Posted by: Michelle Knoll | October 19, 2012

Thirty-One Days of Hearing His Voice {Day 19} – When Things Turn Out, but not Like You Planned

Last night I received a comment about how sometimes God might be silent, and sometimes things don’t come out well.  Actually, I need to quote the comment, to be accurate.  So here it is:

what do we do when God is silent? Or when the sea DOESN’T part? What then?

I talked in an earlier post about what I do when hearing God is hard.  But what about when the sea doesn’t part?  What do you do then?  That’s a very good question, and one that will take a lot of thinking and discussing.

I can’t offer any easy explanations to this one.  Walking with God is a daily thing.  You can’t ignore Him and then expect to hear Him clearly when things get rough and you’ve got a “sea” that needs to be parted.  Now, I know for a fact the person who posed the question above does not ignore God!  However, sadly, there are some people in this world that do ignore God until they desperately need Him.  And then His response seems to be slower than they like.  And then they get angry at God, and declare that He couldn’t be a God of Love because He’s not taking care of them!  Well, it’s a hard question to ask, but I have to ask this question: when a person ignores God and doesn’t seek Him until there’s a “sea” that needs to be parted, is that fair to God?  He’s not an ambulance!  He’s not the fire department!  He’s GOD.  There’s a difference.

See, if you’re in a marriage relationship, and you ignore your spouse for many days, would it be fair for you to expect your spouse to come running when you all of a sudden are in desperate need of help?  No, it wouldn’t be fair.  And if your spouse ignored you for days or weeks on end, or gave you just a tiny bit of attention every so often, would you like it if he or she then cried out for you to quickly help when trouble came?  Any right-thinking person would agree that’s not the way marriage relationships are supposed to work.  Spouses are to grow together, growing closer through the years, not ignoring one another and then becoming demanding when the world falls apart.  Right?

Well, walking with God is very much like a marriage relationship.  It’s a contract, a covenant, made between God and His followers.  He promises to be there for His followers always.  But He expects things from them, too.  And He’s not being prideful or selfish or unreasonable by having those expectations, either.

So, if God promises to be there for His followers, always, then why does the sea sometimes not part?  Hmm.  Good question.  I can offer only a few explanations, but I’m sure there are as many explanations as there are people on this planet.  Because everyone’s “sea” is going to be different, and even though God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, amen, He approaches all of us individually.

One reason could be… you’re standing in front of the wrong sea.

Now, that sounds kinda crazy, but it’s a matter of perspective.  You think the problem is “X” when really the problem is “Y.”  And you’re praying and crying out to God to fix “Sea X” when He’s standing over in front of “Sea Y” and He’s saying, “Hey.  I’m over here.  Take a look at this over here.  Let’s deal with this, and then that will go away.”  The problem is, we get so fixated on “X” we can’t see “Y”!  And so nothing gets fixed, and the sea doesn’t part, and we think God has abandoned us.

How many times in my marriage did I think the problem was something my husband was doing, when the real problem was something I was doing?  And how many times have people declared, “Well, here’s the problem!”  when that wasn’t the problem at all?  Guess what?  As long as you’re focusing on the wrong stuff, nothing will change.

Perhaps this is why Jesus said, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”  The issue is focus.  What’s being focused on?  The correct issue?  Or something else that really isn’t all that important?

We’ve just barely gotten started, and I could write much more, but I don’t want to make this post too long.  So let’s continue this tomorrow, and maybe even the next day.  In the mean time, if you have thoughts, please share them.  I’m not perfect, and I know I don’t have the full counsel of God.  And I would love to hear what you have to say about “seas” that don’t seem to want to part.

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