Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
"Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?" It often seems that some things are beyond God's reach. Sure He may heal some random people in the world from their diseases, but He would never want to do anything big for me in my life. I'm not sure where this lie comes from, but we all believe it. And when we don't expect God to move, we aren't able to recognize precisely what it is He is trying to do for us and how He is trying to move in our lives.
Sarah laughed when she was told that she would bear a child. She was far too old and it seemed biologically impossible. Laughing is a reasonable response. It seems absurd that God could or would do that for her. How often are you and I like her? When we think about the brokenness in our lives-whether it's a broken bone or a broken family or relationship- we believe these things to be beyond repair. Hopeless. I think there are fewer things Satan loves more than hopelessness. "Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?"
So, what seems hopeless in your life today? What seems too marvelous for the Lord to do? Is it a sin that you think you could never overcome because it's all you've ever known? Is it you being unable to get a certain GPA in school or unable to make a certain sports team? Is it you thinking you could never find a person to spend the rest of your life with? Is it you being unable to make some friends or be accepted by your peers? Is it you never really finding out what your purpose is in life and always wondering around lost? Is it you never being good enough? Whatever it is, bring it to the Lord in this time of prayer. Place yourself in the presence of Sarah. What do you think it was like for her who once laughed at how God wanted to bless her to actually receive that blessing? What could that be like for you if you actually trusted that God has good things in store for you?
Call me crazy, but I really think God put us on this Earth because He thought we would really like it and enjoy it. That doesn't mean tough times won't come, they surely will. But it does mean that He wants to be with us in those tough times and transform them into something far more beautiful than we could imagine. So, if you feel "stuck" at all, bring that hopelessness to God and ask Him to help. He wants to. Nothing is too marvelous for Him to do. And He doesn't just want to offer us the marvelous gift of Heaven after this life while we just "get by" or white-knuckle it through this life, but He also wants to offer us the marvelous gift of life in abundance here and now. It just takes us changing our attitude and disposition to be able to see and receive the abundance. "Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?"
As a friend of mine always says, "When it seems too good to be true, that's when you know it's Him."
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
When in your life are you like Sarah? What are you struggling with? When do you feel hopeless?
Do you trust God to do something marvelous in your life?
Think about the last week, month or year. When have you seen the marvelous work of the Lord?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"When it seems too good to be true, that's when you know it's Him."
"Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?"
"God is good."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
What is weighing on your heart? Where do you feel hopeless? Give it over to God and ask Him to do something marvelous. Write it down and revisit it in a few weeks and see how God is working.
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's prayer was prepared by Austin Ashcraft, a graduate student in New Orleans.