Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Better to See You With, My Dear

In Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf impersonating her grandmother answers all the questions asked.
When the girl arrives, she notices that her grandmother looks very strange. Little Red then says, "What a deep voice you have!" ("The better to greet you with"), "Goodness, what big eyes you have!" ("The better to see you with"), "And what big hands you have!" ("The better to hug/grab you with"), and lastly, "What a big mouth you have" ("The better to eat you with!").
That certainly doesn't end well. 
Have you ever wished someone could see things clearly, see things for what they really are?
We all have blind spots.
Recently I received similar prayer requests from friends. While each situation was very different, the cry was, "Why can't they see it?"
I remembered almost twenty years ago, when the church I went to went through a horrific
split. In less than a month, membership dropped from over 5,000 to around a 1,000. You can imagine how that impacted finances and the jobs of those who worked there. It was the most devastation I had ever seen wrought by church members.
One thing impacted me profoundly in this chaos. Although the newspaper was having a field day with accusation, the new pastor never publicly defended himself.
It was the first time in my life, I had ever seen someone walk out Isaiah 53:7:
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth:
he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,
 so he openeth not his mouth.
It was certainly contrary to the way I lived my life. If you hurt or even offended me, you were going to get a mouthful and so were others.
But the interesting part to me maybe two years later when the dust had settled, we were bankrupt and lost our million dollar buildings, we continued to pray every morning at 5:42 a.m. to a different cadence.
Pastor Mike still had not accused his accusers. Now though he asked us to pray two scriptures daily.
I am going to talk about just one today. The scripture was Ephesians 1:16-23.
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
 may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;
that ye may know what is the hope of his calling,
and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe,
according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,
 and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion,
and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Diligently we prayed that for those who left and those who stayed. Change happened. Some was almost imperceptible. Others were healing and brought unity. The change that surprised me the most was the change in me.
What we pray for others, we saw accomplished in our own lives. I began to become more grateful. My discernment was keener. My trust level increased.
My friends along with Ray and myself are praying this prayer until the end of the year asking God to open their eyes of understanding and give them wisdom. We don't want our loved ones devoured by the wolf. We want them to know the hope of HIs calling and have the power available to them. We want their lives changed according to His plans, not ours.