Imagine that I tell you that you are going to be a part of the biggest event in world history. Naturally your first question is, “What is it?” Now imagine that, in response, I hand you a single piece of a puzzle (say a 1000 piece puzzle). The only thing you see is a picture of yourself. It looks like you are looking at something and the background looks like a an outdoor scene, maybe an outdoor pavilion at night, but that is all you make out. I tell you that you are very important piece of this puzzle and you need to show up at a certain place at a certain time to take you place as a part of the biggest event in World History- then…..I leave. Naturally you have questions and you are extremely hesitant to even show up, not knowing what to expect. So, you go…………..
Isn’t that kind of like God sometimes? Sometimes, your life seems like one big cliffhanger. We think that we have a good idea of where God is taking us only to have God tell us to turn. This is something that I like to do with my youth. We periodically have an event called destination unknown. This is where we hop into the van and we go and they have no idea where we are going. Every time I make a turn, they begin guessing where we are going, only for me to take a turn that completely discredits their guess. God often does not do things the way WE think they should be done. Have you ever noticed that God sometimes takes the long way around a problem in your life, or that God take s His time answering a prayer or even seems to take a detour when you need Him? Have you been that person that said, “God, if you had done it this way, it would have been easier.” I used to find myself doing this a lot. It wasn’t until the last few years that it occurred to me that solving my problems wasn’t the only thing on God’s agenda.
God takes His time and He takes certain detours when He deals with our issues, our prayers, and our lives. I have found that there are two major reasons He does this. First, God takes detours because there is more than just me involved and there is more at stake than just my problem. You see, we may be the minor problem in the grand scheme of things that God is dealing with. For example, a family dealing with one of its members that abuses drugs. The prayer is for God to intervene in that family member’s life and get them to stop using drugs. I mean that’s what we are after and we get frustrated with God when He doesn’t make them stop immediately. In fact, what happens is that God decides to use you, get you back into church, which in turn brings your family back in to church where you all are discipled. That discipleship then causes you to attend a bible study that deals with the very issue of drug abuse and you invite your family member to a meeting where they are cared for, prayed for, and at long last walk away from the life they were leading. WHEW!!!!!!! You see, God could have just made them quit, but that one family member was only part of the problem. The bigger problem was an unchurched family that God wanted to pull back in. What’s even more amazing is that was only part of the process that went on. You see before God even brought you in the picture, a friend felt the pull of God to invite you to church and that same friend put you on the prayer list. Now, everyone at the church is praying for you, BEFORE YOU EVEN STEP FOOT IN THE CHURCH!!!! But, wait…there is more. Your drug using family member not only gives their life to Christ, they wind up becoming active in their church and then surrenders to being a missionary or some type of ministry where their story will impact countless lives from their on out. Pretty cool once you think about it, huh? That leads to the second reason God would go to all the trouble to do this….God will accomplish His will in a way that leave people saying “Only God could have done that.” That is the way we should live. Live and love big and be sure that in all you do and accomplish, the praise, honor, and glory go to God. God is going to save the world with or without us; but there will be no doubt that when He does, it was because of divine intervention and not by anything man did on his own. Its a lot like bringing a baby in to the world to save it. Its a lot like having him grow up and minister to countless droves over 33 years, just to have Him suffer and die for something He didn’t even do. Jesus could have walked off of that cross, but He had to stay on the cross for a bigger reason, the bigger picture. God could have done it the easy way, but He simply loved us too much. To forgive us for our sins, Jesus had to die, but to give us the victory over death and give us hope of salvation, He had to rise!!!!
We may want quicker responses to our problems and we may want God to take a more direct approach when answering us, but we must realize that we are only a single piece of a much larger puzzle. In the grand scheme of God’s master blueprint, we are a single entry into the overall masterpiece that God has designed. Often, we have trouble seeing how we fit and many times where we are placed does not seem logical, but we re reminded in 1 Corinthians:
“Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit,interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
It isn’t til everyone around you is put in place that you realize that you make the scene complete and without you, the picture is incomplete. Remember that imaginary puzzle piece I gave you at the beginning? You being a part of the biggest even in world history? That is how I imagined the people the nights leading up to Christ’s birth. From Mary, to Joseph, to the Shepherds, even King Herod himself. Like them, you will find that you are the only person who fits in to your spot in God’s grand plan for our lives.
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach