The other day, I was acting out an argument in my mind. You know when you’re stressed about something and you play it over and over in your head? What he says, what you say in response, the back and forth?
Don’t look at me like I’m crazy. I know you do it too. (at least I hope so. Oh dear, this is one of those posts they’re going to read out loud in open court when they finally decide I really am crazy and to put me away forever, isn’t it?)
Anyway. I was frustrated. I was imagining how the argument was going to go. Only, the person I was arguing with was God. And, evidently, He can hear our thoughts.
I got a response to my imaginary argument. And I don’t think I made it up. I have been thinking a lot about the cruddy situation of a student I know and I realized that I don’t even know what exactly he believes about God. In my prayer-slash-argument with God, I had the thought, “I wonder if he prays about his own situation as much as I do?”
Then the thought popped in my head, “God, would you even hear him if he prayed!?” But it was much more of an accusation than an actual question.
Instantaneously I felt inside I had my answer: “I hear yours.”
I’ve never had anything like that happen before. It happened so quickly and was completely contrary to the mode I was in, it totally took me off guard. It was totally disarming because it wasn’t said in some, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, can we move on, I hear you already” tone. It wasn’t even, “You’re so special. I hear yours.” Because that’s just not true.
It was much more like: I hear your prayers. You don’t have to worry if I’ve fallen asleep. I care. I’m right here. Keep praying.
And then yesterday. Yesterday I had another one of my imaginary arguments with God, which is getting more and more difficult if He’s going to just start butting in on them, and it was the same situation on my mind. And I was like, “God, what are you going to do!? Not a single good thing has happened in his life.”
And the response immediately ended the whole argument: “I sent him you.”
Woah. I hadn’t thought about that before. I hadn’t thought anything more about the whole way I know this kid. I just assumed it was chance. But maybe God had a plan all along.
I know what I believe even if it sounds crazy. If I had merely imagined what God would say, it wouldn’t have been anything that shifted so much responsibility back to me. Would you have?
Pray without ceasing about things that matter, because I hear you.
Go and do right, because I sent you.
Those are not things you tell yourself when you want God to do something for you.
It was quite the Gideon moment for me. Gideon was having an argument with God like I was that essentially boiled down to, “God, why aren’t you doing anything?”
And God’s response is astounding: “Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6)
Sometimes I think I don’t hear from God because I don’t want to hear from God.
I’d much rather say a prayer, and go about the rest of my day content I had done my part. Now God should do His.
But Pentecost happened. The Spirit is here, and He accomplishes His work through our hands. My hands.
I can and will pray for a lot of things. And maybe God will sometimes remind me that I am sent. So go and do. That’s a hard message. Who can accept that responsibility?