I was at a prayer meeting a while ago and we were talking about life and I found myself complaining about how hard it had been in our marriage lately, it had not been a good week.
One fellow responded by telling me about putting the hardwood down on the floor of his house.
I know - how helpful - right?
The house had been built with two different kinds of flooring so they wanted to put hardwood through the whole house. Most of the house was easy to do but the dining room had been nailed down and he was having a rough time getting it off, so he hired a professional floor guy.
He decided that if he helped the fellow, the job would go much faster but it turned out it did not work that way. For some reason a lot of nails had been put into the old floor and it turned out it was a matter of brute strength and scraping and pulling nails. They both had thought it would be a couple hour job but it took both of them a full day. My friend was experiencing the aches and pains of a weekend reno warrior by the end of the day and he marveled at the professional guy who was whistling the whole time.
Finally not able to hold it in any longer my friend said – “Wow this is a lot harder than I thought it would be.”
The professional agreed with him adding, “This was the hardest floor I have ever had to remove.”
Incredulous my friend said, “Well I would never have known that, you were whistling and cheerful the whole time. My body is aching and I wanted to give up hours ago.”
The professional floor guy said, “Sometimes God gives us really hard jobs along with the easy ones, and I have learned you have to take the good with the bad jobs.”
Well I got the analogy – floors, life, marriage, kids, work – whatever it is – it is not guaranteed to be easy but it can be. Sometimes brute strength and determination are needed – but do I take the good with the bad? Have I learned to whistle while I work in both the good and the bad phases? Or do I sit and complain when I do not like it?
Our Youth Pastor gave the sermon and he only spoke maybe 5-7 minutes but what he said was a profound.
“When can God stop having to prove to you that He is God and just be God.”
This has gone around and around in my brain since then and I have tried to put it into practice. What I have changed is not asking God to answer my prayers “specifically”. What I mean is that I when I pray I now assume that God is God and He will answer it, instead of me telling Him what I want Him to do. For me when I was being “specific” I was actually telling God what to do, me taking over.
Do you know what I have found?
He has shown up more now than for a long time.
What has happened is that I have let God be God – not me trying to get Him to prove He is God or me telling Him what to do.
I actually find this approach freeing, and that can cause me to whistle while I work – I live my life knowing God is going to show up and He does!