Photo by katinalynn
The other day, I got a phone call that seemed to slam a door in my face—a door I thought God was pushing me toward.
My first words with God went something like this (hands on my hips, looking up into the sky): “OK God, what now? Sometimes I just don’t get you.”
My next thought went like this (pacing and frustrated): “Right. I realize that’s the point. I’m not supposed to fully “get” you. Because then you wouldn’t be God, yadda-yadda-yadda. But sometimes, when I’m really trying to listen and trust and obey, I’d like to think that you might be somewhat predictable.”
I don’t want to hear about God opening windows when he closes doors. I don’t like the idea that God is simply “testing” me and “teaching me obedience.” I’m sorry, but if I had been Abraham up on Mount Moriah with Issac, ready to sacrifice my dear son to God (Genesis 22), I would have been pissed when God said “Never mind, I was just testing you.” Relieved, yes, but really angry, too.
It feels mean, like an older sibling who dares a younger brother or sister to do something crazy, to make a public spectacle of themselves, and then refuses to hand over the five dollars they offered as a bribe.
I went out on a limb for you, God! I thought I was going to get a prize of some sort, in return!
Not knowing the details, only the goodness
But I don’t think he is just “testing” me. I think he is always working toward some great goodness.
I’m reminded of another time in my life, when I thought I knew what God was up to. My first marriage was falling apart, and I thought I heard God telling us to move our young family to Central Illinois. My husband wanted to move here, but it was the last thing I wanted to do. I decided to go out on a limb and trust God. I was sure he was going to use the move to save my marriage.
Two years later, my husband and I were separated and I felt like I didn’t have a friend in the world. I was really angry.
Four years after that, I was marrying Jason in the church where we met—a church that helped me understand what it means to be a new creation, to be redeemed.
I’m not going to pretend to know, even in retrospect, how God works or exactly why he told me to move here. I will just say this: I am more fully the person I was created to be than I’ve ever been before, and I don’t think this would be the case if I had ignored God and stayed where I was.
That is all I need to know.