Abraham was not only willing to be pesky in asking the Lord to move, intervene or change course. Not only did Abraham’s seemingly fearless approach to asking the Lord to move in a seemingly lost situation. As I read through this passage, there are a few points that really stood out to me.
- Our petitions are welcome. I mentioned this yesterday, but when Abraham seemed like an annoying kid asking the same question over and over, the Lord was open, receptive and gracious. The Lord may not always move like we ask or expect him to, but he is open to our cries and prayers.
- It’s ok to struggle and wrestle with with is happening in the world. Abraham struggled with following the Lord and being in a world that doesn’t do the same. Of course, this is not remotely relatable to our world today, but should it ever be true for us, we know that it’s ok to wrestle. It’s ok to be confused- to love the world we live in, but still see the need for redemption amidst the chaos. (By the way, before we start saying America and Sodom are one in the same, read this. Unless your neighbors act like this, we might not quite be on the same playing field.)
- It’s ok not to have all the answers. I think we sometimes approach prayer as though we expect to give God our Christmas list and see all the boxes checked immediately. Abraham’s conversation with God wasn’t tied up in a pretty bow or have a Hollywood-ish ending.
We areI am so uncomfortable when something is lacking closure, but sometimes, closure is not gonna happen, and that’s ok. Also, Abraham left that conversation with God and didn’t have a pretty three-point sermon to present to those around him that tied it all together. We’re going to have situations and moments like that in life, and it’s ok.
- It’s ok to ask questions of God. Abraham felt comfortable going to the Lord and asking questions. Ones that were potentially awkward. The Lord knows our hearts and therefore knows the questions we have. Asking them just makes room for the light to come into the darkness.
- Our prayers might just influence the outcome. It’s hard to know for sure, but Abraham’s petition to God to save the righteous in Sodom, might have saved Lot and his daughters. James 5:16 says that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
I am sure that I’m not alone in sometimes forgetting the humanity of the “heroes” of the Bible. They were people just like you and me with doubts, insecurities and a track record of making mistakes. What makes them Bible heroes is where they turned when they had those things. Instead of hiding or pretended like they had it all together, they approached God and asked hard questions and were comfortable with packages that weren’t tied together with pretty bows. The more of life I see, the more I am keenly aware that life doesn’t come in packages with bows- it’s messy and confusing. There’s beauty in the mess and in the redemption that comes from the messiest of circumstances.