A Note From Pastor Rob
I've decided, if I ever slow down enough to write another book, I'm going to call it "Overthought and Underprayed: Getting Out of Your Own Way for God's Sake." The problem is, I can preach it, but practicing it is giving me eye twitches. I really think that was one of the primary roles of Christ was to say to us, "Hey, stop, slow down. Follow me." Sigh. "Seriously? Again? Will you put that down? That's not even yours. Seriously, keep your hands to yourself. Follow Me. No, no, turn around, you DON'T have this. I came very specifically to have this for you... No, it's going to be all right, will you put that down, stop it. I'm serious, what is wrong with you people?"
And we seem to be looking at Christ, in the midst of self-inflicted wounds and saying, "Relax, calm down, I got this."
It's like the old story about the man with a house on the hill during a flood. As the waters started to fill the street, another man came by in a truck and said, "Hey, get your kids, I can take you to safety." And the homeowner said, "Do not worry, I have built my house on this solid ground, and I am fine - go help someone else.” A few hours later, the water was all the way up to the door and standing on the stoop, a woman came by in a boat, "Hey, get in, I can take you to safety." And the homeowner said, "Don't worry, I have built my house on a hill, and I am fine - go help someone else.” A few hours later, the water was all the way up the first floor and he'd climbed up on his roof. A helicopter went overhead, and the person inside gestured for him to get into the basket that they lowered to him. He waved them off - after all, he'd built his house on a hill, he was fine, go help someone else. The waters rose and the man was swept away and drowned. He arrives in heaven and is angry - he finds his way to the Lord and says, "I built my house on the solid ground, just like you said, and I drowned." The Lord looks at him and says, "Who do you think sent the truck, the boat, and the helicopter?"
Behold! We don't got this.
In Ephesians 3:20, we are told that Christ is able to do "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."
To this I have to think - I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit. But the truth is, I'm becoming more and more aware that I can't imagine nearly as much as I pride myself on being able to imagine. For example, I'm hard pressed to imagine God forgiving people I haven't or don't seem to be able to. In other words, I imagine limits on God's grace. I imagine that God would never give me a Ferrari, but it is within God's right to bless me (I'm assuming of course Ryan at Marion Tire can work on the thing) in any way that God sees fit to bless me. I imagine struggling with questions of faith my entire life, but that's not what Christ wants for any of us. We keep putting our burdens down and then picking them up again. We say we'll follow, but wander off when we see something shiny. I imagine Christ getting quite frustrated with us - immeasurably frustrated with everyone.
Or, I could just pray about it. Stop overthinking and just be in the presence of God.
Sound complicated? Let me help.
God of mercy, help me to surrender my will to yours.
Give me the peace to see your work in this world
and the strength to answer your call.
There - that's better.