The Big Picture

a.k.a. Letting God be God

GalaxyMost of our time is spent on the battlefield, daily life, involved in hand to hand conflict. It’s the strength of our shield, the sharpness of our sword, our thirst and fatigue we are thinking about. But now and then, I find God lifts us out of the trenches and shows us the big picture. We get a new vision of the wonders of heaven awaiting us, the horrors of the enemy’s plans, how desperately we do need Him and how much we need our brothers and sisters in Christ. Then, refreshed and remotivated, back into the battle we go to live life up close and personal again. I’m so thankful for God’s glimpses of the big picture because as time goes by, I naturally slip down that slope and begin to focus more and more on myself again, and less and less on God’s plans. I get tired. I wish we could have some more variety. I long for what’s next.

I had a big picture moment this morning as I opened my Bible to the end of the book of Jonah. Jonah 4:4 caught my eye, “But the Lord replied, “Have you any right to be angry?” It stood out because one big concept I’ve been meditating on is that God is capable of dealing with all of our emotions, at all their intensity levels. We can’t always let them loose on people, but He can take them. But this verse addresses anger in a different way.

Do we have a right to be angry with God?

For that split second, He was asking me that question. When I can’t have what I want and life doesn’t go as I’d like, do I have a right to be angry with God. When He doesn’t answer my “whys” as I’d like and doesn’t take the alternatives I suggest seriously, what is my response?

God doesn’t need to prove He is good, and loving and merciful, does He? He demonstrated it in creating mankind and then sacrificing His only Son to reconcile us back to Him.

Can the created, me and you, put the Creator on trial?

Does any created person have the authority to do that? I forget my position with Him sometimes. He is very accessible to us and wants an intimate relationship with each of us. But do I then presume that He wants my advice and opinions? That I can give Him a grade in His role of God and suggestions for improvement?

There’s nothing we can face on this earth that is too much for God. God sacrificed his only Son for us. There’s no pain or circumstance, nothing we feel is withheld from us, nothing that gives us the right to judge God and his plan.

God is good. It’s a fact.

I’ve known God long enough to stop debating. I know Him from his Word. I know the way He comforts me in hard times with the Holy Spirit and lifts me from the pit I am so drawn to throwing myself into.

I will never 100% understand God, but in His mercy He has opened my heart and mind enough to move on to trusting He knows best. I’m tired of fighting Him. I’m tired of putting Him on trial and insisting He prove why His way is best. I feel ridiculous thinking of myself plummeting toward hell in the proverbial handbasket, being rescued by God Almighty, only to start griping that I don’t understand why I was plummeting at that angle, and shouldn’t the basket lining have been a different color and why, why, why.

It’s time for me to give God the benefit of the doubt. We can celebrate his grace and mercy toward others. I can hand God the puzzle of my life and say, help me, God. I don’t have to understand all the how and why.

He’s good and that’s enough today. The cross says it all.

When I focus my eyes on the cross of Christ, I find nothing to argue about and fight with God about. I am the recipient of the greatest gift. May I never forget it. There’s no detail big or small in my life that could challenge God’s love and sacrifice for me.

So back to the battlefield. Back to fighting hard in God’s army. Asking him for his plan and then following through with it. Doing my part in the battle and being a good soldier. I don’t have to question my commander.

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