Barriers and Reefs

“Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” (Psalms 115:4-8 KJV)

When I was in college, I worked in the automotive repair world as a service adviser. From time to time if the technician was busy, I would help him out by pulling one car out when he was finished and pull the next one in while he washed up. One day, I had particular difficulty getting a car in the bay and the technician, in jest, said, “I thought it was stick shifts that you had trouble with.” The car was an automatic. I had no where to go with the comment other than to admit to being the recipient of the joke. In truth I drove both standard and automatic transmission vehicles rather well. Just not that day.

Have you ever had one of those especially dark and depressing days where you wondered if it was God who could not speak, hear, or move? Maybe, in a moment of stubbornness, you have a plan that puts you at odds with where you know God wants you? It may not even put you strictly at odds. You just have a few improvements to how the plan ought to be implemented. Perhaps something is legitimately irritating you and you have brought the documentation of the issue to God in your prayer time. And somehow you ascertain from the silence that the real answer is “no”. It may feel like “not yet” or it may feel like “do not even think about it”. No counter argument, debate, or other means of hashing it out. Just silence. What is up with that? Can we not at least arm wrestle this out?

If you recall the words of Jesus in John 16:7, 8; we receive a clue as to what is really happening. One of the primary purposes of God’s Holy Spirit is to reprove, admonish, or convict of sin. If we look at the situation honestly, the more we dig in, the less righteousness we see in ourselves. The thought begins to occur to us, what if He really gave me sole management of the situation and washed His hands of the whole mess? What if when I called to Him, He really was distant and far away? Would I plunge forward at full determination like an ice breaker only to see that my bow was firmly stuck in barriers and reefs causing my whole ship to break apart?

It is a frustrating dilemma to have in mind a handful of useful and expedient corrections that would greatly improve God’s plan. Only to realize that His plan was to improve me. The love that you see in that silence as you sit back and realize that He was never deaf, mute, or crippled. His Spirit was working on you the whole time. And we cannot help but to burst forth in speech full of testimony of what we really have seen, heard, felt, and know that God loved us enough to teach us.

“For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20 KJV)

One Response to Barriers and Reefs

  1. Sarah says:

    He does love us enough to teach us, and I am so thankful for that! He’s been teaching me so much lately about grace, love and genuine humility. Growth is painful sometimes though. I love you! Sarah

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