A while ago I watched a re-run of an old movie, Evan Almighty. The comedy had some hilarious moments – like when God suddenly appears in the back seat of the main character’s vehicle and the man screams in fear. God says, “Let it out, son, it’s the beginning of all wisdom.” And then there were a couple of scenes that brought God’s truth to the wide screen.
Like the scene at a restaurant when God shows up as the waiter. He chats with the wife of the man who would be Noah, and tells her (I’m relying on my memory here, so the words may not be exact) – “If a person prayed for patience, do you think God would just go “poof” and give her patience? Or do you think God would give her the circumstances in which to develop patience? And say a person had prayed that her family would draw closer together – do you think God would just magically make that happen or would He put that family in circumstances that gave them the opportunity to be closer?” The woman sees the wisdom of his words and goes back to her husband.
I’ve been thinking about the truth in that scene, in light of my own circumstances lately.
I want God to go “poof” and make the cancer disappear. But perhaps there are things he intends to teach me, things about Him I could not learn any other way.
I also have been applying that truth to my plans for my writing, specifically my new book, the sequel to One Smooth Stone. It’s not likely that God will go “poof” and make it an instant overnight success. But He will create the circumstances around that work that will lead me and teach me much. It will be an opportunity to learn and grow both in terms of the world of publishing, and in terms of my relationship with Him. It’s another example of how God is often not so much concerned with the end result as with the process.
And that brings me to the difference in our perspectives and the need for me to adjust
mine. I want to see my book on the best seller’s list. God wants to see it change lives. I want to become known as a writer. God wants me to know Him more.
I’m thankful for the reminder. And I’m thankful that I know God well enough to trust Him with the process. As he said to Evan – and to me through that crazy comedy – “I’m doing it because I love you.”
Through the Scriptures, He also said, “So I say to you: ask and it will be given to you.” (Luke 11:9) Many take this verse to mean that God is obligated to give us whatever we demand of Him. I’m thankful that’s not the case. He won’t indulge us like spoiled children, but treats us with the understanding only an omniscient parent can have. He knows what is best and will give us that, even when it seems to us it is no answer at all.
God doesn’t go “poof” but He does love us beyond measure, no matter what the circumstances.
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. The sequel to One Smooth Stone will be released in 2011Visit her website at www.vinemarc.com