Monday, November 30, 2015

Second Guessing God's Answer

This morning I sat down in the moments before the "getting-ready-for-school" frenzy hit our house and started my daily bible reading. Part of my reading was in Genesis 24 where Abraham sends his head servant to find a wife for Isaac. It's an interesting story but for the sake of time and typing I'll give you the Reader's Digest version of the story. Abraham sends his servant back to the land of Abraham's family in search of a wife for Isaac. When the servant arrives in town, he prays asking for God to reveal Isaac's wife to him using a very specific phrase that he wants to hear from the would-be wife. A beautiful young woman named Rebekah comes to get water at the well and says the phrase the servant prayed to hear. Rebekah ends up leaving her home and traveling with the servant to marry Isaac. The rest is history.

Now this sounds like a nice story about God's provision for Abraham and ultimately Isaac. We see God's sovereign hand orchestrating the events to bring Rebekah to the land of Canaan so she can marry Isaac and help to start the nation of Israel. But as I was reading something stuck out to me that I had never noticed about the story before. In the story, the servant prayed that when he asked for water from a woman at the well that the one for Isaac would offer water and offer to water his camels as well. When Rebekah approaches the well she says all the right things. Then it says in Genesis 24:20-21, "She quickly emptied her jug into the trough and hurried to the well again to draw water. She drew water for all his camels while the man silently watched her to see whether or not the Lord had made his journey a success." The interesting thing that sticks out here is that this man had prayed for a specific thing, God had answered the prayer as the man wished, and yet the man still second guessed God's answer.

Typically when it comes to our second guessing of God's answers to prayers, we generally do so when God doesn't answer a prayer like we wanted. Sometimes God's answers to our prayers can, like the servant in the story, seem almost too good to be true. When something seems too good to be true, we usually don't trust it for that very reason. So how do we keep from second guessing God's answers to our prayers, whether we get the answer we want or not? The answer comes down to faith in God. I feel confident that God is more than accustomed to being second guessed by humanity. But when we wish to move beyond second guessing we have to step out in faith and trust God's answer is the right one for us. It's about putting our faith in the one giving us the answer. There have been times where we've talked to our boys and told them that they just have to simply trust us and that our answer is best. Yes, we get second guessed but in the end our boys have to trust us and put faith in us that our answer is right. 

God wants us to grow in our relationship with Him and part of doing that is exercising an increasing amount of faith and trust in Him. As we do we will find Him faithful, just, and right in all that He does. So the next time you think about second guessing God, take a leap of faith and put your trust in His answer.

If you enjoyed today's post be sure to Share it on Facebook and Twitter so others can be encouraged too!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Devil is in the Details

Last Sunday morning I received a text from a family friend. He sent me a screenshot of that day's Lenoir News-Topic. There was a picture in a section of the paper titled "Kid's View." The picture was drawn by our oldest son Dru. The text I received, which I read before I looked at the attached photo, said "The devil is in the details!" When I opened up the image my eyes immediately picked up on the joke our friend had made. In the bottom left hand corner of the image there is a devil standing on the porch of a house. My first thought was "What in the world is he drawing?" But as I broadened my view to take in the entire picture I figured out why he had drawn this image as part of a larger fall landscape. He had a bon fire, leaves raked into a pile, pumpkins, a turkey on the table, and a drawing of our Massey-Ferguson tractor for a hay ride. When I looked at the bigger picture I was able to see the context of a kid trick or treating rather than some abstract image drawn out of context. All it took to change my understanding of what was in front of me was to get some perspective on what I was looking at.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is get some perspective. When things are crashing down around us or our stress level seems to touch the sky, one thing that can help us make it through is to get some perspective on the situation. When we lose our perspective of our situation that is when those stresses seem to mount even higher or we feel more suffocated by the weight of the world that is on our shoulders. For the most part our problems in this life are temporary. Yes, I understand that some are life-long issues but for the most part problems come and go. We often hear people say, "This too shall pass." There is a great deal of truth in that phrase, even if it isn't found in the Bible. But one bible verse that is often quoted when dealing with things that will pass in time is 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. It says, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (NIV).

The problem we face with the troubles of this life is that they are right in our face and we feel like we can't help but fix our eyes on the problem. The solution to the problem is not what needs to be done to fix the trouble we find ourselves in, but instead to fix our eyes on what is unseen, as 2 Corinthians 4 says. When we fix our eyes on God, the unseen and eternal One, we gain a new perspective of our troubles. We see them for the temporary nuisance they are in the grand scheme of life. Some of those troubles God uses to forge us in a fire for His glory. Others we bring on ourselves due to our own sin. And still others are because of someone else's sinfulness. Regardless of the cause of our troubles we need to keep our eyes focused on the One who can deliver us from any trouble. He's the one preparing us for an eternity where troubles will be no more. So keep your eyes on Him and let Him give you some perspective on your current troubles.

If you enjoyed today's post be sure to Share it on Facebook and Twitter so others can be encouraged too!