Friday, December 30, 2016

Trying To See God Eye to Eye


Recently, I heard a line in a song that gave me pause.  In fact, I chose that song for today's Song of the Day.  The entire thing is excellent, and boy, can I relate to the message.  And while I'd love to go line by line and give you my thoughts, I'd rather focus on this one phrase:  "I pull you down, so we are eye to eye."  Even after hearing it several times, that phrase still creates an uneasiness within me.  Something deep inside of me cringes, and I'll explain why.

Have you ever tried to understand what God was doing in your life?  Have you ever tried to make sense of His work, timing or plans?  I'm afraid I make a habit of doing this.  It's my nature.  I like to be in the know.  I feel I need to know what's going on.  I want to be prepared.  I need to make plans.  So, I try to make sense of what God is doing (or not doing), and in the end, I find myself discouraged, frustrated and confused.  Why?  Because God's ways don't make sense.  I'll give you an example.

Despite the limited funds and extra expenses at Christmas, there were a couple of people who were desperately in need, and I felt led to help them.  With peace in my mind and joy in my heart, I made a financial contribution to each of these people, confident that God would take care of me and bless me for my generosity.  I wasn't giving to get something in return.  I was honestly giving from a loving and compassionate heart, but I had faith that God would take care of the rest.  He didn't. . .well, at least not in the way I had anticipated.  Before I realized what was happening, the bank account overdrafted.  With two more days until payday, I honestly didn't know what to think, and unfortunately, my first response was anger.

"Seriously, Lord?  This is how you treat your children?  I gave out of the goodness of my heart.  I was trying to help others.  I was hoping to spread cheer and encouragement to those who were about to give up on you for good.  And how do you repay me?  You allow my account to overdraft, which means now I have all these extra fees to contend with."

The tantrum didn't last long though that's not to say that it didn't last longer than it should have.  But I was honest.  I didn't understand how the Lord could allow that to happen, and even now, I don't have an answer.  It seems cruel.  It feels like I was being punished for doing good.  For the moment, I was convinced that the whole "cast your bread upon the water" proverb was nothing but a fairy tale.

The problem, however, isn't what God did or didn't do.  It's what I did.  I tried to make sense of His ways.  I tried to bring Him down to my level so that we could see eye to eye, but the fact of the matter is that He is not on my level.  He is the Most High.  His ways are so far above my ways that I can't understand them no matter how hard I try.  His thoughts are above my thoughts, and even though I long to comprehend what He's doing, I can't.  And as much as I'd like to know why God works things out the way He does, the King of the World doesn't owe me an explanation.

For some reason, the line in that song gave me a clear picture of what I was doing when I tried to put God in a box and expected Him to work the way I see fit.  If I'm bringing Him down to my level and putting Him in my charge, then He's not a God who can really do anything for me.  I need someone who is above all the chaos and noise.  I need someone who has the vantage point to see things clearly when I cannot.  I need someone who knows all, sees all and understands all.  I need God to be the Most High, even if that means I don't know what He's doing.

So often, we think we want to see eye to eye with God, but if we think about it long enough, we'll realize that that's not what we want at all because doing so will only bring Him down to our level.  If we feel like we're stuck in the mud of life, what good would it do to bring Him down to get stuck in it with us?  I know it's frustrating to see God working in ways opposite of what we're expecting, and it can be challenging to remember that He is working all things for our good, but we must trust that He sees what we can't see and understands what we can't possibly understand.  He is the Most High, and from that vantage point, He alone knows what's best for us.

Will you trust Him today, or will you insist on trying to see eye to eye?

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. - Romans 11:33-36

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