Asa, the King of the Southern Kingdom had built up the fortifications and expunged the land of idols but with the invasion of the Ethiopians, they are outnumbered 2:1. Asa cries out in desperation, as do we at difficult times in our lives. Do we ever grade our prayers, thinking that he will grant us the smaller requests, whilst we hold back, on what would seem from our perspective, problems too difficult. Who are we then to imagine problems too difficult for God? Should we not instead petition the Lord with cries like Asa's 'O Lord there is no difference for you between helping the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you,' (2 Chronicles 9:11).
To God there are no grades of prayer. If he can raise up Christ from the dead, then he can do anything in accordance with his divine will and perfect nature. We can bring to him what we assume it is hard for him to do and we can bring to him what might seem impossible, for him there is no difference. This should give us confidence as we turn to him moment by moment. Azariah son of Oded, a prophet upon whom the Spirit of God has fallen, reassures Asa with words we would do well to attend to:
'The Lord is with you, while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you abandon him, he will abandon you,' (2 Chronicles 15:2).
Is this like standing in a mirror to seek a reflection which disappears when you turn away when in actual fact, you are, of course, still there. God does not abandon us but it will seem like he has if we do not seek him. We must go on seeking. If we do he will be found. In a book called 'The Cloud of Unknowing' by Halcyon C. Backhouse, the author describes how if it ever seems as though God is hidden in a cloud, it is because he is drawing us after himself, he is creating in us a longing for him. We have to seek him, sometimes we need to persist and persevere, sometimes our prayers are answered immediately. Beg him that he make himself available to you. The people in 2 Chronicles 15 bind themselves into a solid covenant and they swear to go on desiring his presence and he gives them rest and in that framework we can be confident that we will be rewarded. When we understand God in his love and mercy, we can come confidently to him. If we seek him, he'll be found and we must bind ourselves again today to seek him with our whole hearts and we will be found by him. Remember nothing is too hard for God, search for him and he will be found by you, seek him and you will be rewarded!