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Don’t Assume God’s Not Working

22 Jul

Kathi, holding a tiny baby, walked into a drug store and asked the clerk if she could use the store’s baby scale.

“Sorry, Ma’am,” the clerk said. “Our baby scale is broken. But we can figure the baby’s weight if we weigh mother and baby together on the adult scale.

“Then we can weigh the mother alone, and subtract the second number from the first.”

“Oh, that won’t work,” Kathi said.

The clerk, puzzled, said, “Why not?”

“Because I’m not the mother,” Kathi said. “I’m the aunt.” *

I laugh as I read that, because I’ve often assumed something wouldn’t work, but I had a skewed perspective … or a limited one.

Have you ever assumed that God’s not working in a situation, only to find out some time later that He was working behind the scenes, planning for something spectacular or even “impossible”?

Once, when I felt led away from one job to another, I couldn’t figure out why God didn’t give me the “release” to change jobs right away. A little frustrated, I determined to work hard and “finish well” for as long as God kept me in that job.

Then, months later, God opened an incredible opportunity for ministry and gave me the “go ahead;” but when I went into my boss’s office to tell him I was moving on, I was shocked that he seemed relieved!

A week or so later, I discovered why. I was one of his employees slated for layoff!

God had a greater plan that I could not see, and His timing was perfect.

M. Blaine Smith wrote about his experiences with God’s unseen activity in an article titled “Help from Behind the Scenes” (12-15-97). “If I could glimpse the unseen circumstances that are affecting my destiny,” Smith said, “I would often be encouraged by what I found.”

But then he said, “If I truly knew everything going on behind the scenes that’s affecting my life, I would be unsettled by plenty of it, for I wouldn’t automatically know how to put it all in right perspective.”

How does he resolve his feelings about this? “Yet I have an extraordinary basis for knowing ~ simply as a matter of faith ~ that Christ is working behind the scenes to bring about his best for my life,” he said. “Without knowing any of the details of what He is doing, I have profound reason to be hopeful.”

Over and over again in the Bible, we see that God worked behind the scenes for our good and His glory.

God gave Gideon a glimpse behind the scenes of how He was going to defeat the enemy Midianites (Judges 7:9-15). God opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant to see the powerful angelic army “behind the scenes,” ready to fight against the enemy (2 Kings 6:15-18) ~ one of my favorite Old Testament stories.

Smith notes that, at Jesus’ birth, “few realized that God was acting in a way which would forever alter the course of human history and the destiny of innumerable lives.”

But I’m thinking about the “behind the scenes” story of Jesus’ death! I am awed by this scripture: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).

Apparently, Satan and his evil cohorts had no idea of the scope of the incredible behind the scenes plan of God in Jesus’ death and resurrection!

Friend, our loving, sovereign God is always working behind the scenes. There’s no need to worry … no need to fear … no need to manipulate circumstances.

We can rest, knowing everything is under control. Let that truth give you hope today!

Comment opportunity:  Has God ever pulled back the curtain to let you see behind the scenes to what He is doing in your life? Or have you been surprised by God’s activity on your behalf? I’d love to hear your stories!

* adapted from Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3674

The Best Emotional Lifeboat

9 Aug

Life Boat drillBob Phillips, who wrote The World’s Greatest Collection of Clean Jokes (Harvest House), included this funny joke about lifeboats:

Joe: “Woman the lifeboats! Woman the lifeboats!”

Moe: “You don’t mean ‘woman’ the lifeboats … you meanman’ the lifeboats.”

Joe:  “Look, you fill your lifeboats, and I’ll fill mine.” (1)

No one thinks much about lifeboats until they need them.

Pam wrote, in Fantastic After 40 [which you can order here], “When life feels overwhelming… your best emotional lifeboat is a bigger view of God….

“…If I get news that makes me feel that life is spinning out of control, I look up verses on god as the sovereign King who is in complete control. When I am feeling all alone, I look up verses on God as my Father. When I am feeling devalued, neglected, or marginalized, I look up verses on God’s love. When I am tempted to react in anger or unkindness, I look up verses on God’s patience or kindness.

“When life feels unfair or unkind, I need to take action to keep an accurate view of God. God is still the same, no matter how I feel. ” (2)

The important thing to remember about lifeboats is that it’s always wise to have lifeboat drills, so one understands how they function and the best way to survive.

I (Dawn) like Pam’s analogy. If our best emotional lifeboat is a bigger view of God, we can’t wait until the last minute to get that view. We need to be seeking Him, studying Him, understanding how He works and how He can help us not only survive, but thrive in life.

A USA Today article by Cathy Lynn Grossman (10/7/10) noted that Americans’ (not necessarily Christians’) views of God shape attitudes on key issues. (3) The article presented four views of God that Americans have, based on research by Paul Froese and Christopher Bader, sociologists at Baylor University in their book, America’s Four Gods: What We Say about God ~ and What That Says About Us.

Grossman discusses these four views of God as defined in the book: Continue reading

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