Wednesday, June 27, 2007

God Doesn’t Go “Poof”

The other night I went to see the latest box office rage, Evan Almighty. I enjoyed the first film, Bruce Almighty, produced by Tom Shadyac, so decided to try the second. The comedy had some hilarious moments - like when God suddenly appears in the back seat of the main character’s vehicle and he screams in fear. God says, “Let it out, son, it’s the beginning of all wisdom.” And then there were a couple of scenes that brought God’s truth to the wide screen.

Like the scene at a restaurant, when God shows up as the waiter. He chats with the wife of the man who would be Noah, and tells her (I’m relying on my memory here, so the words may not be exact) – “If a person prayed for patience, do you think God would just go “poof” and give her patience? Or do you think God would give her the circumstances in which to develop patience? And say a person had prayed that her family would draw closer together – do you think God would just magically make that happen or would He put that family in circumstances that gave them the opportunity to be closer?” The woman sees the wisdom of his words and goes back to her husband.

I’ve been thinking about the truth in that scene, in light of my own prayer requests lately. For instance, in light of my prayers for my writing, specifically my new book, One Smooth Stone. It’s not likely that God will go “poof” and make it an instant overnight success. But He will create the circumstances around that work that will lead me and teach me much. It will be an opportunity to learn and grow both in terms of the world of publishing, and in terms of my relationship with Him. It’s another example of how God is often not so much concerned with the end result as with the process.

And that brings me to the difference in our perspectives and the need for me to adjust
mine. I want to see my book on the best seller’s list. God wants to see it change lives. I want to become known as a writer. God wants me to know Him more.

I’m thankful for the reminder. And I’m thankful that I know God well enough to trust Him with the process. As he said to Evan – and to me through that crazy comedy – “I’m doing it because I love you.”