Thursday, April 11, 2019

Just Laying Around

As I was reading the daily reading from Genesis Chapter 17 about the Lord appearing to Abram, one verse stood out for me:  “When Abram prostrated himself, God continued to speak to him . . .”

I want you to stop reading right now and take a moment to imagine this gesture of prostration.  Just to make it easy on you, rather than lying down, I want you to stand up and stretch your arms out just as wide as you can (like Jesus did on the cross).  Stand there for just a minute, with your arms outstretched.

How did that make you feel?  Vulnerable?  Defenseless? Open?

Now picture Abram lying prostrate and consider that this is the position he took up as God continued to speak to him.  Abram instinctively responded to this encounter with God by prostrating himself. defines prostration as “to cast (oneself) face down on the ground in humility, submission, or adoration.”

You see God opened up a conversation with Abram, telling him about the covenant they would share, and as they went deeper into the conversation and God had more to say, we see Abram putting himself in a position to hear. 

His name was changed to Abraham and his mission given—he was to become the “father of a host of nations,” “exceedingly fertile” and have many descendants come after him.  Forget that he was advanced in age—99! (I'm personally wondering how he even got down on the ground!)

As I was reading this very significant Old Testament passage, it occurred to me the significance of the position Abram took on.  I started thinking that if we struggle to hear God in our own lives, maybe it could be in large part because we are not taking up such a position of humility, submission and adoration.

If God started speaking to you today, would you take up the same position as Abram, or would you start asking him questions?  What do you want me to do?  How long will it take?  How am I supposed to do it? What’s in it for me?

Or would you lie down immediately and listen?  And then when you got up, would you get moving?

Well, I would propose that this scenario—of God speaking to us—is not as unusual as we might think.  God does speak to us all the time.  Not only does he speak to us through other people and situations, he speaks to us through his divinely inspired Word, in prayer, and in a thousand smaller ways that we might be missing if we are not paying attention.

Look for God today in your life.  How is he speaking to you?  What are the blessings and graces you are receiving that you might be overlooking?

Then, in humility and with a grateful heart, respond to him in openness and submit yourself to him.  If you read Chapter 17 of Genesis, you will notice that once Abram prostrated himself before God, God had all kinds of things to say to him!

Janet Cassidy

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