Every now and then, since this is my blog and all, I decide to actually be serious on here. I know – not too often – I’d go into shock. But every now and then. Hope you don’t mind.
One Christmas when I was around 8 years old, me and my older brother got brand new bikes for Christmas. Mine was beautiful. It was deep purple with pink highlights – more than any girl could want.
However, a few weeks after Christmas, my bike was stolen. I was, of course, brokenhearted. ESPECIALLY since my brother still had his new, shiny bike. How unfair was THAT? (I was a bit hung up on fairness as a kid.)
However, not too long after that, my Mom pulled me aside. She sat me down and had a talk with me about being grateful for the things that people do for me – to realize the work that they put into them and even though it might not be as good as I would like, that I should be thankful.
At the time, I didn’t understand what the talk was for, but I knew it must be for something upcoming in my future. Later that day, Dad took me out to his workshop. He had bought a bike – yellow and older and broken – and had tuned it, fixed it, shined it, and prepared it just for me. He had obviously put a lot of work into it and greatly desired to make my eyes shine with excitement once more.
I was so thankful for my Dad – his heart had hurt for my loss, and so he invested his time into providing a replacement for me. I certainly hope that I would have been grateful with or without my Mom’s pre-talk, but I appreciate her preparation, even though it just seemed like another vague “Parental Talk” when she gave it.
In the same way, I think that God sometimes gives “pre-talks”. He will teach me a new principle from His Word in a very distinct and profound way, but I have no idea how it applies to my life. But it always seems to apply sometime in the not-too-distant future. Sometimes I’m excited to see how it will apply, and sometimes I’m very, very afraid.
At any rate, I decided to share a principle He’s been teaching me lately. I’m not sure how it applies to me, but I’m sure it will. And who knows – it might apply to you also.
It started when I read these verses in Isaiah 41:
17 “The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the LORD will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set pines in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
At face value, they seem fairly obvious. God will help His children when they call on Him. No problem. But what struck me was HOW God says that He will help.
He didn’t say “I will deliver you TO the greener pastures.”
He didn’t say “I will let you win the lottery so that you can make a better life for yourself.”
He said, “I will make YOUR desert the lush land.”
This immediately struck me as an insight into God’s personality and His way of doing things.
He prefers to miraculously FIX situations, not deliver us out of them. He COULD move us out of our situation and into a better one (and sometimes He does), but He usually doesn’t CHOOSE to. He would much rather show His power by making our situation an obvious God-turnaround.
So many times, I am guilty of praying for deliverance from a situation. I want out – I want new – I want a fresh start. However, that isn’t how God often chooses to work. He wants to make MY situation NEW.
After all, what is the better testimony of God’s grace – “God allowed me to quit my former circumstances and choose these new ones!”, or “God came in and turned around my impossibly bad circumstances into amazingly good circumstances in a way that ONLY God could do!”
God doesn’t “move on and cut His losses” – thank goodness for us, or He would have moved on from all of us! He can see the complete and full potential of ANY situation. God likes to show “Springtime” – life and growth in previously dry and barren places and people.
Granted, this is obviously not an “all-the-time” principle – sometimes God’s will IS to deliver us out of a situation. I just see this as the way that God likes to work, more often than not.
And, so, when we choose to discount or write off a situation or relationship, we are blocking God from being able to show His power by transforming that situation or relationship in a way that only He could do. He wants us to ask Him, trust Him, and let Him blow us away with His abilities to turn deserts into lush forests.
Just a thought…