Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Are You Waiting to Be Rescued?

A friend recently told me a joke that sums up how we often ask for God's help, then ignore the help that is sent our way, ignore the opportunities that we are given to help ourselves. Instead, we resign ourselves to thoughts like, "if God is willing, then it will happen"...all the while missing chance after chance that God is sending to show us the way out. It may be a simple suggestion from a friend who sees a clear way out for us, or a comment from a stranger that has more wisdom than we recognize...an avenue to give us more power and let go of our burdnes, so often self-imposed.

The story goes something like this:

It had been raining for days and days, and a terrible flood had come over the land. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house to avoid the floodwaters, faithfully praying to God to save him.

As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord, the Lord will save me.” So the man in the rowboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.

The waters rose higher and higher, and suddenly a speedboat appeared. “Climb in!” shouted a man in the boat. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me.” So the man in the speedboat went away. The man on the roof prayed even harder, knowing that God would save him.

The waters continued to rise. A helicopter appeared and over the loudspeaker, the pilot announced he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord, the Lord will save me.” So the helicopter went away. The man on the roof prayed again for God to save him, steadfast in his faith.

The waters rose higher and higher, and eventually they rose so high that the man on the roof was washed away, and alas, the poor man drowned.

Upon arriving in heaven, the man marched straight over to God. “Heavenly Father,” he said, “I had faith in you, I prayed to you to save me, and yet you did nothing. Why?” God gave him a puzzled look, and replied “I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you expect than that?

This little story sums up how so many of us choose live our lives. We have faith in God to take care of us, but we ignore so many signs and opportunities that He sends our way. We worry that if we receive help in any other way than directly from God, that it might not be valid. For example, I have had very faithful individuals actually question why someone should ever rely on angels for any assistance, asking, "Why not go directly to God?", questioning whether, by asking and receiving help from angels, if it is "cutting God out" or not honoring God enough.

That seems illogical to me. God sent angels to Mary, Jesus, and many prominent characters in the Bible to help them in their journey. Angels are also recognized in some form by all organized religions as well as those who call themselves "spiritual, but not religious", choosing to seek a more personal relationship with God. Many people have had direct experiences with angels, and have been rescued or received great peace from their actions and intervention. I believe that most of us, somewhere inside, know that we have some angels to help us, whether in the heavenly form that we have come to think of, or "Earth Angels" that appear to us through fellow humans, just when we need them.

What we must understand is that we have to ask for their help, and then receive it openly when it comes. Our free will generally prevents angels from helping us until they have the request (unless it is an urgent situation that is not congruent with our plan). We can ask angels for their help, knowing that God provided them to us to be our messengers and helpers....or, we can ask God for help, but be willing to accept it in whatever form it gets sent, through angels or, as in the story, through the two boats and the helicopter.

When we ask, it is always given. The issue is often that we do not receive it if it is not in the exact form that fits our idea of how God should come to us. If we remember that God is in all things, we can understand that God can come to us in many forms or send us many avenues for rescue or growth. It is not until we open our minds to the many paths and opportunites beyond our pre-determined form, we can truly experience God's gifts, or fully live our path or purpose.

Ask God for help, ask angels for their assistance...ask that they make it obvious to you so that you will hear it loudly and clearly in the coincidences and events surrounding you. Then have the courage to fully live in faith by opening your mind to ALL of the opportunities that are sent your way, not just the ones that fit your picture of God. We each have everything we need for growth and perfection at our disposal, if we will only listen and receive.

Choose to ask, choose to receive, choose to follow the avenues that are presented to you. That is true faith.

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