You are driving down the road and your car runs out of gas. You begin to get extremely frustrated and then you look around and realize you are less than a block away from a gas station. Do you thank God for your good luck?
You are fired one day only to have an old friend call you the next with a job opportunity of a lifetime. Do you sit and ponder that God was at work in your life?
These situations may not apply to your life. Your life challenges may be easier or more difficult but either way, you still have challenges. A couple of weekends ago, Priscilla Shirer was at McKinney Memorial Bible Church. She was speaking at the Going Beyond event and was discussing how we sometimes miss the moments when God is present because we are looking in the wrong direction. There are times we are so self-focused we miss the fact that we are not equipped to handle every situation that comes our way. We try everything in our might to make things right instead of realizing we have to sit back and rely on God to take it on for us. Other times, we are looking to God but we get frustrated because we believe He should be acting in our favor NOW and not later. We begin to wonder if He really is listening to us. Did He forsake us? What did we do wrong? Are we being punished?
Sometimes the answer is simple- God wants to have our undivided attention so that we see Him in all His glory. Sometimes the only way for that to happen is for Him to act on our behalf in a less than timely manner. Priscilla told the story of Mary and Martha sending for Jesus. Lazarus was on his death bed and they knew Jesus could cure him. The expected thing would be for Jesus to hurry up and get to Lazarus or to tell Mary and Martha their faith was strong enough their will was done. Instead, Jesus stayed where He was two more days before traveling to where Lazarus lay. By the time He got to Lazarus, he had been dead for four days. (John 11) Why did Jesus take His time?
Priscilla pointed out what many have read but not understood- Jesus took His time so that He could prove to His disciples once again His power. His followers had seen Jesus heal with just a word, without the person in need of help even being present. (Matthew 15:21-28) Other times, He had raised the dead within hours of passing. (Mark 5:40-43) Even having witnessed all that, the disciples still wavered in faith now and then. But, to raise someone who had been dead for days, then the disciples would have to say, “Now that’s God!” There could be no other explanation.
Is God using a situation in your life in this way? Take heart and remember, He is always with you and He is more powerful than any circumstance you may find yourself in. As someone said to me recently, “Don’t tell God how big your problem is. Tell your problem how big your God is.” And always remember God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) Never.
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