Obviously, I got off on my date just a little bit. But I am okay with that. There is always room for grace. Right? Besides, I much prefer the idea of Sunday being my reflection day, because that’s when I do the bulk of my reflecting anyway.
There are so many things I have to think about for this week, and reflect upon. But I want to start with today’s sermon. Our pastor, Ryan Cox, continued his sermon series on James. Today we covered James 1, verses 5-8. My take-aways were pretty poignant. The first point he made was that wisdom turns to God first. Far too many times in my life, I have turned to God as my last resort, rather than as my first response. He even made mention of the fact that, far too often, people are heard saying that the only thing they have left to do is pray. Man alive, have I been there so many times this past year.
His second point: Wisdom trusts God. Over this past year, I’ve found myself saying: “well, we trusted God and then, it feels like he dropped us on our heads.” I know the reality is that he did not drop us on our heads; just like he didn’t lead the Israelites into the desert to let them die. Jesus also did not lead the disciples out onto the water to let them drown in a storm. Why does it seem like God dropped the ball on this? Well, because I stopped trusting Him when He didn’t answer my prayers the way I wanted Him to.
If I could wrap this week up with just one thing, I think it would have to be how amazing I think it is the way God works. A year ago, I was going to our pastor at sermons he would preach, tears streaming down my face, telling him how what he had just preached about was exactly what I had been reading or dealing with this past week. This week was no different. I’ve just made a standing appointment with him, for after church, every Sunday we are doing James, because I just have a feeling that this book is going to be hitting some tender spots. The neat thing about the spots that it’s hitting: this time last year, if this message series had been preached, it would’ve reached an entirely different person and I would’ve heard a completely different sermon.
I’ve sat through church the last two weeks amazed at how well God can judge a situation. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that the messages are geared toward me and what I’m going through. But I am dumbfounded, blown away, bowled over by the fact that God knew exactly when I would be ready to hear a message the likes of which I heard today, or last week. I am in awe of His timing.
The kids and I just finished watching Man of Steel. There was a line in it about trust that I will paraphrase and pass along to you because it so aptly applies to what I’ve been dealing with. Sometimes you just have to act, and the trust will come later. God doesn’t need me to agree with Him to be right. God doesn’t need me to trust Him to be right. And sometimes, you may not trust what God is asking you to do, or that it will turn out right, but you still have to trust the one who’s asking you. God is many things. He has many names. One of the most important names is Abba. Father. Or, if you know your Hebrew, Daddy. It is a term of endearment. It signifies a personal relationship. A Daddy cares about His children. And while he doesn’t want anything bad to happen to them, he knows he must prepare them for the day that it will because we live in a world where bad things happen all the time. To not prepare one’s children for the day that things might not go their way is neglect, and God is not capable of that because He has said He will never leave us nor forsake us. If that’s the case, then when it looks like God is nowhere to be found, we can trust that is just our perception of our situation, and not the reality because God cannot lie. And what kind of Daddy would God be if He allowed us to be spared from everything that ever came our way that way hard. We would all end up like butterflies that people tried to help out of their cocoons. We would look like butterflies. We would have all the necessary requirements to qualify, on the surface, as a butterfly. But without the ability to fly. And without the ability to fly, we would not be able to eat. If we don’t eat, we die. A good father, a Daddy, would never do that to his children. No. Rather, he would let them suffer their way out of their cocoon, knowing that the hard work will have its reward. He knows that His Children will come out of their cocoons stronger than they could ever imagine and that strength will enable them to fly just the way they were designed to.