Saturday, July 20, 2013

The God of the 9th

I found myself saying a few days ago, "God, I starting working my way through Grudem today!  Can't You give me a break already?"

I'll admit, I'm tired of this God of the 9th scenario.  Why can't I get things taken care of during the 7th inning stretch?  All I ask for is a place to live, with my dogs preferably.  It doesn't have to be nice.  Just with working heat and a solid roof.  Is that too much to ask?

I wonder if Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego ever felt like this?  God could have stopped the guards from throwing them into the fiery furnace, but He didn't.  He let them be thrown into the flames.

Wonder if Daniel felt like this?  God could have stopped the guards from throwing him into the pit with the lions, but He didn't.  He let him be given to the lions.

Wonder if Abraham and Isaac felt like this?  God could have provided the ram right after the alter was built.  But He didn't.  He had Abraham put Isaac on the altar, tie him down, and raise the knife.

Wonder if Joseph felt like this?  God could have stopped his brothers from throwing him into the well.  But He didn't.  He could have stopped him from being sold into the slave trade.  But He didn't.  He could have prevented him from being sent to prison.  But He didn't.

The centurion's daughter was allowed to die before Jesus "healed" her.  Lazarus was allowed to die before Jesus "healed" him.  Christ Himself was allowed to die, and be buried, before being raised again.

The widow was down to her last flour before Elijah stepped in.

I'm pretty sure there are other examples of this.  This is what God does, often, apparently.  Why?  Why not show us His power ahead of time?  Why not save us this worry and trouble?  Why not prevent a few headaches and the worsening of my TMJ?

Because then it wouldn't be faith.  "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

When there's plenty of money in the bank... I don't really trust God.  When my children were healthy, I didn't really trust God.  When my marriage was perfect... well, that's never happened. =)  But when things are going smoothly, when everything is stable, when life is easy, trust is easy.  Because it's not really trust.  My girls don't have to really trust me to hold them when they're sitting on my lap on the couch.  It's when I'm tossing them up in the air that trust comes into play.  It's easy to trust me when they get to happily play in the tub, uninterrupted. But when I'm dumping water over their heads... that's when trust is needed.  (And that's still a work in progress.)

Actually, that's a good example.  I'm working on getting Ladybug to not kick and scream and flail while I rinse her hair.  I need her to trust me, that she'll be able to breathe with the water running down her face.  I need her to trust that it's not going to go on forever, that even if she doesn't fight me it'll still end.  That I have a purpose in doing what I'm doing, even though she doesn't like it.

Maybe God's the same way.  Actually, in a lot of those ways, I know He is.  I know He has a purpose behind what He's doing.  I know He'll bring me through this.  I know He'll provide.  Yet still, I kick and scream and flail.  Which only makes it worse.

"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content.
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.
In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
...
And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
Phil 4:11-13, 19

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