When I pray, I generally start by thanking God for everything. Thanking Him for my life, thanking Him for my new life, thanking Him for everyone I know, thanking Him for the challenges I face and that He has the answers.
This morning, I realized — or it was suggested — that I add something else to be thankful for.
“Thank You, that You are real.”
In spite of all the alternatives to God the world is promulgating, not to mention the way so many people dismiss anyone who wants to share the Good News of Jesus Christ by saying, “We all have our belief systems”, the evidence is overwhelming that He is real. He is not just some quaint cultural explanation for the inexplicable: His manifestation — the miracles, the “spirit nudges”, the sense of newness when we turn to Him after a lifetime of “doing it our way” and the supernatural support He provides — is absolute proof of His existence.
And that proof translates to Love, forgiveness and equality in His eyes. Aren’t you glad it’s that, and not condemnation, wrath and favoritism?
I’d say that’s plenty to be thankful for, and worth starting the prayer with that.
The realness of God was on full display in a courtroom in Houston, Texas, the other day. Amber Guyger, a woman police officer, was being sentenced for killing Botham Jean, a black man. She had walked into his apartment and shot him. Her defense was that she thought she was walking into her apartment (she was a neighbour) and assumed he was an intruder.
Then came time for the victim impact statements, and Botham’s brother, Brandt, took the stand. As you know, victim impact statements are usually, and understandably, expressions of grief, loss and anger. Look at how Brandt Jean used his time.
I’ve written before that, contrary to Elton John, “sorry” is not the hardest word. “Forgive” is much harder, but of course, that’s easy to say, when you’re standing outside the actual situation.
Lord, give us the strength to follow Brandt Jean’s example, should You give us the opportunity. Because, after all, what else could have motivated Brandt Jean to speak like that?
Thank You, Lord, for being real.
And thanks, too, to David Robertson, for drawing our attention to this incident in his blog, The Wee Flea.