My four-year granddaughter is going to be a big sister in a few months. She had herself convinced that she was going to have a little sister. Her reasoning was really quite logical. She told me, “if God uses his noggin (pointing to her head), then God will give us a girl because we have all this girl stuff already.” To her God’s wisdom would be as good as hers.
However, God’s wisdom turned out to be different from hers and when she found out her new sibling was a boy, she was NOT happy at all. And at four she experienced her first disappointment with God. Clearly, God was not using his noggin and she was at a loss to understand how this could happen. She had it figured out and it made sense, therefore, it would make sense to God as well.
How often do we do this? We decide what the answer is or should be to our prayer. We decide what would be the right way for God to respond. We think we know what the best outcome would be and then we impose or project our ‘wisdom’ onto God. When we proceed as if our approach is the best and it doesn’t work, we can become very disappointed in God. Or, we begin to doubt if we can trust God. It is the opposite of Jesus’ prayer of trust, ‘not my will but yours, O God.’
Without spending time with God on a regular basis (e.g. Sabbath Moments), we begin to lose sight of the God of the Bible whose ways are not like ours. We can also begin to feel that our assessments, wants, wishes, desires, answers are the only ones we need to consider because we are not in the habit of thinking that God has a stake in them too, let alone input.
This week for your Sabbath Moments spend some time reflecting on times when God’s response to prayer was different from what you thought was right or logical. What did you learn from God’s wisdom? Reread the Martha and Mary story in Luke 10.38ff. Martha was sure her wisdom was correct and that her role was to be a good hostess in Jesus’ presence. Jesus turned the cultural expectation upside down. What was it that Martha needed to learn about being in relationship in Jesus?
“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe…’ 1 Cor. 1.21