He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
- Luke 11:5-8
A few years ago, I was traveling solo around the US. As a concept, there is a rugged
adventure and freedom about being untethered to plans or responsibilities (which I
sometimes experienced with a deep joy and peace!) but there is also the very real vulnerability of a single woman with few resources traveling alone in an ’96 Honda Accord.
I depended upon friends, and sometimes total strangers, who welcomed me
into their homes and gave me a bed and food to eat, even sending me away with gifts! As a sojourner, I was humbled by my own weakness and the needs I depended upon God and others to provide for, alongside a heightened awareness of the gift of hospitality.
As we read Scripture, it is very clear that God cares a lot about hospitality. Welcoming guests through generosity and service is something that reflects the
heart of God! God’s people are told to humbly remember that they were slaves and
sojourners, strangers in a land, and vulnerable people in need of God’s provision and
protection so that they would, in turn, reveal what God is like by treating the vulnerable in the same way.
The man receiving a guest will not stop asking his friend for bread in order to be hospitable to a sojourner. But how different is God from the man sleeping in his house! If we KNOW it’s God’s will to care for the vulnerable and that it delights Him when we do, we can be confident that God will move to answer. He is infinitely generous and His resources are not scarce!
There are many times I look around and think: I KNOW it is your will, Lord, so why is
there no movement? God has told us what is good and we can be confident that taking care of the poor, sojourner, widow, fatherless, orphan, foreigner, outsider is something He deeply cares about (the Law, prophets and Jesus all tell us it’s a very big deal!). It’s something He commands of us as His people to reflect His heart for all of humanity.
So when I see injustice, the powerful crushing the weak, children experiencing trauma, etc. it can all seem like too much! I personally don’t have all of the resources to provide and protect: Father! We need resources! We need intervention! We know you care about this even more than we do, so we will keep asking you until we see your Kingdom come!
The more we devote ourselves to reading God’s Word, the more we discover God’s will for our lives and for our world. God created a world He loves so much and He has made us partners with Him to help Him put creation back together – we are ministers of reconciliation.
1. Look at your prayers you wrote down on Day 1: Are any of these prayers specifically mentioned in Scripture as aligned with God’s will or commands? Pray that Scripture back to God today: It’s not to convince Him it’s a good idea (it was His idea in the first place!), but to stand on the faithfulness of God’s character and to proclaim that same character in your own life and heart as you ask Him to intervene and provide what is needed.
2. Ask God to open your eyes to see your own vulnerability and then to see the
vulnerable people around you. Praise Him for the ways He takes care of you and ask
what He has given you that you can use to be generous and hospitable to the
vulnerable around you.
3. God’s Spirit is already at work all around us and the Kingdom is already here and
increasing: Ask God to open your eyes to where He is already at work and to
show you how He wants you to partner with Him.