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To those of us who are Christ-followers, we must realize that we speak a language few understand, and the problem is becoming increasingly evident.

Several years ago our family traveled to the SW United States. Since we were only a few miles from the Mexican Border, we decided to cross over and see this foreign land that is our neighbor. None of us spoke Spanish. None of us had ever experienced a situation in which we were obviously the minority. It was an interesting lesson to learn!

Don’t get me wrong. The people were very friendly and tried to be accommodating. There were a few smiles which I assume could have been translated as “silly Americans!”

The problem wasn’t intelligence. The problem wasn’t arrogance or racism. The problem was we didn’t speak the language. We tried. The people tried. But while there was some similarity, there was an obvious communication gap.

I see similar situations in the church today. We need to come to the point where we realize we live in a post Christian Era and a post Christian America. Regardless of who’s to blame, we simply don’t speak a language others understand.

Don’t ridicule the natives. They simply don’t understand. Our visit to Mexico and a small cafe was ‘rescued’ when a server knew English. He could translate to our server what we wanted to eat.

In the spiritual realm we also have a translator, the Holy Spirit. I’ve tried to remember to pray that the Spirit would speak to those in my circles that need Jesus. I can say my words. I can tell my story. But HE is the one who will give understanding. Don’t just pray for those you know who need Jesus. Ask His Spirit to ‘interpret’ the message for you.


We live in a culture that comes just short of ridiculing anyone who implies they need help. We like our independence. We like to be able to say “I did it! And I did it my way!”

Ironically, at the same time, Psychologists tell us that we are a ‘lonely people’. A recent study showed that nearly half of the people interviewed felt isolated and alienated from their peers.

I wonder if Solomon was thinking of loneliness and alienation when he wrote these verses in Ecclesiastes. Certainly as king of Israel he needed no one, and if he did, they were at his beck and call. Yet there was a loneliness there. A realization that no one is an island regardless of their political, social or financial stature.

While there are exceptions of course, generally speaking people who reach out to help people are generally those that others are willing to help. Jesus story of the Good Samaritan teaches us that everyone is our neighbor and so, each of us has a responsibility to reach out a helping hand. The help we receive isn’t a reason to help, it’s a side-benefit.


“I tried praying once but nothing happened.”

“I prayed really hard that mom would be healed and she died. What’s the use?”

“I really needed that job but he wouldn’t give it to me. I doubt he really exists anyway.”

You can add yours to the list. We are a hurting people and when you are hurting, and God seems silent, well…that’s about the worst feeling a person can get.

Unanswered prayers are one of the most difficult of all topics because the pain is real. It’s hard to understand a God that seemingly builds your hopes up and then smashes them to the ground.

Oh, sometimes we can look back and see the reasons. Sometimes we come to a point of understanding. But not always.

There are tons of unanswered prayers in the Bible by some pretty Godly men. Joseph, Moses, Abraham, David…to name a few. My favorite is Job. That guy really got nailed and God never did explain it to him!

So what made them go on? What pushed them through the silence and darkness? I think it was the realization that a bad day with God was better than the best day without him. I haven’t gained all understanding on this yet, but it seems God is more concerned about our faith in him than he is our earthly comfort. That’s not to say he is against earthly comfort of course. He offers plenty. But his main focus is on trusting him and seeing the world through his eyes. The closer we get to God, the more his desires become our own and the wiser our prayers become.

Prayers that match his desires are more likely to be answered.


In nearly every sermon or article on giving and/or money i’ve heard, this verse or it’s OT counterpart has been mentioned. Maybe it’s time we broaden our giving horizons! We live in a society in which negativity, lack of hope and loneliness are rampant. The principle of this verse goes far beyond the almighty dollar! To have a friend, be a friend; to be heard, listen to others; to be accepted when your beliefs may be different than others, accept others right to be ‘wrong’; to be loved unconditionally, love unconditionally; to receive patience, be patient. Don’t wait for others. Be the start of something great in your life! Receiving starts with giving.


For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Psalm 103:14

understandsHave you ever felt like a complete and utter failure? Ever looked at what you are supposed to accomplish and realize that there I no way you’ll be able to fulfill the task before you?

A friend of mine told me about a situation he had to face at a new job he’d recently started. His responsibilities included marketing a particular event and although he did everything he could to promote it, the numbers didn’t look good. In fact they looked horrible.

“I remember losing sleep over the whole situation. Did I do enough? Would my boss see my efforts? Was my job in jeopardy? Those were the thoughts that plagued me throughout the night.”

The next morning my friend got a phone call from his boss. In the course of the conversation his boss told him several stories of his own failures as he started his business. “We’re going to stumble before we walk and walk before we run.”

My friend’s faith in himself and his job were restored that day because he realized that his boss understood what it was like to endure disappointment and failure.

That situation is an excellent example of God’s response to our own weakness. We fail on a daily basis. For some of us those failures are huge and cause destroyed relationships or consequences that will follow us for a lifetime. Some of us struggle with addictions that would embarrass us if they became public. Regardless of how hard we try to change, it’s impossible.

Not only do we struggle with weakness, a natural consequence of those weaknesses is the guilt, frustration and shame that go along with it.

When you look failure in the face for the hundredth time, remember this. You were created by the God of the universe. He knows how work inside and out. The Psalmist writes “For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” (Psalm 103:14)

Of all the reasons I believe God is good, this is perhaps the best one. He knows I’m weak. He knows how I work. I don’t need to explain myself. Even though my actions may surprise me they never surprise him. He understands me better than I understand myself.

God is good. He understands.

PRAYER: Father God. There are so many ways in which I feel too weak to accomplish all I have to do. So many times I’ve failed you, others or myself. Thank you for understanding me in my weakest moments. In Jesus name, Amen.

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