Janelle Alberts writes pithy Bible synopses and is a regular contributor to Christianity Today's Gifted for Leadership. For more on Alberts visit janellealberts.wordpress.com.
I once heard a mother speaking with her son about a recess fight with his little friend. The mom said all the usual encouraging things, and then added, “And son, maybe you could talk to God about this.”
The little boy turned to his mom with a question. “Would God care?”
He was ready to get personal about this God that his mom had been making him put on church clothes to go sing about every Sunday. The mom believed that her God cared about this recess situation. Pretty much. But the real question she couldn’t answer was this: “If God cares, then what will He do?”
It’s the theme of the whole Bible. Introductions go a little like this:
God: “Hi! I’m God. You are people. I love you.”
People: “Prove it. Then I’ll believe. Pretty much.”
And so the stories are told from the Israelites who, after crossing over the dry land of the parted Red Sea looked around only to ask, “Now what’ll we possibly do about dinner?”
And on to the disciples who, after Jesus walked on water and de-demonized a little girl, stood scratching their heads wondering where to get bread in such a remote place to feed so many people.
When we are right smack in the middle of a crucial moment, we are confused.
We must get it through our head, it’s not about the bread. Or it’s not just about bread. Certainly there are bread-multiplying, cancer-curing, miraculous moments. But they come and go.
The emotion we feel in their absence reveals what we believe about this God. It reveals whether we really believe Him at all.
Here’s an emotion: confidence.
When three young Israelites named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were facing down a deadly furnace heated seven times hotter than usual, they didn’t know what their God would do, but they told King Nebuchadnezzar that they pick Him anyway. They said our God can save us, but even if He doesn’t, He’s still our God.
They were not sure what God would do, but they were sure how God felt.
He cares. He can, but even if He doesn’t, He still cares. He is still the One.
It’s possible He has a plan. It’s possible I am playing part in something that is bigger than me. Even today. Even at recess. It’s possible.
Is it possible? Pretty much.
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Janelle Alberts writes pithy pieces that usually feature a bit of Scripture you've never heard, but wish you had. Knowing things like even Noah got tipsy & embarrassed his kids can help a girl rally to the end of the day. Find out more about Alberts here.