Sitting on a park bench, John is the picture of discouragement. His head is down, shoulders are slumped. He looks like he has lost his best friend. The sun is not shining because of the clouds that have slipped in, but he would not enjoy it if it was. His attention is focused on the loss of his job.
Bills are due, and to top it all off, it seems as if the heavens are brass. The fellowship he has enjoyed with God is pretty non-existent right now.
"Lord, I'm desperate. You've got to talk to me. I really need You and I miss You.
He feels a tap on the shoulder. “Huh?”
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Oh, it’s all right, Pastor Blake – I am just in a funk since I lost my job.”
“I’m sure you have taken this problem to God, haven’t you?”
“Yes, but it seems my prayers don’t go any higher than the ceiling. What’s wrong, Pastor Blake, why isn’t God hearing me?”
Well, John, we know that God always hears us and He says He will supply our every need.”
John looks intently into Pastor’s face. “Then why . . .”
“John . . . what is the last thing God told you to do?”
“I . . . I . . . don’t know . . . . Well there was a time a couple of weeks ago when I had a strong feeling I should stop by my neighbor’s house and help him with a heavy load he was trying to carry. I could see he was struggling, but I was in such a hurry, I didn’t have time. I was going to try to get back to him, but he already had the job done when I returned.”
“What has happened since then?”
“You know? I don’t think I have heard from God since, not even about my needs. We have been so close, we fellowship and discuss everything. I have missed those talks. What do you think is the problem?”
“John, when there is a breakdown in communication, it is because we have moved – not God. He is always close, looking for every way to bless us. Sometimes, through sin, we miss those blessings.
“Yes, delayed obedience, is the same as disobedience and disobedience is sin. It is the sin of Adam and Eve. Sin separates us from the blessings and favor God has for us. It hurts Him to not be able to give to us the good gifts He has prepared. We should be very careful to not plug up our blessing spout.”
“I never thought of that. But I really intended to get back before he was finished, I just needed to . . . .”
“To do what – what could be more important than obeying God your Father? Do you think He doesn’t know every detail of your life and the reason you did not stop?”
“Well . . . yeah . . . I wanted to meet my buddy in the park for a ballgame.”
“Did you not trust God to know which was more important? God knows your neighbor had been praying and asking for help with his heavy load. He asked you to be a blessing to him, but you had you on your mind. Isn’t that so?”
John buries his face in his hands. “Oh, Lord, I am so sorry I did not obey Your direction. I ask You to forgive me of that sin – and please speak to me again.”
“I never stopped speaking to you, John, but sin has a way of disrupting our communication. Now that the way is clear, I have blessings waiting for you. Be sure to keep our lines of communication open. I have much to say and there is much to do . . . and I miss you too.”
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