Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Suggestion Box

I've been trying to think of how to follow up that last blog. We have these friends from Muncie, and the first time we hung out with them, probably almost five years ago now, was about the best night of our whole friendship. We said it was like going on a first date and you didn't want the night to end. We ate dinner and stayed up and played cards and laughed and laughed and laughed. Of course, they only had one child then, who went to bed pretty early, and now there are two more kids between the two couples. But I digress...children never cut a fun night short, do they? I think we told about all of our best stories that night, and our funniest jokes, and well, we were all just at our best. All of that to say....we never had a night like that with them again. Oh sure, we have had plenty of wonderful, fun moments with them, but none quite so great as that first night. Maybe we told too much of ourselves on our first "date" with this couple, and then we just couldn't get there again. I kind of feel that way about that last blog. I laid it all out there. That was my heart that day. Feel kind of awkward as to where to go from there.... will you all go on another "date" with me?

As best as I can segue from that blog to today's, I was praying over my Big 3 today during my quiet time. And I started praying about the house. And I realized something...I need a much bigger view of God. The view is big, don't get me wrong, but I need a much deeper study on His "I AM" status...reading a great book about that currently by Louis Giglio. The reason for needing a good dose of "I am not"? I realized how many suggestions I was making to God. I was praying about our house, and I was saying "God, You could sell it this month, and then we would give you such big praise. Or you could send us a renter. I mean, You know our finances, God, and we simply cannot afford this change in our mortgage next month. We just can't. I guess you could provide in another way than selling the house. Like maybe anonymous gifts of money in our mailbox. Or paid writing gigs. Or...."

And then it hit me mid-prayer. Who am I to make suggestions to God of how He should handle this situation? Yes, I do believe in "Ask and it will be given to you." I do believe in "Approach the throne of grace with confidence." I do believe in "You do not have because you do not ask God." I believe that, yet I also know that God does not need my suggestions. He knows my heart. He has heard my requests. My suggestions were out of a spirit of fear. Fearing that maybe God had missed one of these ideas. Fear that He might think, as I often find myself saying to people's suggestions, "That's a great idea. I hadn't thought of that before." Fear that He doesn't understand the timeline that we are on. My prayers today (though tear-free...hooray!) were not prayers of trusting God. They were not approaching the throne of grace with confidence in Him. The confidence was in my own loose-lips. My own thoughts in my head that I knew all of the best ways for Him to handle this. While I do believe that I can fully share my heart with God and ask for the things that we need, He already knows. So, I think that I just need to quit putting little folded up pieces of paper in the suggestion box. Those suggestion boxes are just for people who think they have it all figured out anyway, and then they get mad if their suggestions aren't put into practice, like, yesterday. I don't want to be that way with my Jesus.

The missionary Hudson Taylor said, "God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply." This isn't even about God selling our house at this point, or Him providing the money on our doorstep. Our friend Roger gave us a book one time called "Your God is Too Small." Strange title, but I think many of our Gods are too small. And no, I don't mean "small g" gods. I mean Big G. I mean our vision, our picture of who God is to us, is simply too small. We don't understand how big He really is, and how completely able He is to care for us. Here's to my understanding of God getting bigger every day. He already is that BIG, for sure, but I need my thinking to catch up a little.

And here is to a lighter blog next time around... I don't want you to break up with me too soon. :)

1 comment:

nickmal said...

Are you asking me out? Well, I have a suggestion if you're free Friday night, there's a wonderful concert at 8pm on the courthouse lawn!

I confess I was feeling the same thing yesterday afternoon while praying for your three. I was riding my bike while talking with God, and then in the stillness of my quiet time I heard God saying,
"We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us:
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all."...Kahlil Gibran

We are literally teaming up with omnipotence...just in drawing our attention to Him in prayer. Within each of us is the desire to be valued, admired, and honored for our virtues or accomplishments. It sounds like on your '1st date' with your friends you were provided the kind of attention we each desire. Then entered a couple of biggest attention stealers--children...

At times I've felt as if I suffered from SADD (spiritual attention deficit disorder). Simply stated, it's my self- preoccupation factor. I have needs and I want God to pay attention!!! Romans 12:1-2 makes it so clear that when I give my all, God steps in and provides the rest. "God's very nature is to have goodness in so much abundance that it overflows into our unworthy lives. God's bounty is limited only by us"...Bruce Wilkinson. "The Lord's blessing is our greatest wealth; all our work adds nothing to it" (Proverbs 10:22)
So, yeah...I'm still interested in you, spending time together and being fully present at those times.