Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Have you considered......?

Faced with an impossible task,
confronted by my fears
              and overwhelmed by my inabilities,
paralyzed by the unknown.
          "Just tell me what to do, God,"
             I say, I pray, as I go flying out the door.

But God does not want to send me marching orders.
"No," He says.
"Sit down a minute.  Let's talk."
 And I think almost out loud,
       "You want to have a conversation
                      at a time like this?"

Yes, God does.

Because what is behind this decision,
          what this action brings,
     even the unfolding of the outcome,
is not as important as
                   my relationship with Him.

The philosophy of modernism
           fights against the very idea of God.
The philosophy of modernity
 doesn't even take God
                          into consideration.
Our culture has become so entrenched in modernity,
      that God is not even on its radar anymore.

Is the LORD on mine? 
What does God have to do about this?
What does God have to say about that?

And He says to me,
     "Have you considered...?"

When I finally bring my cares before Him,
    drag them to the altar,
    laying them out one by one,
mark my words,
      God puts something on my radar
      that I never even thought of before.
I see differently,
I act differently,
I think differently,
       not just because God is in the picture,
       but realizing He is the one who brought it about.
He always has deeper purposes in it
             than are on the surface.

I recently reread the classic Christian book Green Leaf in Drought Time by Isobel Kuhn, the chronicle of a young couple who were the last missionaries to narrowly escape Communist China.  A few years prior, they left a large city where they had an established ministry to follow God into a far-away province.  As soon as they arrived, they immediately realized that their living and working situation was not at all what they expected. They were confined physically to a dusty courtyard and even limited in conversation for their basic needs.

When Wilda despaired "Did we make a huge mistake?"  Arthur replied, "No, dearie, the Lord has brought us here.  Let us rest our hearts in that and wait for Him to unfold His purpose."

And God made manifest by their lives, the truth of this verse from His Word:

For he is like a tree planted by water,
that spreads out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.

                     Jeremiah 17. 8

Anxiety just dries up the river and distracts us from what God is doing.

The waiting room in God's perspective is never a passive waste of time, but an active time of seeking God.  This couple prayed, they sought opportunities, they did what God placed before them, and every evening they sang praises to Him, no matter how desperate the circumstances. And even then, all doors remained closed around them.  For more than two years, every day they laid out their increasingly dire situation before the Lord.  They remained faithful in whatever God laid before them, however insignificant and invisible it appeared.  And yet in the dark of the evening, their voices continued to ring out with songs of thankfulness and praise. 

Deliverance comes in many packages and most often right where we are.  The book points out that "Spreading out his roots by the river may describe the Christian privilege of thinking through a problem in the presence of the Lord.  As Arthur did this, an idea came to him."  

When I seek Him, God brings about something new to me.  A fresh idea may fly swiftly across my radar. A thought, a word, a verse lingers for awhile in my heart.  Something very different catches my eye.  And sometimes, God nudges me to notice what has been staring me in the face all along.

As Oswald Chambers says in My Utmost for His Highest,
     "Consider," says Jesus, "how much more your Father Who clothes the grass of the field will clothe you, if you keep your relationship right with Him."  (Matthew 6. 30)

Have you considered...
                     God in this?

God is at work. 

That which is invisible and incomprehensible may be just God's faithfulness on a deeper level or a higher floor. I may never understand, but I can follow Him into it. Divinely appointed, strategically placed. I may never see even the budding of the tree, never even know what kind of fruit, and it may not even be about me.  His purposes overflow and get all over everything. 

When I rest my heart in Him,
    God opens up the next step.

Consider that.


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