The God Who Sees Me
Isn't it interesting that we say we believe that God is sovereign, He loves us, He sees everything and knows everything, yet our prayers tell another story. Have you ever noticed how when trouble comes our way, we cry out to him in fear as if He has no clue what's going on and can't even hear our cries. Not only that but our prayers prove that we seem to think God, our Father and Savior, doesn't really care what's happening to us. Now before you assume that I'm calling us all faithless, please bare with me while I explain this.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that I was in straight up panic mode. You know the kind, where you see trouble coming your way and you begin to pray. I'll use a recent prayer of mine, the prayer goes something like this; “Oh God, please don't let them fire me. I'm still learning and haven't had all the training that I'm supposed to have. Oh, please God, this is what is going on; and I know that they haven't indicated anything to make me believe that I will be fired, but things aren't going smoothly, they've thrown me to the wolves, 3 days of training isn't enough. Please help, don't let them fire me.” Now I had been fearing this for a couple of weeks culminating in a 24 hour panic attack wherein this was being prayed over and over, when God finally interrupted me and let me understand something wonderful.
When I got this job, the way it came, the type of job it was, all I could do was praise God. There was no mistaking the way everything fell into place, there could be no other explanation, it was a total God thing. Then when I started I was all but thrown to the wolves and began to question if this was God. Soon, fear overwhelmed me and I wondered if God cared about what was going on, which eventually lead to the prayer you read above. That's not the prayer of a confident Christian, if you think about it, that was the prayer of an unbeliever who never knew God. For those who were not Christians all their lives, I'm sure you can understand what I am talking about. What you're feeling in your heart is something like being just another face in the crowd, jumping up and down shouting, while waving your arms in the air in hopes of being seen and heard.
It wasn't until God gave my heart understanding of the situation that the panic was relieved. He gently reminded me that He gave me this job and no one can take it from me without His permission. Indicating that He not only knew what was going on, but that He was in full control. This brought to mind the story of Jesus before Pilate where Pilate says “Don't you know I have the authority to crucify you or set you free?” And Jesus replies John 19:11 (a) “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.”
Then I was reminded of the fact that I used to be the enemy of God, but I am no longer, instead I am His daughter and I am beloved of Him. I no longer have to fear that He doesn't hear or care, in fact Jesus makes this statement, Matthew 10:29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Did you catch that part? He states that we are of more value than many sparrows, because God is our Father. So much so the very hairs on our heads our numbered. But please notice the part about the sparrows, and though they are not as valuable to God as we are, not even one of them falls to the ground (dies) apart from our Father's will. If some trouble comes our way, remember that our Father is actually permitting it. Let me say that again, our Father is in charge and He is directing our steps, laying out the path before us, if you will.
All this brings to mind the story of Job, I think this is the first time I've really been able to grasp the overall picture of Job. The story starts off with Satan wanting to sink his filthy teeth into a good man of God. Through the whole story, Job knows that it is God who is allowing it, and He simply chooses to trust God anyway. In the end,God blessed Job even more. We who are reading the story are aware that not only does God know what's going on and has given his stamp of approval, but He has put restraints on just how far Satan can go. The scriptures teach us that God uses everything for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purposes. According to the purposes of God, could it be that God planned the whole suffering of Job all along, so that He could bless Job even more and use that story to teach us that our Father really is sovereign over everything? I mean, if we look at the story we see that there was no battle over it in heaven, simply a Holy, All Powerful God, deciding what Satan can and can't do.
I think often times my problem is that I seem to view troubles in our lives as a battle in which we have to pray and pray really hard in order to win, as if God is somehow in need of our help. Maybe that's why we so easily fall away from the faith, because we view God as though He is in some kind of battle and can't always hear our cries for help. When in reality, He's in charge of all our circumstances and the path we sometimes are forced to take is really, just our Father getting us back on the right path, because somehow we've veered off in the wrong direction. Much like the grape vines in my back yard. When we bought this house there were grape vines, as well as a few apple trees. Unfortunately, the trees are so close to the vine that I have to watch the branches closely as they tend to reach up for the sun and inadvertently attach themselves to the trees. When that happens they grow up so high and get all tangled up with the branches of the trees, which means that I have to start cutting the branches of the grape vine. It's unfortunate too, because when I do that, then that branch can't produce a single grape for me and it goes to waste. But if I watch the grape vine closely, I can see when it's branches are growing up into the tree and I can detach it from tree, then I force it into the fence on which it should be growing. It takes a few days to a week before I begin to see I can simply leave that branch alone and rest knowing that it's going to grow in the direction that I want it to. But until then I am out there every day, tying it up against the fence and watching to make sure it doesn't entangle itself in the apple tree again. I imagine this is what Jesus meant about us being the branches and Him the vine.
So instead of praying like God doesn't see or know; maybe we should start praying in the way we say we believe. Our God is a God who sees us and loves us, we should keep that in mind when we pray. So in keeping with this wonderful knowledge of our Father who loves us, and who also is the sovereign God, we should learn to pray as Jesus prayed in the garden, “Father, if it's possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but Your will be done.”