I hate the name Margaret, which is why I never read the Judy Bloom right-of-passage book “Are you There God? It’s Me Margaret.” Maybe had her name been Punky Brewster, I would have picked it up, but I just never cared what was troubling a girl named Margaret. All I know is that she made up some creepy little chant about increasing her bust size and was super concerned about her body odor…ah, yes, all of the makings of an American classic.
But last week, I kicked off my prayer time with an out-of-left-field: “Hi God, It’s me, Megan.” And then I laughed out loud. And I’ve gotta believe God did too. I’m pretty sure He was like “Thanks for playing Judy…come back when you’re not such a nerd.”
Honestly, I didn’t have something new to say, nothing unique to offer and that little intro just felt right. I’m in the business of “spin” and I didn’t have a new way to spin my requests, so I sat in my prayer chair (a fabulous striped deal from Restoration Hardware designers) and concluded that sometimes the circumstances that smooth out the rough edges of our character don’t tie up neatly with a funny little story and witty bow. Sometimes they produce more questions.
Questions like…does it show more faith to drop off a request as a one-time deal, trusting that the Lord heard us the first time and doesn’t need to be nagged about it? After all, He mentioned we should let our words be few. OR, does it show more faith to come to come to Him day after day, trusting that petitioning the throne room is really what He wants, to come and choose His company, rephrasing what (in our mind) is an unselfish and pretty standard request? Does it take more faith to trust that the Lord will honor my efforts and in His due time will open the door of opportunity for change, acknowledging that the work He gives me today is manna from heaven and is what He wants me to work diligently at here and now? OR, is He waiting to unleash blessing on me until the moment I take a huge step of faith and leave certainty with nothing certain planned, since I feel convinced that what I do now is not what I’m ultimately called to?
I really don’t struggle with unbelief or doubt that God is who he says He is. I’m simply trying to know what he wants from me. I’m not asking the kinds of questions that are point blank addressed in scripture, but about living in His will for MY life…in order to move forward, am I taking the steps He wants for me? It doesn’t feel like He’s asked me to take a step in awhile. Is that me not hearing his voice? Or is the silence what I should take as Him saying: “Sit still Meg, this will hurt a little, but I’m creating in you right now the leadership skill of patience.”
I’d really like for God to just say: Meg, you are doing exactly what I want you to do. OR, Go! Get moving!
That’s what Israel had – the very situation I’ve found myself longing for! Is the cloud still over Starbucks or has it moved to Dunkin? Easy to spot (but at DD, I place my order in Spanish). Here’s a list of 10 things to do: do them and you’ll prosper, don’t do them and a lot ‘o locus and infertility will occur.
The cut and dry clue phone was ringing for the Israelites in the desert for 40 years and they never picked it up – food falling from heaven, a list of do’s and don’ts, God’s audible voice, drinking water from a rock, Gods actual presence in a cloud, a sea parted. There was no doubt of what God required of them, yet they were grade-A disobedient losers who no one liked, including God. All of that proof and still they rebelled, complained, forgot, grew impatient, etc, etc. Sounds just like me living under the NEW covenant. Having it Israel’s way – the way I thought I wanted – is not living in freedom. It was only ever acts of obedience (which they generally disobeyed). It required no faith, no quandaries. Their action was specifically laid out, the result guaranteed. They didn’t have to pursue Him or have faith – and they never became adults – they only ever acted like little kids. “It was such a bad situation, God started over with a new generation” – Christ on the cross.
While this example doesn’t show me what moves I should and shouldn’t make right now, it does make me grateful the new covenant (Christ) persuades me to pursue God for the very fact that He HASN’T revealed Himself as law to me. What if God, telling me what to do in writing, pushed me heart further from Him? His entire goal is to be in relationship with me and I know myself well enough that I wouldn’t keep talking to him if he simply slipped me notes with step-by-step directions on it.
This is more of forum type post – so I’d really love to hear what you readers have to say. I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts even when they aren’t funny and, really, share in my life. I love to share in yours too, though we may never have met!