Today’s devo really has two messages. I considered shortening it to keep it focused on one truth, but truly, they both were intertwined and valuable. I have two alerts automatically programmed in my iphone (hoping they will also become programmed in my brain) One is, “Give God 100%.” The other is, “If God is in it, God will do it.”
This doesn’t negate hard work, hence my first daily reminder. What it does is trust God to take care of the details. We can strive and work and connive until we’re exhausted, but if God’s not in it, at the end of the day, all we’ll have is a head-ache. And the converse also holds true. How many times have blessings landed in your lap, doors swung wide open with little effort on your part, or events effortlessly fallen into place? If God’s in it, God will do it. (One of my colleagues at Reflections wrote an excellent article about this very thing yesterday.)
The question, as I asked once before, are we forging ahead on our own asking God to bless us after the fact or are we following the will of God with His blessing.
The second truth Kevin presents: We will not ever understand God this side of heaven, but that doesn’t mean we quit asking the questions and searching for the answers, because as we seek the answers we will gain something even better–increased intimacy with the Answer Provider.
Enough Slattery-Jibber-Jabber. Today’s post first appeared on Kevin Adam’s Wake Up My Faith on September 22, 2010.
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When I was a child, 11 to be exact, I lived next door to a Catholic rectory. It was the home of several priests who presided over the church adjacent to our house. To me they were the men in black who smiled and waved but never spoke.
There was an air of mystery that dignified them and sparked my curiosity. I’d knock on their door hoping to stump them with my 11 year old logic. “Could God create a stone so heavy that He Himself couldn’t lift?” The older one answered with a kindly nod at their un-mowed grass, a smile, and a folded $5 dollar bill between his fingers. They were glad-handing the nutty little kid from next door and it worked well! I mowed their lawn three summers on the idea that it was better to be rich than wise. But those tough questions have never escaped the grip of my fascination.
My oldest daughter has always been curious about the things of God as well. She is not afraid to ask tough questions or take the Word and test it. At age 4 I remember her bouncing out of the bathroom, dripping wet with tears in her eyes, and in her little southern twang, she said:
“Daddy, diddin you say that anathing is true with God if you just believe hard enough?”
“Sure sweet girl, absolutely!” (loosely interpreting scripture)
“Weyell daddy… I‘ve just come from the basstub and it was feeled up to the top.”
“Uh- huh”Thoughts of the wet floor distracted me from really listening.
“Uh huh?” I responded while reaching for the bathroom door.
“Weyell, I’ve been try’n and try’n to walk on na water the whole time and I just cain’t do it. I’m reely sorry daddy, I believed I could do it with God’s help, but I cain’t, num reely sorry.”
I gave her a hug and wiped away her tears (how do you respond that?). I hugged her again and asked God for help. His answer: “Anything is possible with Me, but not everything is useful to Me. Peter walked on the water only after I said ‘come’.” I backed away from her face so she could see my eyes and relayed the message in my own words.
“Sweet girl… It is possible for you to walk on water! But only IF it’s something God wants you to do. Did He tell you to walk on the water?”
“No daddy, He diddin, I just wonted to.”
I turned away, snickering, but she caught me and grinned with her whole face! Her happy little eyes squeezed out a half-formed tear, and we found ourselves laughing about it – she’s quite a chuckler! I told her to keep listening for God’s voice. If He ever tells her to walk on the water, then she can do it! But before I could finish, she was on to the next subject.
I cleaned the bathroom floor and remembered the priest. What would he do with with a heart broken 4 year old who believes she can walk on water? She certainly won’t mow the grass! What do we do with the things that offend our minds and defy logic? Are we lazily dismissive in the name of productivity? What 4 year old or 11 year old have you ever heard say “well I suppose its just beyond our comprenehsion”? Is that why mysteries exist? So we can say that? A child wants the answer in spite of the odds. The adult considers it an impossible waste of time. So what’s the point?
It’s okay that we don’t know, but it’s not okay to let go!
Maybe the mystery has a deeper purpose than our understanding; but one we can’t afford to ignore. After all, who can explain the internet to an insect? But concealing the depth of God may actually reveal the personality of God (even better). Like a game of hide and go seek where God hides His ideas in the heavens, but tucks Himself just out of sight, one block up, and around the next corner. We faithfully count with our eyes closed while He anticipates the ready-or-not moment. We go looking for the answer but find Him instead.
Whether a man tries to move a mountain by faith, or a 4 year old attempts to walk on water; it shows their willingness to dive in, take the challenge, and STOP IGNORING HIM. He delights in our search like a father hiding behind the curtain while his child tiptoes nearby. And He smiles when we challenge Him with our flimsy logic, like a 6 year boy challenges his father, with a flimsy rubber sword.
Listen, I’m only good for one or two rounds of hide and go seek with my kids (they’re older now), but if my daughter counts to 10 and then comes running, you better believe my heart thumps! And I will hide for the sheer joy of that moment when she finds me and we laugh together. Is our heavenly Father any less loving? The mystery may be the only way He can us get us to participate.
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Kevin Adams is a student of God’s word, photographer and writer. His chief aim is to help followers of Christ apprehend a real and passionate faith through the study of His word, by simple illustration, and regular encouragement. And by this faith they might catch a vision of who God shaped them to become. His blog, Wake Up My Faith, is an account of his own journey toward that real and passionate faith, starting at ground zero. I hope it will offer some encouragement to any who’ve set their mind on seeking God’s face, whatever the cost.
As always, if you loved Kevin’s devo and think it should make my top three of 2010, “like” it, leave a comment, tweet it, or fb share it. And may we all passionately seek after God today, in full surrender and unhindered obedience.
And I will leave you with one more thought. God has made each one of us a promise, and here it is, written in Jeremiah 29:13 “If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.” (NLT)
Wholeheartedly–with your whole heart.