Thursday, March 9, 2006
From Jesus' Sermon on the Mount:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard Fellowship, sat beside the road in his car and saw honey falling from the sky. God gave John a vision to make something clear to him. "Don't ever beg me for healing again, John," he heard God say. "The problem is not on my end."
Honey fell from the sky and people responded every kind of way. Panic, ecstasy, and everything in between made them run for cover or open their mouths wide, put up umbrellas or fold them up, grimace and try to wipe the sticky stuff off or spread their arms and laugh and run and try to get as much honey as they possibly could ...
Like rain, the honey didn't really fall evenly, and some people got more than others. Living in the "already here/coming right now/not yet" time warp of the Kingdom of God on earth means that we can' predict where the honey falls. But it's falling. That was God's point.
When the honey seems to be coming in fits and starts it's so easy to blame God, or to blame myself. I need more faith. I need more righteous living. I need to please God to get him to pay attention to me. I think of the Chinese water torture ... the honey drips, drips, drips on my forehead, a drop at a time, not enough to do any good but just enough to make me crazy.
These words of Jesus are so valuable to me then. Don't stop expecting, but don't be demanding, he says. God knows what he's doing. He knows a whole lot more about what he's doing than I do. That's one thing I don't question at all.
Eugene Peterson has a good name for this expecting-not-demanding posture. He calls it "passionate passivity." In the midst of almost daily experiences with getting ahead of myself, this is what I remember, this is what I want to do.
Jesus, your words point me to our Father and give me courage. Thank you.