Tuesday, September 20, 2011

don't miss the forest for the trees

I think back to the times where I'm desperately searching for something that I've lost.  I'm panicked.  I'm frantic.  I'm about to go ballistic because I cannot find my keys!  And then, two seconds later, there they are, sitting peacefully on the kitchen counter right where I left them.  And I was so sure I'd put them in my purse or on my bed... I didn't find them right away because I wasn't looking in the right place.

In Luke we read about the Jewish leaders and how they were desperately searching for the Messiah.  They were panicked.  They were frantic.  They were about to go ballistic because they could not wait for their King to come and take over.  Then Jesus showed up at the temple and was nothing like they'd expected.  They were awaiting a powerful and dominant King and Christ came as a humble servant. They missed the whole point of why He came (and that it was Him) because they were only looking for a Messiah of their own making.

I don't want to do that in my own life.

I'm not afraid of missing Him because I already know Christ, but I am afraid of searching so intently for what or how I think the Lord is going to act, that I actually miss what He's doing.  It's so easy to find yourself looking in one direction, waiting for the Lord to respond in a certain way and getting frustrated when it doesn't happen.  It's the times when your idea of the 'perfect solution' to a situation actually fails and you wonder if things really ever will work out.

But those are exactly the times when it's best to be ready for the unexpected to surpass our own ideas.  We see it in the parable of the prodigal son.  There he was, thinking that the best possible outcome for him would be to come home and work as a slave for his father (because at least that was better than not having food to eat).  He made up his mind and returned home, lost and broken, and what did his father do?  He threw caution to the wind and ran to meet his son, embracing him, clothing him, giving him his ring (like a personal credit card) and on top of that he threw a party for him!  I'm sure that was not the outcome the son was expecting or looking for.

I want to always remember that picture when waiting on the Lord.  His plans are always better than our own.  His way is always best.  His perspective infinitely more detailed and, when we step back and let Him lead us, we can't go wrong.