God’s Not Sleeping

One thing that amazes me is that in life it is very easy to pass judgments.  As people, we are constantly passing judgments on others for how they do things and whether we think that they are doing them right, or properly, or if we think that there is a better way to do them.

I have always been very good at judging.  In fact, before I had children (and sometimes even after) I was the master at judging.  I would constantly look at others and think that there had to be a better way to do certain things.  These people could keep their house clean, or get their laundry done, or they could spend more time with their children if only they did things the way I thought that they should do them.  I justified this behavior because I really cared about the people and wanted so badly to help them and to make their problems either go away or I wanted to help them lessen the loads that they were carrying.  But then I had children and every theory I ever had just jumped right out the window, and I realized that God does different things in different people’s lives and who was I to judge another?  And I also came to recognize that it was such a pain to have good meaning people who loved me, try to tell me how to live.  I wasn’t un-teachable; I just needed to live and to do things my way, just like every other person in the world.  I needed to stumble and I needed to get back up and do it over again, because this is how we learn.

One kind of judgment I constantly passed was actually on different men and women in the Bible.  I would read about, and look at the different Bible characters and really get frustrated!  What were these people thinking?  I mean look at the people from Moses’ time?!  How could they have seen God do all that He did in Egypt, and even see Him open the Red Sea and yet not trust Him to take care of the rest of their needs?  Did they really think He would go to all of the trouble of saving them, just to leave them in the dessert?

Or how about Peter?  Really, even after being told that he would deny his beloved Friend, his Teacher, and his Lord, he did it anyway!

But you have to love God.  He is able to turn men’s hearts.  It wasn’t until I was in my dessert and crying out to God that He gently pointed out that I really wasn’t that different from the people of Moses’ time.  I was shocked!  He was right!  I was acting the same way.  Here God had shown me over and over that He was faithful and that He cared and that He wanted to not only take care of my needs, but He also wanted to bless me.  And the whole time I was crying out to Him saying, “Oh, Lord, have you forgotten me?”

I was amazed; maybe I wasn’t as different as these people after all?  But I thought, I am also faced with a choice, I can either choose to continue in my lack of faith and die in my dessert or I can step up and out of the hole I have dug for my self and make sure I get out of my dessert.  And the only way I can do that is to trust God, even when it is beyond hard!

The word trust means to rely on, to depend upon, and to have confidence, belief, or assurance in someone.  God wants us to trust completely in Him.  He wants us to rely on Him, depend on Him, have confidence in Him, believe Him, and have assurance in Him.

The people in the Bible times continuously saw the greatness of God.  The disciples that were with Jesus day in and day out watched Him heal the sick, bring sight to the blind, and do so many other amazing miracles, and yet when the time to trust Him came, they were not always so quick to trust, nor was it always very easy for them.  I have always loved the story of Jesus calming the storm.

“35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’  36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.  There were also other boats with him.

37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet!  Be still!’  Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?’

41 They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this?  Even the wind and the waves obey him!’” (Mark 4:35-41 NIV)

This was another time that I had been critical of the people mentioned in the Bible.  I looked at them and was filled with wonder at their lack of faith.  I must be a bit of a slow learner, because even after the great revelation that God had shown me about my heart and how I had acted like the Israelites in the dessert, here I was again, wondering how anyone could walk with Jesus every day, eating, and sleeping, and living with the Son of God and not trust that He would keep them safe in a storm?  Did they not know who He was?

But then one day the Lord brought this story to my mind and showed me the error of my ways, once again…  He said that I walked, talked, ate, slept, and lived with the Son of God and yet when the storms in my life come up, I wasn’t always so quick to trust in the Lord either.  I was astounded, and yet I couldn’t argue.  God was right.  I was no different then His disciples of long ago, just like I was no different then the Israelites.  I had seen all that the Lord has done in my life, and yet when my life became a little shaken, and the Lord seemed far away; as though He were sleeping peacefully on a cushion, I too would cry out to the Lord asking Him if He cared what happened to me.

But what I had once again forgotten as did the men of old was that, ‘Who is this?  Even the wind and the waves obey him!’”

So the next time your life seems out of control and you feel like the Lord is sleeping on the job and doesn’t care if you parish, or survive the battles that you are facing, remember, God is in control!  He is there with you, whether it feels like it or not.  God says, “never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)  He has made a place for you to rest in His shadow, He will be your refuge and your fortress, He will save you from the trap of the Enemy, and any deadly disease (Psalm 91:1-4), “4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.  7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.  9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.  11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.  14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.’” (Psalm 91:4-16 NIV)

God loves you, and contrary to popular belief, He is not out to get you!  He wants to prosper you, and give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).  He is a loving Father, His will is always for your good, and that does not include sickness and disease or any other bad thing that you would not lovingly place on your own child.  The Bible says that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but that Jesus comes to give us an abundant life (John 10:19).  He wants to give us a life that is plentiful, well-supplied, copious, and rich.  He is the Father that none of us had!  And I am not saying that my own father was ever bad, but God is just so great, that His greatness and His love cannot be compared with that of man.  He loves you and He wants good for you, no matter what you have ever done.