"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-11
Friday, July 27, 2012
Tightropes and a mini version of God
Jean Francois Gravelot, The Great Blondin, is a man known for his amazing experiences crossing on a tightrope over Niagara Falls successfully. Each time he crossed he would tried something new.
On June 30, 1859, he stood in front of more than 100.000 people while he did another attempt. This time, he asked if they believe he could cross it blindfolded. The crowd said "we believe". As they watched, Blondin did a round trip blindfolded. He then asked if they believe he could do it pushing a wheelbarrow. They said "we believe". Blondin again did a roundtrip without a mishap. For their delight, Blondin decided to do one more: "do you believe I can cross pushing a wheelbarrow with a man inside?". They shouted excited "we believe", "we believe". Then Blondin asked: "thank you for believing in me. Now who wants to get inside the wheelbarrow?"
Silence... not one person in the huge crowd volunteered.
I've been think about the topic of trust recently, and let me tell you, it isn't easy to trust someone. Even when this someone is God, the Creator of Heavens and Earth. We say we believe him, but do we?
We reduce His demands and choose the ones we want to follow, in our own way. "He will not be that mad with us, will He? I'm just a human".
We lower His standards, so we can live by them, and we say we're doing just fine. Of course "he will forgive us", or "I'm a great sinner, what can I do?"
We diminish His love and accommodate our fears into a god that is powerful, but is not coming out of his way to deliver us. "I won't try this, cause I can do that. God wouldn't give me some task I can't do by myself".
We decrease our expectations on Him, thinking He may fail us. "He has more important things to do".
We cut down His power and decide He doesn't need to heal our friend with cancer, to deliver our friend from a hard job situation, to provide us with more than what we need. And we say "if it is your will, Lord", even thou He said his will for us is one of overflowing blessings!
And as we did with computers, and phones, and music players and even clothes, we created a mini version of God, one that is easier to carry, to share, to live with.
I'm not saying that we don't believe He is capable, but most of the time, we don't act as we believe.
Oh that we would see Him clearly. Oh that our hearts would yearn for Him in His fulness. Oh that we would be less proud of our human condition, less stubborn about our plans and live more as empty pages for Him to write on.
But no. We want to simplify Him, to shrink Him to a size that fits our fears and expectations, that adapt our sinful nature and desires. We, then, believe this version - the one whose greatness and mightiness doesn't apply to us.
How fool and dumb we are! We say we trust Him, but as the spectators of Blondin, we see him doing amazing things, but wouldn't surrender our lives to him, we believe, but we don't. We prefer to believe in a not-so-godly god, that looks like God, but exists only in our limited minds.
Isn't God Elohim, the Creator of Heavens and Earth? El Roi, the Living One Who Sees Us?
Jehovah Shammah, the Omnipresent One? Jehovah Tsideknu, Our Righteouness? Jehovah Rohi, Our Shepherd? El-Elyon, King of Kings? Jehovah Maccaddeshem, the One Who Sanctifies Us?
Jehovah Rapha, Our Healer? Jehovah Jireh, Our Provider? Abba, Our Father? Isn't He Immanuel, God with us?
God is a God of Wonders, a Father who Loves Us and whose desires for us are marvelous and outstanding. So I ask you again: do you believe God or do you believe your mini version of God?
After the lack of response from the crowd, Blondin's manager, Harry Colcord, climbed on his back, and then The Great Blondin made the journey to the other side safely. Why Calcord? Because he not only believed with his mind. He trusted Blondin with his heart - he had seeing him training, working out, getting ready. He had watched Blondin crossing the tightrope many times and he KNEW he was able to do it. So he not only said he believe, he acted.
Our God is a not a god who fits in a box. He doesn't do as we expect, He surpasses understanding.
His ways are higher than ours and his thoughts exceed our thoughts. He is the One "who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20).
Do you believe Him?