Tag Archives: Christianity for Seekers

If I had hair left I’d be pulling it out!

Are you kidding me?!?!?!

I’ll spare you the details but it has been one of those weeks when the planned agenda not only isn’t flowing well but seems to have supernatural forces pushing in the opposite direction.

Yesterday evening I’m on my way home from picking up a pizza for Kyrsten’s golf banquet and trying to process the chaotic rhythm that has disrupted the last few days. The questions doing laps in my head were:

“Why in the world are all these things coming against me? Why can’t I get through an hour without some unexpected dilemma demanding my attention? Why can’t things go more according to my plan?”

Then as I was navigating the end-of-day traffic a different set of questions began to form in my mind. It went something like this:

“OK Lord. This week so far has gone nothing like I expected or planned. If You are sovereign – and I believe You are – what are You up to? What is going on? And how do I get in step with You?”

I’d love to tell you that the sky opened up with a message from God but that was not the case. I continued to wrestle with what God was up to but the shift in my questions changed my approach to life. I quit growling and actually enjoyed the evening with my family.

How easily we forget that life centers around God’s agenda and not ours. It’s His story, not our story.

May we learn to give ourselves continuously to be part of that story.

***

© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

 

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God’s timing is not our timing!

Life certainly involves learning new things, but more often involves being reminded of things we already knew. One that I am constantly needed to be reminded of is that God’s timing is not our timing.

God is easily capable of working in an instant, but I think this is the exception rather than the rule. I believe God uses time to accomplish certain things not because He is limited but because we are needing to be stretched in our faith and perseverance. This is certainly less dramatic, but no less miraculous!

I recently read a story that wonderfully illustrates this very point.

There once was a king who didn’t believe in miracles. One day, while he was seated in a garden, one of his closest counselors began speaking of the wonderful works of God. He went on and on about how God was constantly at work—in the little things and the big.

Initially the king listened politely. Finally, however, he had had enough. “Show me a sign,” said the king, “and I will believe.”

The sage thought for a moment. He then pulled something out of his pocket.

“Here are four acorns,” said the counselor. “Please, your Majesty, plant them in the ground. When you are finished, stoop down for a moment and look into this clear pool of water?”

The king did so.

“Now,” said the sage, “look up.” The king looked up and saw four enormous oak trees where he had planted the acorns.

“Wonderful!” the king exclaimed, “this is indeed a miracle—the work of God.”

“How long were you looking into the water?” asked the sage.

“Only a second,” said the king.”

“Eighty years have passed as a second,” said the counselor.

Skeptically, the king looked at his garments; they were threadbare. He then looked at his reflection in the water; he had become an old man. His skin was wrinkled and his beard was white.

“There is no miracle here, then,” he said angrily.

“Yes,” said the sage, “but it is God’s work nonetheless, whether he did it in one second or in eighty years.”

What is it you’re needing to trust God with in regard to timing?

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Holy discontent!

Do you ever wonder what non-believers think when they look at those of us who claim Jesus as our Lord? Rare is the ability to put ourselves in the shoes of someone else and catch a glimpse of their perspective; but it is critical to our journey with God.

Based on the surveys of others and personal observations, most of what they see in us is really not so different from what they observe in the world. Sure we can put together a jazzy worship celebration with a rousing message; but even the world does that pretty well, though for a different cause.

What is really so different about how we do life? If I made the claim that God empowered me with supernatural abilities to play basketball, wouldn’t you expect to see a radical difference in my court skills? If we have the Spirit of God in us then shouldn’t it make a radical difference in how we live and love and serve?

In 1 Kings 18 we read of the prophet Elijah going head-to-head against the prophets of Baal. Francis Chan makes the observation that nobody walked away amazed at Elijah’s abilities but rather at God’s demonstration of power. God’s presence was so obvious that they were saying…

“The LORD – He is God! The LORD – He is God!”

Like most people I appreciate being affirmed for those talents or abilities that God has given me and I want to make the most of them, but I don’t want to settle for that. I want to do life in such a way that it can only be explained by the presence of God. I want to be a part of something in which people walk away in awe of God!

That is only possible if we become dissatisfied with the status quo and hungry for the presence of God. Only when we are discontent do we open ourselves up to other possibilities. To be discontent with what passes as Christianity would seem almost holy; sacred in the eyes of God.

May we all experience holy discontent!

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