We’re not used to considering ourselves as the stumbling block. It seems unnatural for us to think that we may be in the way of God doing His work in or through us. After all, He has all the power. If something doesn’t come to pass then it probably has to do with Him, not with me. What if God does want to do something but we just don’t give Him a chance?
For quite some time I’ve been looking at various miracles recorded in the bible, trying to find a common thread that runs through them. Whether it is something God did in the Old Testament or a miracle from the New – I’ve noticed a very simple, yet lifestyle changing commonality:
Things happened when the people were vulnerable and had faith.
Have you ever seen a lightning bolt hit the ground in the darkness of the night and in the middle of a storm? Ignore the frightening effect of the sound and any fear of being hit by it. Focus just on the revealing nature of the light… It’s pitch dark outside but you’re now able to see as if it were a clear day. Only for a moment, though. And you’ve got to be paying attention otherwise it’s so easy to miss.
I have moments of faith that are very similar. My guess is that you have them too. They’re the brief times in our otherwise regular daily life when you overcome the gap of fear and are able to see far beyond the now. The moments when you realize that “I can take this step and will be O.K. after it” because you’ve just encountered God and He confirmed it. The darkness before you is no longer impenetrable.
Numbers. We seem to be mesmerized by them in today’s society. The larger, the better. Or at least this seems to be the general trend. We rarely like or even pay attention to small numbers… we love them primarily when they hang on the price tag. But most of the time they are unimportant.
Granted, in certain areas of life a number might be directly related to the importance of the issue at hand, but this shouldn’t be the rule of thumb because the reality is different. Each one is significant.
This small thought was provoked by a brief youtube ad ( one of those that show before the video plays). A female voice speaks of the fact that every 3 seconds a girl is forced into marriage. It’s a campaign by Plan Nederland (in Dutch only, sorry).
It’s not the campaign itself or the video (as relevant and as good as they are) that made me pause for a moment. It was the emphasis on the numbers.
My very first thought was – would I be hearing about this if there were only one girl forced into marriage… or only one child dying from hunger and poverty… or only one person affected by the overwhelming waves of the tsunami?
It’s a very special thing – the truth. I realize that I’ve often not appreciated all of its power. Looking back at many of my conversations with other believers, I see that others have underestimated the power of the truth, as well. I see that it’s a more wide-spread problem that one might think at first.
What am I on about… Well, it began with the question – Do I really need to prove the truth when I talk about my faith with non-believers? This has always bothered me, but over the years of my Christian life I’ve continually been taught how to defend the truth. So I presumed that the truth needs to be defended, proven, protected. Well, it doesn’t. The truth remains what it is independently of one’s choice to fight against it or to rejoice with it.