Last Resort or First?

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Our first reading today is from the Book of Esther. Esther had the weight, and fate, of a nation on her shoulders. She knew that she was the last hope of her people. If she could not come up with the right words, her people would be destroyed. So what did she do? She prayed! She asked God to give her the right words to say. And in the Gospel reading from Matthew 7, Jesus says, “Ask…seek…knock…”

Queen Esther was desperate. Having exhausted all of her earthly connections, she had recourse to no one but God. She cries out, “Help me, who am alone and have no help but you…Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you, O Lord, my God.” Have you ever felt that way? After trying everything you can think of, every trick in the book, and cashing in all your favors from everyone you can think of, you come up empty. You’ve got nothing left. You realize that you are POWERLESS. And so what do you do? Why, you go to God, of course! When all else fails, go to God!

See, the problem with that is that we fail to realize that, before we exhausted all our other possibilities, before we cashed in our markers, before we tried every trick in the book, WE WERE POWERLESS TO BEGIN WITH! (Sorry, didn’t mean to shout!) Far too often we think of God as a measure of last resort. Why don’t we go to God FIRST?? We should not feel the need to use God as our safety net. Jesus said, “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.” Why don’t we ask Him first, before we go through all those other useless gyrations?

Father, teach us to come to you first with all of our needs. Help us to remember that we are powerless, and that everything comes about only through your power. Amen.

Today's Readings

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