My wife and I recently welcomed a 4 year old foster child into our home. It’s been an adjustment for all of us, but the biggest thing we’ve had to get used to is the questions. The constant questions. Of why?
Everything is why? Why this, why that, why is it raining, why isn’t it raining, why?
So the other day, in the middle of a why chain, my wife looks at me and says, “Do you think we sound this way to God?”
And you know what? I think she’s right. Far too often I find myself asking God why. And I think it is a legitimate question, but I think that sometimes I sound like a four year-old to God. Why? Why didn’t I get that job? Why did my friend get cancer? Why do I have to do this? Why can’t I do that? And then my questioning of God becomes something more than just questioning, it becomes idolatry.
When I’m questioning God about everything, mostly I think it’s because I think I know better than God, and when that’s the case, I’m telling Him that I should be god and not Him, and that’s idolatry. So questions of why are fine, but they should be firmly grounded in a view of God’s sovereignty and trust in His goodness. The road may not always be easy and I likely won’t always understand, but this I do know, I can trust God with my life. He’ll never fail me, even when I don’t understand.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
– Isaiah 55:8-9
“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth”
I’ve recently finished reading through the Gospels and as I read God has really impressed upon me how Jesus did His ministry. Jesus was constantly walking around and going from place to place and all four of the Gospels are filled with lines like the above, where Jesus was on his way to something, or going to see someone, or eating dinner somewhere, and then someone came up to him, or he saw someone there, or someone was brought to him. And it never resulted in Jesus saying “Hey man, I’m eating here” or “I’m sorry ma’am, I’m on my way to Judea”, but instead resulted in Jesus taking time to heal the wounded, soothe the grieving, and love the unlovely.
And as I read these scenes over and over and over I realized how many times I get so caught up in my plans, my destinations, my goals and I don’t even notice the people and opportunities around me. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have plans or goals, as Jesus was quite intentional with what He did. But I do think that we (or I) get so caught up in what we’re focused on that we might miss something that God has for us to do right in front of us. Or we might choose not to engage a ministry opportunity because it just isn’t convenient, it doesn’t fit our expectation, or it’s a little (sometimes a lot) messy.
What would our churches look like if we spent our days actively looking for God’s work for us? What would our Christian lives look like? Jesus interrupted His existence to come to earth for us¹, are we willing to interrupt our lives for service to Him?
1. Philippians 2:5-7 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”