Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ponderings on Manipulation

So, both of my girls got sick recently, and as I was taking care of them I prayed for them to get better. At first it seemed to be working, because Amber didn't puke throughout the rest of the night.  Then, I got up, and wrote on my facebook page that the kids were sick, thinking in the back of my head, "Gee, I really hope this isn't like a thing of no faith that will make them sick again."  And then, seriously within a minute of writing that Amber was having diarrhea pouring out her diaper and then a few minutes after that throwing up.  "Hmm," I thought, "I think I need to change that post."  So, I did, I changed it to something like, "I don't like Amber being sick, but I like that she will fall asleep in my arms," trying to be more positive and open a little door for God to work.  But the whole thing got me thinking about how many other times I do things thinking that I can kinda make God want to do things on my behalf, or in other words, realized that I try to manipulate God.  I think most of the time, although I would never actually think it, I live as though I can twist God's arm into doing things the way I want them to be done.  Like, take for example my thinking that if I have Ailsa pray to Jesus for good dreams then there's no way God could dissapoint her; or how about thinking that if I thank Him in hard times then He'll have to give me what I'm asking for because it was hard to be thankful.  How silly to think that I can force God into acting the way that I think would work best for me!

So, in light of all of this, I've been thinking about what I do think is our role in partnering with God, because I do think it's a partnership.  I think God is like our Husband and like our Father.  So, basically, he gets to call the shots.  But, there are things we can do to stop His will from being done in our lives, I mean, if we want to; or we can prepare ourselves to go along with His will, slash, we can be willing to go along with His will even if we don't really have a clue what's going on.  Like, take for example, my praying that God would stop Amber from throwing up.  Let's say God wanted to answer that prayer but I gave her syrup of icka-whatever (you know, that stuff you can take if you NEED to throw up); God could still intervene and stop her from throwing up, but my guess is that He wouldn't, because I would be using the free will He gave me.  Or,  what if instead, I gave her some water and toast?  Giving her water and toast wont MAKE her stop throwing up, or make God heal her; but if that's what God wanted to do I don't think my actions would be standing in His way.  Do you see my point now?

I think these kinds of "cause and effects" are pretty clear, but most of the time life is a lot more complicated then that.  I'll spare you of trying to come up with more complicated examples, because I'm sure you have plenty of your own life expericance to draw from.  But let me just end by saying, (mostly to myself) let's not try and think that by acting a a certain way we can convince God to act on our behaves.  God loves us, and wants to bless us.  I like when Mike Bickel says that God doesn't just love us, He likes us.  He knows what's best for us, He knows how to make us happy, and He wants us to be happy.  So lets just go along with what He's doing as best as we can, and let's try to make ourselves ready do receive His blessings by following what the Bible says and by asking for His advice in prayer. 

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