i was reading an book on raising infants and it raised a really interesting and insightful truth. why do we refer to babies as “good” or “bad” when it comes to their actions? if a baby cries, doesn’t sleep, and is unconsolable we refer to him/her as a “bad” baby. but if he/she eats well, sleeps well, and rarely cries, we refer to him/her as a “good” baby. interesting… how does that make them good or bad?
i’m wondering if we start redefining things in our lives when things don’t match up. and then i’m wondering if we take these new definitions and use them to evaluate everything… even God. for instance, a “good” baby is one that doesn’t disrupt our lives and makes our lives easy. so now, a “good” God is one who doesn’t disrupt our lives and makes our lives easy. hmmmm… that’s maybe why we ask ourselves the questions, “why would God do this?” “if God is good, why would he make me suffer?” “how could a good God allow pain in my life?” So, is God good? if we define good as not interrupting our lives, not transforming us, not helping us, and making our lives as easy and as comfortable as possible, then maybe not… So, maybe it’s time for us to look to Him to our definition of good and to see Him as truly God. Maybe we should approach God with humility and brokenness so that we can be formed and informed by Him.
The Truth: God is a never changing constant and He is always good.
i spent last thursday and friday at our denominational conference (PSWC) annual celebration. it was a powerful time of listening, praying, and reflecting. one deep conviction that is brewing in me since then is the importance and need to pray more. i wrestle with this because most of the time nothing “happens” DURING my prayer time. i’m always hoping that something miraculous will happen on the spot. don’t get me wrong… i think that there are moments where revelation and miracle happens in the midst of prayer, but for the most part, i don’t “feel” or “see” anything change during my time of prayer.
as part of the celebration, they honored our previous superintendent (John Notehelfer). They particularly emphasized the fruit of his prayers in us ten years later. it was at that moment that i realized that i am so shortsided. i always want things to happen now. i always feel like it’s pointless if things don’t change right before my eyes. i think that it’s more productive to focus on what i can accomplish and finish quickly. but real, lasting, impactful transformation happens through the power of God and the Holy Spirit. and, it may not happen in a moment. and it definitely happens when God’s people fall on their knees and pray. i mean, God calls us to this posture for healing of our communities:
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will healtheirland.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
so, maybe we if we can get beyond the shortsidedness of our “quick results” oriented life, we’d get on our knees and truly know in our hearts that it makes a difference in our world when we pray…