A Simple Old-Fashioned Faith

The “Wailing Wall,” believed to be a remnant of the great Temple in Jerusalem destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., is where the Jewish people go to recall their traditions and to pray … 

A CBS news team was taping at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall. Every day they saw the same older man praying, morning, noon, and night. On their last day, one of the reporters asks him, “What is it you pray for so fervently?” The old man thinks for a moment and says, “I pray for health, for happiness, and peace in my land.” “I see,” says the reporter. “You don’t look very healthy. Are you happy?” “Not really,” says the man. “And your homeland is in turmoil,” the reporter says. “Do you believe your prayers are heard?” The man nods and says, “Sometimes it’s like talking to a wall.” 

Plagues, earthquakes, wars, famines, hatreds, persecutions, killings — we live right amid it all on our planet earth. And, like Job, we want to know “Why?” And there are times when it seems like we’re talking to a wall. Like Job, we need to become good listeners. Like Job, our “Why?” of rebellion needs to become the “Why?” of wisdom. Like Job, we need to understand that even though we still don’t have the answer to the “Why?” of suffering, nevertheless a caring God is in charge and, somehow, it works for good. Like Job, we need to listen and learn that apart from trust in a loving God, life is absurd. 

“Your endurance will win you your lives,” says the Lord. With patient endurance, hold onto a simple, old-fashioned faith in God and His loving kindness, and you will become a force in your relationships. There are persons all around you who need your gifts. 

With patient endurance, hold onto a simple old-fashioned faith in God and His loving kindness, and you will be empowered to give of the gentleness of your heart. 

This week, despite the bad news you will read or hear remember always: God is still God. He is acting in history. He will not abandon us. When the going gets rough, we must hang in there, and let the love we bring into the situation be a clear and convincing sign of the God of Love. As Christians, when we do this, we will set a shining example of the people God intends us to be. And that I pray, exemplifies “the people we are.” 

And so, we pray: Lord, Sometimes my prayers do seem like I am talking to a wall… from the temple or just and old rock. Help me to know that you are with me in and through all circumstances and situations, and you know what I need even before I offer my uninformed prayer. Amen.

Grace and Peace

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