Friday, June 14, 2013

My Demented Demands


Since my dad got sick I've played this game with God. I pray to him. Give him this criteria I want Him to fulfill as a sign that He heard me. Then I for days, weeks even, I function through a fog as my mind focuses solely on searching for Him to do as I instructed.

Sometimes He doesn't follow me. Can you believe that? God doesn't follow the instructions I've given Him so clear as damn crystal. Or does He?

I've come to realize I'm a Pharisee. And in being like them, I have so many rules and criteria for God to fit into I, in fact, blur my own vision and miss His presence right there before me. I approach Him with a list of To Dos and He patiently listens, then shakes His head and reminds me I haven't even started to "get it".

"You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." -Matthew 16:3-4 

I look at the sky and, in the absence of clouds, know there will be sun and warmth. I smell the air before a rain and know drops will beat the asphalt in mere minutes. Yet, I, as part of that wanton generation, can't recognize God's work, His presence, the signs He leaves as encouragement, because it isn't the way I've decided it should be.

A pastor once said, "God isn't here to fit your standards, He's here to be the standard." 

This sign of Jonah is a fascinating thing. Jesus is referring to himself in code (once again). You see, Jonah remained alive in the belly of a whale for three days just as Christ was in the grave for three days before he rose again. Friends, He's present in your heart, your life, your circumstances now.

Though it can feel so cumbersome to recognize Him some days, it's not due to His lacking. Simply because you don't "get it" doesn't mean He abandons you. In fact, He's doing it the best way. Why? He's here to be the standard, not to fit yours. 

And I try to fit Him in my box. How dare I?

I find encouragement in Colossians 2:5.
"For though I am absent from you in body, 
I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are,
and how firm your faith in Christ is." 

My prayer is to for my heart to seek His standards in order to feel His deep-seated presence in my life.

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