Wouldn’t Life Be Simpler?

So, I just finished reading Genesis 24 and the story of Abraham’s servant going back to Abraham’s homeland to find a wife for Isaac.    A couple of things struck me about it…….

Life would be a whole lot simpler if God answered prayer the way that He did there.    You know, kneel down at the well, pray for the right girl to come along and for a sign and BAM!  There she is.

Wouldn’t life be simpler if God answered our prayers that way?

I’ve heard it said,  “You’d want what He (God) wants if you knew what He knew.”

Maybe that’s part of the reason our prayer life isn’t so simple?

Maybe that’s part of the reason why we don’t get those type of simple answers and immediate answers to our prayers?

Oh and I know this is only one of Abraham’s prayers.    Any guesses on how many years Abraham and Sarah prayed for a baby before they had Isaac?

If they got married in their 20’s, they prayed for 80 years or so.

Have you prayed for 80 years for anything?

I haven’t.

So, it would be simpler, but God doesn’t want simpler – he wants better.    And what’s better?

Trust, patience, faith and love.

Harder but better……

Tom

Go all “Lot” On You…….

Genesis 19:16-17:  “Lot was dragging his feet. The men grabbed Lot’s arm, and the arms of his wife and daughters—God was so merciful to them!—and dragged them to safety outside the city.”

I’ve always been struck by the violence and the judgment that came in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.    God destroyed these two towns because of how evil the towns where.     That’s some bad folks, there.

But look at what the Angels did for Lot……

  • First, he was going to throw his daughters out in the street to a bunch of hoodlums (which never ends well) to try to protect these two visitors.    A good idea to protect the visitors, not a good way to do it.    Fortunately, the angels stepped in and saved the girls.
  • Secondly, Lot was dragging his feet and not wanting to get out of the way of God’s judgment on an evil town.    God had a plan, God’s plan included fulfilling his promise to Abraham (even though it was less than 10 people) and Lot was dragging his feet and not wanting to follow God’s plan.

So what do the  angels do?   They grab Lot by the arm, they grab his daughters by the arm, they grab his wife by the arm and DRAG them out of the city.   They had to physically force Lot and his family to follow God’s plan.

And even then, Lot’s wife didn’t listen and ended up a statue.

God had a plan for Lot and his family.   Lot resisted and God still fought for them.

How often do we do that to God?   How often does God have a plan for us and we fight him on it?

Because we think we know better?

Because God’s plan isn’t always inside our comfort zone?   Actually it is probably rarely inside our comfort zone.

Because God’s plan involves change.

May we all be more open to the leading of God and to His Plan.

So that He doesn’t have to “Go all “Lot” on us”” and drag us in line with what He wants.

Tom

Why I Won’t……

I’m going to go a little contrarian here.   Rather than doing one of the “10 Most……” blog posts or the “New Years Resolutions” blog posts, I’m going to tell you why I won’t.

I won’t be posting the 10 best things about 2014.

I won’t be posting the 10 “highest traffic”  blog posts of 2014.

I won’t be posting a list of my New Years Resolutions.

Why?  Or rather, why not?

Because they aren’t mine.   The 10 best things about 2014 are not things that I did.   Trust me, there are way too many things in 2014 that did NOT go the way I planned.

They are not things that I can brag about or things that I can say,  “I want to build on that this year.”

Because much of 2014 wasn’t about things or accomplishments.   It was about people.   It was about learning who I could trust, who I could help, who I could listen to.   Who, not what.

Because much of 2014 was about listening.   Listening to God.   Listening to Him say, “Be Still.”

“Be Still and Know.”

“Be Still and Know that I am God.”

Because much of 2014 involved grief.   Grief for a friend whose adopted daughter died in a car accident.   Grief for the patients and families my wife and daughter work with at the hospital.   Grief over dreams that have changed.   Grief over children who are damaged by experiences out of their control.   Grief with parents who are attempting to find healing for their children.  Grief with those who can’t find that healing.

Because much of 2014 involved learning that different things mattered than I thought mattered.    Priorities refocused.   New skills learned.   Family helped.

For me, that’s what matters.   It doesn’t matter which blog post got the most traffic.   It doesn’t matter what was best about 2014.    It doesn’t really matter that we’re sitting at the start of a new year and in many ways I’m in a significantly different place than I was 365 days ago.

What matters is God.

What matters is searching for His plans and following them.

What matters is love.   Love of God, love of my wife, love of my kids and sharing God’s love with others.

Others that look and believe like me AND others that don’t look and believe and act like me.    Gratitude for what God has done calls us into that love.

That’s what matters.

2015 is going to be a discovery.    A discovery of God, of more of God, of God’s plan and of your and my roles in His plan.

Will you join me?

Tom