Advising God

I think I’ve just realized that I often tell God what to do.

Bossy Girl 1

Bossy Girl 2

Bossy Girl 3

Bossy Girl 4

Yeah, I know.

It is often cleverly disguised as a request, but I’m afraid that God easily sees through my pretense and knows that in my heart I am demanding.

“Please help my girls not to fight so much.”

“Please help me to get my body back into shape again.”

“Please heal Kristina, or Papa, or Stef, so that Your name will be glorified around the world.” (See how I added a carrot on that last one?)

None of these things are bad. All of these things are good. It is not bad to make requests, to ask God for things. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not condemning you for asking, I’m noticing something ugly within myself.

You see, my trouble is not that I ask things of God. My trouble is that I want, I expect, I demand God to act in very specific ways.

I know what the problem is, I know what the solution is, and I want God to follow my plan.

Giving Advice

What arrogance!

You would think that I would understand by now. You’d think that I would understand that God can see better than I can and that He really does know what is best.

I have a point of view. You have a point of view. But God has view…In our daily living the actions we choose, from within our own skins, as the best possible under the circumstances, may well turn out to have been the wrong ones. Something we regret at the time as abysmally stupid may well end up being the one thing needed under the circumstances. We are trapped in unknowing. Nothing is certain. ~ Madeleine L’Engle

I came to my realization while reading the story of Lazarus in the book of John.

Raising of Lazarus

Lazarus, Mary and Martha are siblings who are close friends of Jesus. If anyone had any right to expect anything from Jesus, it would be this family.

Lazarus is sick. Very sick. Jesus is not in town, so Mary and Martha send Him a message:

Lord, he whom you love is ill.

That was it.

No “Please come quickly”. No “Please heal him before he dies”. None of that.

I am shaken deep down inside myself.

Have I ever simply told God my circumstance, let Him know my situation, and then trusted Him to do what is best without trying to advise Him?

No. Never.

Never!

It took my breath away.

Pleading for Forgiveness

God, forgive me.

Forgive me for my arrogance and pride. Forgive me for not trusting You to know and do what is most beautiful.

Abba, thank You for Your patience with me as I learn how to put myself fully and completely in Your hands. Without trying to direct where Your hands should go.

Art credit: Raising of Lazarus by Carl Heinrich Bloch

About Elizabeth Giger

Hello! My name is Elizabeth. I am a wife and a stay-at-home mommy to three beautiful girls; I am a musician and a writer.  I would love for you to visit with me at MadeSacred.com where I write and try to thoughtfully engage life and culture as a way of loving God and loving others. After all, God has made everything to be sacred, things in our daily lives and things in the world around us.

Comments

  1. AshleyWalkup says:

    Wow, I thought I was the only one who has struggled with this. Thank you for your encouraging words!

  2. Katharine Barrett says:

    Oh Elizabeth, this is so good. And I am so standing beside you! And this:”trusted Him to do what is best without trying to advise Him?” That is where I need to be. Thank-you for the reminder!

  3. Michelle Guthrie Gilmore says:

    Elizabeth, beautifully stated. Trusting and waiting on the Lord is the hardest thing to do. The Lord does know best. His timing is always perfect!

  4. Tammy Blair Royer says:

    Leave a message…In my human arrogance I assumed I was asking God how to take care of “things” in my life. How God must be shaking his head at me and smiling knowing He is still I control, but waiting for me to get out of the way! I have been in such a despair for a time now, and after reading this blog, Elizabeth, I realize I have not been out of God’s way for quite some time. The quote you used from M. L’Engle hit me between the eyes, not to mention the words to Jesus from Lazarus’ sisters. So how do we get out of the way and wait? Having not done that for quite some time, I have either forgotten how or never got it right from the beginning of my service to God. Do I dare call it “service to God” if I am not out of His way to allow Him to lead?

    • Well, clearly I don’t do this very well, but perhaps it is as simple as asking God to help you wait. Perhaps what I need to do is to tell God my trouble, then ask Him to help me leave it in His hands. I have a feeling that I may have to ask Him for help multiple times a day! It is kind of freeing to know that I can’t do anything, even just waiting and trusting, on my own, but can pray (like Brother Lawrence, a monk in the 1600’s) “God, if you want me to do better with this, You will have to change my heart because I can’t do it.”

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