By Kendall Lowe
Have you ever seen a movie where something incredible happens or is discovered, and within a matter of minutes people are over it or are completely okay with it? The existence of robots, aliens, or talking animals is revealed and all too soon it’s as if this had always been a normal thing. The movies seem to skim over the reality of spending days and weeks coping with the fact that everything is not the way we thought it was. Instead, seconds after meeting intergalactic robots, the humans are high-fiving them, sharing with them their feelings, or helping them save the world. This just doesn’t seem realistic to me.
It’s interesting to me, however, that we see this in the Bible on occasion. When the serpent talks to Eve in the garden, her first words are not, “Aahh! A talking snake!” Instead she begins a deep, theological conversation with the creature. Balaam, when spoken to by his donkey on the road, does not quickly dismount and run away screaming in terror. Instead, he calmly explains to the donkey why he treated him so poorly and how upset it made him. This seems very backwards and unrealistic to me. This would certainly not be my reaction to my dog speaking up and stating, “Kendall, why haven’t you played with me yet today?” However, maybe that says something about the way I view the “unnatural”.
How often are we faced with something today that seems unnatural? And when this happens, how quick are we to say, “That’s God”? Or instead, do we say things like, “That’s just a coincidence” or “that’s just unexplainable”? I find that I am more hesitant to attribute abnormal events to God for various reasons. When someone is miraculously healed from a terminal disease, I am quick to say, “Well it just happens sometimes. The doctors can’t explain why.” When someone is presented with just what they need at just the right time, I am quick to say, “That’s probably just a coincidence.” When someone says they heard God speaking to them, I find it more comfortable to say, “That’s just hard to explain.” Why do I do this? Perhaps it’s because these things don’t happen to everyone all the time. Perhaps it’s because these things don’t happen where and when and to whom I always want them. But the fact is, I often find myself acting as the realistic person in the movie who cannot come to terms with or understand what is going on. Maybe you are too.
I don’t have the answers to these questions: what is by God and what is not? However, I do know that we are living in a world that is in desperate need of faith. The world needs Christians who see these things happen and say, “Well, that’s God for you.” My desire is to be a person who is not afraid or hesitant to give God glory for anything he might be doing in this world. Because the world needs to know that God is at work, and whether or not I always think He is, I always know He can.
“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Is the LORD’s arm too short?’” Numbers 11:23
“Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.” Isaiah 59:1