There’s not much to say about last night or today. Last night I worked, and it was fairly boring. Today was church, and it was good. But my heart was in neither of those places. My heart and my thoughts were still occupied with yesterday afternoon. You got just a hint of it in the previous blog entry – but it just didn’t stop there.
After writing that entry up, I went upstairs and got some supper before I went to work. But I also had a bit of a shouting match with God. I suppose I can’t really call it that since I wasn’t shouting, but if normal prayer is compared to normal conversation, the intensity of this was at the level of a shouting match. I was arguing with Him, and just pleading with Him for change. And I know you’re saying, “Jeff! Arguing with God?! How could you?” Well, my response to that would be that if David did it all throughout the Psalms, then I figure I can too. God loves passion as long as it’s directed in the right place. Here I was, asking God, “Why don’t I see You working in the lives of those around me? Why can I see the work of the devil more than I can see Your work? That’s just not how it’s supposed to be!” And I guess God was pretty patient with me and my incessant questions.
I calmed down after a little while, but the prayer continued. I asked Him to work in the lives of those in the youth group, as well as in the lives of a couple other people I’ve been asked to pray for. But then I just prayed for myself as well. It just didn’t feel right to be praying for God to change other people without first admitting my own failures. I asked for His help and mercy, and then thanked Him for His continual faithfulness. After all, I know that any change in me is not a result of myself, but rather His work in my life. I don’t have the strength to change myself on my own; it’s only God’s strength that can change lives.
It was somewhere in between my house and the Brantford Mall that God gave me a response. I was driving to work, still praying and asking Him for change, and then He showed up. I mean, He was always there to begin with, but it was the reassurance that He gave me that really meant the most to me. At that moment, the answer came. He first thanked me for the honesty I had expressed. I know that at times I try to fool God by praying about something when my thoughts are elsewhere – and I doubt I’m the only one. It’s as if we forget that God already knows our thoughts. But this was my honest expression to Him, and He was grateful for it. Then His answer was: “Trust Me.” At first, it doesn’t seem like much of a response. I spent so much time pouring my heart out to God, and all He can say is, “Trust Me”? But I knew that it wasn’t the answer that mattered so much as the Person who answered. If God says to trust Him, I know that I can – because He’s always proven trustworthy in the past. I mean, if God can’t do something, then who can? Who better is there to trust? But also, just the fact that He did answer me was reassurance enough. I mentioned recently that sometimes it just felt like I was praying to a wall. There didn’t seem to be a response, or any indication that He had even heard me, though I knew He had. But the answer came this time.
So now my job is to sit and wait. I will continue to pray, and I will continue to believe in faith that my God can move mountains. He can, as we sang in the service this morning, “melt the heart of stone.” If anyone can change hearts, it’s God, and so I put my trust and faith in Him and Him alone. He will accomplish His purposes in His own time, and my job is not to question Him constantly, but rather to believe and have a willing heart so that if He so chooses, He can use me. Recently, in devotions, I read the book of Job. For thirty-seven chapters, it’s just people arguing back and forth. The book is so long, and it’s just a group of people telling Job that he sinned and needed to ask for forgiveness. Job then sits there and argues back that he hasn’t sinned. But then, to start off chapter 38, God shows up. To summarize, He basically says, “Hey guys, shut up and listen to Me! You don’t know everything, so don’t sit there and argue like you know it all. I’m the one that figures everything out, and your job is to trust that I know what I’m doing.” Nobody has much to say after that. Job spits out a few words of repentance, saying, “Hey, okay God, You’re way too far above me for me to have anything to say to challenge You. You’re in charge, not me. I’ll shut up now.”
Yesterday was sort of a Job day for me. I went and questioned God, not out of unbelief, but just out of utter confusion, and then He came along and said, “Hey, I’m in charge, not you. So don’t try to understand it. Just know that I do.” And if that isn’t something awesome, I don’t know what is. God’s got things in control, and although we can’t always see Him working, He’s got plans that will encompass the world. And our job is not to understand them, but to fall in line with them. And that’s all we really need to know.
So I guess yesterday was a learning experience for me. Now I just have to wait and see what God has in store. He’ll do what He wills in His own time, and I guess life wouldn’t be much of an adventure if we knew everything that He was going to do ahead of time. But with that said, I think I’m done talking for today. I’ve said too much already, and now it’s time for me to just shut up like Job.