Father God –
I know You heard my thoughts while I stood in the shower this morning. I wonder what Your thoughts were in return; were they along the lines of “well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?” or “where have you been, My son?” as if you didn’t know.
Time was, I used to stand there in the early weekday morning, silently crying out to you. Mostly, it was for deliverance from what I have sought to be an untenable work environment, but I tried to remember others when I could. I knew people without a job, or in ones that paid considerably less, so, in some respects, I had less call to cry out to You than they did. And yet, I knew that You wanted to hear from me, just as much as You want to hear from everyone on earth.
I wonder if you get irritated by the fact that I spend so much time composing letters to Rachel these days; that the interior monologue accompanying my morning self-care rituals is directed to her rather than to You. Even my sign-off to her, asking her to watch out for Daniel and me, and to wish us luck, as flippant as it might be considered, does it sound like a prayer in Your ears; does it stick in Your craw? I hope You realize it wasn’t intended that way.
But at the same time, I no longer know what to say to You, or what to ask of You. It would seem that the world just goes on, constantly heading toward a state of further decay and entropy. It doesn’t appear to be the sort of thing that would be a part of Your plan. Of course, I’ve always had so much trouble with what Your plan was and is, seeing as to how it seems far removed from the reality as I see it.
The Lord is not ·slow [or late] in doing what he promised—the way some people understand ·slowness [lateness; Hab. 2:3]. But God is being patient with you [Ex. 34:6]. He does not want anyone to ·be lost [perish], but he wants all people to ·change their hearts and lives [L come to repentance].2 Peter 3:9, Expanded Bible
Yet, despite this statement of Your will, this is not what happens in real life. I know the number is round, and pulled out of thin air, but I think I’m being quite conservative to say that 80% of the world will not follow Your will even to this small extent – and those of us in the remaining 20% are hard-pressed to find and follow Your will beyond that.
To say that You ‘do not’ or ‘will not’ do something borders on apostate heresy – we cannot be allowed to confine you to what our tiny little minds consider ‘possible.’ To say that You ‘cannot’ do something requires a passport, as it crosses that border. And yet, what we observe seems to suggest You are, for whatever reason, limited in Your responses to this world, and we simply do not understand why You do not seem to be working Your will down here.
Too often, I’ve known people who have a habit of ‘claiming’ Your power to do this or that, invoking Your will and Your abilities to all but guarantee their desired outcome. I remember the prayers in the high school room at church, asking You to heal Petra – at least one of my fellow students literally said “I know You will…” and I felt compelled to pray that we would be willing to accept whatever outcome, ‘knowing’ very much the opposite of my fellow student – the night before she passed away. It didn’t shake my faith, of course, but making such wild claims – demands, almost – of You might cause others to weaken in theirs. But am I in the wrong for saying that you won’t do what we want you to? Yes, I was right in this case – and in most cases when people claim Your power in similar fashion – but aren’t I the one confining You to a box?
It’s such a difficult thing for us; we know that You can do anything, and we shouldn’t doubt that. But as the world and the people therein seem bound and determined to make their inevitable way to some secular version of Ragnarok – even as Daniel insists that worldwide revival is right around the corner – I can’t help but wonder where any of this fits into Your plan, and when You will get on with it.
I’m sure this non-comprehension on our part is frustrating for You; even when You walked the earth in Jesus’ human skin, You expressed that frustration from time to time. But You still knew, despite the many limitations that humanity had encased You in, the big picture, the whole future in its grand sweep. The disciples, by contrast, did not – and with each succeeding generation since, our understanding has continued to weaken. Genius is not diminished by its inability to understand why the common mind cannot grasp what it has attempted to explain, and yet… there still remains that gulf between understandings.
Additionally, even as we try to deny it from ourselves, we know how short our lifetimes are, and with that in mind, You should excuse us for being impatient. We don’t live long enough to see the Big Picture that You do, Lord, but if You would just hurry it along, we might be able to grasp it.
But I suppose that’s where the whole concept of faith comes in; in which case, I guess that’s what I need to be asking you for more of, Lord. Remind me that you know best, and give me a little direction in which to walk (and maybe guide what I can with me, if at all possible). For the time being, bear with me if I can’t see the whole elephant, and keep me from dealing with it as if it were a tree.
Let it be so, Father – and greet Rachel for me, when You can.