We were all filing onto the plane, our rolling luggage bumping over the uneven, unfolded ramp from that led from the terminal. As we crossed over the metal threshold onto the plane, first class passengers sat comfortably reading and sipping bottled water with their legs extended in appreciated leg room.
We waited patiently as the people ahead of us grunted and shoved, then withdrew to rearrange, and then resubmit, their maximally-sized carry-on. One last push would settle the heavy piece in place, and they’d sit with a “humph,” allowing us to walk by.
I squeezed my shoulders closer together by default, because I could and he didn’t.
Could I please take one of those empty first class seats? I talked myself out of complaining by reminding myself that the flight was just a few hours long. I could do most things for a few hours. They mentioned in the terminal that the flight was full. As the plane taxied to take off, a few seats remained empty. No one had filled these seats.
An articulate British-accented female voice announced that anyone who would like to pay an additional fee would be able to move up to first class. There were takers. The seats were filled by the reality of economy seating. The opportunity had momentarily seemed irresistible to them. Resigned to my current fate, I imagined what it would look like to my left if the window was relocated about a foot behind where it was situated. It was a blue sky type of day, and we were probably flying through, over and under bright white puffs in interesting formations. The first class people were seeing it, live.
Accessibility, by nature, decreases our appreciation for things.
In the book of Esther, after King Xerxes sends away his wife, Queen Vashti, (Esther 1:9), Esther is chosen by him to become his Queen (Esther 1:17). It was no small thing to gain access to the King, even as his wife. Esther went to great lengths to prepare herself and gain permission to speak to him. She went even beyond the required customs. The story goes on to show how difficult accessibility was for Esther, even as the official Queen.
The first five books of the Bible are called The Torah, which means The Law, or The Law of Moses. These five books include the 10 Commandments and contain what seems like one rule and regulation after another. The Hebrew Law gave the stipulations that must be met in order for God’s chosen people to live righteously before Him. One simple slip up could have been fatal.
That was before Jesus. When Jesus came and died to pay the price for our sins, things changed for all who believed in Him. His death and resurrection gave us access to God’s grace, and thus, His throne. He called us unto Himself to live in relationship with Him. He talks to us through His logos, or written Word, or through His rhema, or spoken word. And He desires that we talk back to Him. This is what prayer is, simply talking to God. Jesus spent time every day, speaking with God.
Jesus’ provision of access to God was too good to be true to many of the people who lived in His day. They were looking for a Messiah to save them. They couldn’t understand that He would save His people and do so much more. Even today, people can have a hard time believing that we are saved by His mercy.
Jesus’ provision of access to God was too good to be true to many of the people who lived in His day.
The main square in central Mexico City is called the Zocolo. It is one of the largest city squares in the world and it’s paved with ancient stones. We would watch as people worshiped religious icons as part of ceremonies and tradition.
What alarmed us were the many people who crawled across the the length of the Zocolo. They were doing penance in order to be worthy before God. When they finally stood, exhausted and in excruciating pain, their knees were filthy with scraped and gouged skin. Dried black and seeping red blood covering their shredded and marred knees. As observers, compassion flooded our hearts. God surely grieved. He was so much more accessible than they knew.
We know that as His children, our Father God is highly approachable. But like the no-show first class airline ticket holders, we sometimes are also no-shows. Usually, its because we just don’t get around to praying, or praying enough. Even though we believe that God answers prayers, and that they have an impact on the people that we pray for, we let things keep us from praying.
We know that as His children, our Father God is highly approachable. But like the no-show first class airline ticket holders, we sometimes are also no-shows.
As I just made my way through airport security, a perky lady with tightly curled red (cardinal red, not orange-called-red) hair and an uninhibited southern accent, held up a special cardboard card. It had the word “ACCESS” printed in bold, black capital letters. She smiled, as she waved the beige card, bragging of its power; “If any of y’all have this card, come on up ahead of everyone else! We’ll git ‘cha right through!” She was actually on a little power trip. She’d let them through with a smile, too!
We need to boldly push our way through our crowded lives to stand before the throne.
We need to do some spiritual card waving. We need to boldly push our way through our crowded lives to stand before the throne. We need to obey Philippians 4:6, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” When we pray, our lives are profoundly enhanced, and God's hands are released to do amazing things in and through us. We have access!
I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “pray continually.” Prayer can become a natural part of every situation! When it does, not only will we see our personal, family, work and interpersonal lives change, but we will watch as the world changes. This is part of God’s plan for bringing His Kingdom to earth. Praise God for the privilege of having the opportunity to be part of such an exciting plan!