Lord, show us how to do the difficult, seemingly impossible things…
“Lord, teach us to pray,” the disciples asked. Not that they didn’t pray, all practising Jews did. But after being with Christ and hearing him pray they realized they didn’t really know how to pray as God desired. Yet they wanted to.
So they did what we sometimes forget. They asked the Lord to show them how. But it’s the only way any of us can truly follow in his footsteps.
Show us how, Lord.
Show us how to do that which, for us, is impossible. How to love the unloveable. Those who think only of themselves and purposely wrong us or others. How can we love even them?
After their arrival in a WWII concentration camp, Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsy stood naked for inspection, watching as a camp matron beat a fellow prisoner. “Oh the poor woman!” Corrie cried.
“Yes. May God forgive her,” Betsy replied. And Corrie realized that it was for the soul of the brutal Nazi guard that her sister prayed.
Later, after watching a guard beat her own sister, Corrie declared her hate for the woman. “No, don’t hate,” Betsy told her. “Pray for that woman. They know how to hate, and look what it’s done to them!” “How,” Corrie asked, “do you pray for such monsters?”
How Lord? Show us how.
After discovering that their barracks were flea ridden Corrie had also asked how. “How,” she cried, “can we live in such a place?” Betsy responded by asking the Lord to show them how.
That needs to be the cry of our heart when we find ourselves struggling to obey Christ’s most difficult teachings, and unable to do what we know is right.
How Lord? Show us how.
How can we love our enemies? Die to ourselves? Curb our tongue in anger? Love with patience those who are aggravating? How Lord, how?
On our own and within ourselves we will never find the strength or ability. We know it’s right, yet struggle to do it. And that’s when we need to cry, “Lord, show us how.”
And the amazing thing is that Christ shows us how to do the hard things by revealing more of himself to us.
It goes without saying that if we’re sincerely praying for the Lord to show us how, we’re also seeking wisdom in his word. But I’ll say it anyway. How can we expect him to guide us if we don’t seek his wisdom in his book?
And what do we find when we read it, especially the New Testament? We find Christ all the way through. We find him loving his enemies, putting others first, dying to himself.
And we sense heaven coming down to us. We feel the closeness he had with his Father. We perceive all that is good, holy, and righteous.
And the spirit within us yearns toward it. We want to do right, be close to him, become like him, and know that one day we will be with him forever more.
There are no quick and easy shortcuts.
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could teach 3 simple steps for obeying in the hard things? As simple as ABC.
Only it’s not that simple. We can only learn to obey Christ’s difficult commands by staying close to him, yearning for him, and asking him to change our hearts day by day.
Each and every time it’s a new battle. A repeat of a lesson we thought mastered. And each time it’s difficult all over again.
So each time we pray, “Lord, show us how.” And we stay close to the One our hearts yearn for. We learn of him, and little by little we follow in his footsteps, becoming more and more like him.
And abiding in him, we learn how.
Images: Hands on Bible by reenablack from Pixabay. | Christ teaching on mountain by Good News Productions Int. from FreeBibleImages.org; CC-BY-NC-ND. | Christ by sea of Galilee by LUMO Project, Big Book Media from FreeBibleImages.org. | Mountain background on graphic by Marketplace Designers from Canva.