Here’s the situation.
There’s an outbreak of a disease. A vicious disease that’s killing everyone in the world– men, women and children. It’s a horrible epidemic wreaking havoc on the planet and all it’s inhabitants.
But you’re lucky. You have been given a vaccine that is a cure, protecting you from the disease. In fact, there’s enough vaccine to go around–enough to save the entire planet.
But in order to get the vaccine, a person must be recommended by someone who’s already gotten it.
So because you’ve already been vaccinated, you begin to make your list of recommendations; people who desperately need the medicine. You begin with your family. You must protect them. You list each one carefully. Your spouse, your children. Your mom & dad. Your sister & brother. Your great-aunt Sally. And then a name comes to mind. But you skip that name for now.
You list your friends, everyone from the people you are close with now to those you once roamed the halls with in high school. Bob. Lisa. Shannon. Ebeneezer. The name you thought before comes to mind again, but once more, you skip it.
You list your acquaintances. Your dermatologist. Your exterminator. The bag boy at the grocery store. Everyone must be saved, and you have the power–you hold the key. All you have to do is give their name.
That name you thought before comes to mind yet again. And you continue to list other people– anyone and everyone except that name which comes into your brain over and over again.
Why won’t you write it down? Why won’t you save her?
Because she’s a nasty, evil person who’s made horrible choices in her life and hurt a lot of people. Including you. And worst of all, she’s a family member. She’s someone you loved and trusted.
And you have the power to give her name to those who might save her from this evil disease, but you don’t.
You don’t because you’ve decided that she’s no longer worth it. She no longer deserves your kindness. She no longer deserves your help.
Someone has to want to be helped. You can’t help someone who won’t help themselves. Nothing I do can help her–she’s too far gone. She doesn’t deserve my help.
Those are the excuses you give to make yourself feel better.
But the ugly truth is, by with holding your help, you’re no better than she is, no matter what she’s done.
Disease wreaking havoc on the world = Sin
Cure = The magnificent grace of Jesus Christ
Turning in a list of names of those who need help = Prayer
Do you withhold prayer for those who need it? Do you refuse to pray for those you deem “unworthy”?
Then take a long, hard look in the mirror. Because you are unworthy, too.
We are all unworthy of the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.
That’s what makes the miracle of the cross so powerful. That NONE of us deserve it. “Saint” and “Sinner” alike– we are all the same in the eyes of God.
Those who have wronged us, those who are hurting, those who are in need of mercy and grace–these are the ones who “deserve” our prayers the most.
Share with me: Can you think of someone right now who “deserves” your prayer?