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April 6, 2017

Lent 2017: Day Thirty-Two

Week Five: Larger Fears Require Bolder Actions

Reflection for the Week: How can I be a courageous partner in God’s creative goodness?

There have been frequent occasions in my ministry when a parent has said to me, “My child needs to come and talk to you!” The first few times this happened I was naïve. I was flattered, thinking I had somehow made a special connection with a child with whom I had not had much contact. I actually thought the child wanted to come and talk with me. Right! In most cases it was the parent who wanted to bring their child to me to “straighten him out.”

The little therapy training I have had reminds me that unless the client really wants to change, they won’t. There is no magic in therapy. The person who comes for therapy must desire growth and change or they will make little to no head way.

It is the same thing with your relationship with God. Unless you really desire a deeper, closer relationship with God, it won’t happen. Oh, God will still provide for you. There will be a sun and moon, food and water, shelter and opportunities in life. You will exist, but you will not know what the Psalmist is referring to as “the joy of your salvation.”

Have you ever been in a situation or come to a time in life when you were in over your head? A time when you were in real trouble, when the task before you was beyond the resources within you? I have. There are two paths in such times. Tough it out alone and crash and burn. Or, ask for help and let others be your strength and your salvation. Salvation is the relationship we have with God that comes when we know just how much we need God and in that moment of realization open to God. The joy of salvation is the moment when we feel God’s entrance.

Prayer: God of my salvation, I pray to remain steadfast in seeking you and opening to you. Amen.

Rev. John Farley
Dean of Cabinet
California-Pacific Conference