manifested quickly enough to provide the promised son. She was Abraham's concubine, an Egyptian servant of his wife Sarah. Hagar began to despise Sarah when she bore a son. Abused and rejected, Hagar fled.

Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count...She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” 

This is the first time the Angel of the Lord,believed to be Christ,appeared to a person in the Bible--a  servant woman chosen by man to fulfill God's promise, abused, rejected, and sent away in shame. Yet she responded to God in confidence, naming Him "the One who sees me."

2. The Canaanite Woman

 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment
This example has generally caused a fair amount of controversy among those who feel it was rather indignant of a loving Christ to send away someone asking for help. After all, he offered to heal the Centurion's son and he was a Roman man--a Gentile. I would encourage you to study the Scriptures to learn more about Israel's relationship with Canaan but for now, we'll remained focused on what was obvious.
This woman called on Jesus by name. She knew who He was and what He could do. She knew she was being a nuisance and she didn't care. She loved her daughter and she was desperate. She took an insult and turned it into opportunity by refusing to become scorned. And she was rewarded by immediate gratification.

3. The Woman with the Issue of Blood
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
Here is a woman who had a chronic illness that would have also made her "unclean"--another excellent topic to research as it would have made life even more difficult in addition to suffering and seeing physicians. Another desperate woman, it would be safe to assume she was alone, she was definitely broke, and most certainly broken. Great risk was involved in touching Jesus for a variety of reasons and here she was trembling with fear yet courageous enough to be honest with God. 
Our confidence does not have to come from who we believe we are, where we were raised, what we know, or how we perform. Our confidence to approach God's throne for mercy and grace comes first and foremost with the knowledge of who He is and what He is doing. 

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