Our scripture for Sabbath is Matthew 2:13-23, taken today from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.
Often I read passages such as this and think “if only God spoke that clearly to me, it would sure be easier!” God is more than willing to do so, but it is important that I make time to speak with Him, that I am prepared to receive His word and that I put what He has told me into practice. God is waiting to share with us but we must be willing to put aside the daily distractions we engage in and give Him our attention.
We have gotten so used to constant mental input and stimulation that we almost need to be shocked into quiet time to listen for God’s voice. Then when we are finally silent and open, we are anxious for an immediate response, the same way we are used to from text messages, email or the internet. We seem to think everything, including God responding to us, has to happen right now!
God is always ready to share with us, but we must be ready to accept His word and His way. We don’t get to dictate how it happens. He knows our hearts and when we make time for God, He will always make time for us.
Heavenly Father, our lives have become so busy! We fill every spare moment with “stuff”, which often interferes with our relationship with You. Help us to slow down and be intentional about our connection, listening for Your word and sharing Your love. Amen.