2 July 2019
The angels urged Lot, ‘Come, take your wife and these two daughters of yours, or you will be overwhelmed in the punishment of the town.’ And as he hesitated, the men took him by the hand, and his wife and his two daughters, because of the pity the Lord felt for him. They led him out and left him outside the town.
As they were leading him out he said, ‘Run for your life. Neither look behind you nor stop anywhere on the plain. Make for the hills if you would not be overwhelmed.’ ‘No, I beg you, my lord,’ Lot said to them ‘your servant has won your favour and you have shown great kindness to me in saving my life. But I could not reach the hills before this calamity overtook me, and death with it. The town over there is near enough to flee to, and is a little one. Let me make for that – is it not little? – and my life will be saved.’ He answered, ‘I grant you this favour too, and will not destroy the town you speak of. Hurry, escape to it, for I can do nothing until you reach it.’ That is why the town is named Zoar.
As the sun rose over the land and Lot entered Zoar, the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord. He overthrew these towns and the whole plain, with all the inhabitants of the towns, and everything that grew there. But the wife of Lot looked back, and was turned into a pillar of salt.
Rising early in the morning Abraham went to the place where he had stood before the Lord, and looking towards Sodom and Gomorrah, and across all the plain, he saw the smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
Thus it was that when God destroyed the towns of the plain, he kept Abraham in mind and rescued Lot out of disaster when he overwhelmed the towns where Lot lived.
Jesus got into the boat followed by his disciples. Without warning a storm broke over the lake, so violent that the waves were breaking right over the boat. But he was asleep. So they went to him and woke him saying, ‘Save us, Lord, we are going down!’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened, you men of little faith?’ And with that he stood up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and all was calm again. The men were astounded and said, ‘Whatever kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him.’
Lord, we are going down!
Have you ever had that sinking feeling where you know you have made a huge ‘boo boo’ and that within the next few minutes (or even seconds), that scathing email or phone call from a superior or, worse still, your father/mother/in-laws will reach you? At times, in my youthful exuberance, I have been guilty of offending others with my ‘c’est la vie’ attitude towards my own mistakes and wrongdoings. For me, it is a case of having already done the crime, there is no point crying over spilt milk.
I wonder if the disciples felt more than just a sinking feeling on that boat, which was being tossed here and there by the strong, galeforce winds. It seems as if they were saying, “Why have you brought us this far, only to make us to feel frightened under your watch?”
Brothers and sisters, it can be just like that in ministry, isn’t it? For years, we labour in His vineyard and then when we encounter difficulty or, even worse, a very public airing of dirty laundry, who do we start blaming for our predicaments? For the lack of a scapegoat, may I suggest that you take out your rosary or crucifix and gaze at the sorry figure who was nailed to the cross.
Because in front of our very eyes is our ‘scapegoat’ – the one who took it upon himself to be the ultimate sacrifice for all of humankind. He who ‘went down’ for us and then rose again, so that we could live free as His sons and daughters. It is all well and good to praise and worship the Lord in good times, but when we encounter our own storms, how many of us actually look to Him in faith and trust that He will help us sail through? For many of us, we always feel the need to be in control, to be the captains of our own destinies. But put us in charge of a rudderless boat and we waver, we start blaming those around us. Worse still, we start to point the finger at God.
At a recent Corpus Christi celebration in CSC, the Lord demonstrated showed His presence in the lives of many as He performed miracles of healing. My own shoulder, which I had injured a few weeks prior, was healed as I stood by the video camera. How wonderful it felt to have been healed because I had faith that He would pave the way for me, knowing that we had a minimal crew to support the 9-hour session. Indeed, God is good!
(Today’s Oxygen by Desmond Soon)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep us faithful and focussed on the road ahead through our daily prayers and help us to see your guiding hand in all that we do.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for all the healing miracles that we witnessed last weekend.