why is it that I don’t have a hard time asking god for small things- parking spots, that my hair will behave today, an energy boost, finding those shoes I wanted on sale, that i’ll get a good grade on that quiz or paper- yet i struggle so much with asking him for big things (the ones that matter eternally)- like finding a job and housing in florida, finding the mate god has prepared for me, a new job for the remainder of my time in VA, direction for this summer? i have no problem letting the lord do small things for me, but when it comes to the ‘big ones’ i want to do them myself, in my own strength. i rank my problems by difficulty and only ask god for the ones i don’t think I have time for. (i mean, seriously- who has time to troll the parking lot looking for a decent space? def not me … i’m hardly ever on time as it is!)
i’m reading ‘in a pit with a lion on a snowy day’ by mark batterson, and he makes the point that “to the infinite, all finites are equal”. To god, all of our impossibles- no matter how we’ve ranked them in our heads- are equally EASY. Parting the red sea for the israelites as they fled the egyptians is right there with finding me a parking spot at walmart in the rain. resurrecting from the dead is on the same level as bringing to my mind material I’ve read for a test. but I treat his power so differently- I act as though its harder for god to bring me to the person I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with than it is for him to make my hair not react to the virginia humidity. I basically have it ass backwards. not surprising. god doesn’t refer to us as sheep for nothing. we’re dumb. no two ways about- especially me. i’m the first to admit it.
i think part of the problem is that while i do ask god for some things, i don’t ask him for the right things. i’m probably famous in heaven as that girl who asks the wrong thing. but at least i’m asking the right person! what i need to do ask the right person the right question. reading in acts 9 and 10 tonight, saul asked god who he was. on the road to damascus, when jesus confronts him saul knows who to address his question to. is it my first thought to run to god when something out of control happens or do I run to someone else- or myself?! questions should be vertical- vertical answers to horizontal questions. we only get the RIGHT answer when we’re asking the RIGHT person. as a result of saul’s question and its direction, the lord reveals himself to saul. every experience with god leads to a next step and experience with god- he’s a god of progressiveness and journey. The understanding happens when we take that first step … and the next one … and the next one. when saul got up to go to damascus, he was taking the first step of the biggest change of his life. kind of like a crash course in trust and reliance on the lord- literally going in blind. next steps always lead to dependency, always lead to deeper intimacy, and always lead to an enlarged view of god. we’re left to wonder about the rest of saul’s journey into damascus with men who probably now think he’s certifiably nuts. like straightjacket and medication nuts.
but look what’s next! god has already gone before saul and prepared the way for what he has called saul to do. he prepared someone else to come along side saul, ananias. for every saul, there is an ananias. there is someone to help us journey through our spiritual confusion. we must recognize that every problem is a spiritual problem- and is the result of spiritual confusion. put yourself in ananias’ shoes. the person solely responsible for hunting down your family of believers walks into your house and you’re supposed to … what, help him?!? i’m sure ananias had a ‘wtf?’ moment- or five or 50. notice that although ananias questions or expresses incredulity about his given task, he doesn’t doubt his calling or ability to do it. questioning our ability to do something god has called us to do is like questioning HIS ability to do it. whoa. crazy thought, but I can’t even imagine the kind of balls that it would take to tell god “I don’t think you can do this.” but moses did exactly this in exodus 3 and 4 when god tells him to go back to egypt to rescue the hebrews out of slavery. god’s response to this- he asks moses ‘what is in your hand?” he has already equipped moses for this task!! but he still provides more in moses’ brother aaron. when god calls us to do something, he leaves us no reasonable excuse to say no.
god’s calling always demands something of us, but it always leads to us seeing more clearly who he is. when we’re walking forward in obedience, he keeps equipping us and giving us enough strength for the next step, and then the next one- until our view consists only of him and his work in us. i think alot of times, the answer to my earlier question about asking god for hard things- is that i don’t view him as big enough for what i think are huge problems. my view of him is small. what’s crazy about this is that god is the very definition of biggest possible, of power, and of capability. i’d like to think that i don’t do it consciously, but when i don’t ask god for big things, i am in actuality looking at him and telling him that he’s not enough- big enough, strong enough, doesn’t love me enough- to take care of this.
new thing in sam’s life: starting now, i’m going to start asking the right questions to the right person. god, you’re big. you’re huge! you’re infinite- in size, in love, in power, in grace, in strength, and in everything else. i want big things from life- i want big things from you. i want to make a woman sized dent in the world and have people see your hand in that. i want a starring, action role in what you’re up to on this earth. i want to be used and moved by you to matter, and to introduce others to you. so i’m asking that you’ll enlarge my view of you. awaken me to see your big-ness and your hand at work all around me- not just in the parking spot you’ll help me find in the morning, but in the job you have waiting for me in jupiter. not just in the good hair day i’ll have tomorrow (please, let it be so!), but in the financial support of discover church. you are great, and you are good. you love me, and you’ve called me to do your work, according to your good pleasure. and that is enough