So I had a thought about how much God loves us and our expectations. If God loves us so much and I know He does (still I want a greater awareness of His love in Jesus name) then every opportunity for provision is an opportunity for Him to provide. Every opportunity for us to be loved is an opportunity for Him to show His love for us.
Today I was leaving work and going out to my motorcycle. It has a battery that is going bad and there was a good chance that this time it wouldn’t start. I didn’t think about it until after it started. “Why didn’t I ask Papa to make sure it started?” At least I could have prayed for peace in knowing that His plan is better than mine. But there is still a selfish part of me that is focused on my plan and doesn’t trust the uncertainty of His plan. Let’s say I prayed for the bike to start and it didn’t, then what? Would I change my mind about God’s love? Would I begin to make excuses and change my understanding to say “well God only works in God important stuff?” Maybe I would think God wants to teach me a lesson about responsibility or humility? I’m sure all those thoughts may have run through my mind. But then I felt God say “what if you prayed and it didn’t start? Would you trust that I still love you?” I thought about it and realized that that question was the heart if the matter
Does He really love to love us?
So I went back through the scenario with a different perspective. I approach the motorcycle (problem) with the certainty that God absolutely loves me and wants to show His love for me. I then ask for His provision with the motorcycle (you know, it starts). If I don’t ask I get nothing. If I ask with the right motives He provides (James 4:2,3). Want to know the right motive?
To know God and who He is and how deep His love is.
I wouldn’t throw down the gauntlet and do one of those “if You are God” things or some silly thing like “I need my bike to work so I can serve You and please You” (He is already pleased). I wouldn’t play some spoiled kid card like “if You love me You would do it my way.” Nope, I felt like the correct action would be to pray that the bike starts knowing God loves me and anticipating a love blessing. If it didn’t start then start looking for the blessing. Certainly He has something better in mind. Maybe there is an encounter in the upcoming motorcycle rescue mission. Maybe there is a touch from God in the walk home. In all cases what God has planned will be an amazing opportunity for me to experience His love, most certainly. That is a place of surrender. That is stepping into a totally dependent relationship. The more we trust Him and stop not trusting the outcome we will see Him work a greater work. It is a Romans 8:28 surrendered life.
Romans 8:28 AMP
We are assured and know that [God bringing a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
It isn’t some “ability to suck it up and just know that no matter how much pain you are in God’s plan is better than yours even if it is miserable.” That thinking and lack of believing in His goodness precludes the blessing. It actually opens the door for the enemy. We need to see how good our Dad is. We need to see that He loves us so much that He wants us to experience Him more fully.
There were many occasions when events didn’t go the way you would expect for Jesus. He had to avoid this town and then met this person. Or the people followed Him into the wilderness and they didn’t have food. That is a good one. How about a seemingly small deviation from a plan.
Luke 5:3 MSG
Once when he was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, the crowd was pushing in on him to better hear the Word of God. He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. He climbed into the boat that was Simon’s and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd.
This is THE Simon Peter. This is how they met. The rest of the story gets even better.
Recently we had a group of people on a treasure hunt (looking for people to pray for) and they found a lady at a store who had a wrist brace. They prayed for healing and didn’t experience it or so they thought. Turns out this lady was very depressed, absolutely beside herself with grief because her brother was terminally ill and was near death. The prayer group didn’t know this. I work with a lady that is the daughter of the prayer recipient. She told me the rest of the story. Our team didn’t know what had happened and probably had certain expectations. In this case God let us in on the rest of the story. This lady was so moved that God would “go out of His way” to send people to a store to find her when she was at her lowest point. She was healed of much more than a hurt wrist. She sent her husband to find the girls after they left because she wanted to hug them all but they were already gone. Call it a delayed reaction.
A motorcycle that starts pales in comparison to a life saving, body and soul-healing encounter with another soon-to-be-child-of-God, or our personal-life-changing-encounter with Him that is just around the corner. We need to believe that He has just been waiting for us to make ourselves available and surrender to His loving provision. So I declare that I will trust Him and will live in certain expectation that when my prayer isn’t immediately answered the way I expect there is something greater in store, something I wasn’t expecting. Of this I can be certain: He is answering my prayer in His loving way and the outcome will be divinely better than my limited thinking expects.