From the Pulpit: Is it OK to relax?
My sweet bride loves romantic comedies. In one of those, entitled “While you Were Sleeping,” a plot that is both crazy and lovely unfolds for an unwitting Sandra Bullock.
While one guy is in a coma, a whole life-changing series of events takes place. He doesn’t know a thing about it, and she didn’t mastermind it. Somehow it all comes round right.
Hollywood doesn’t deal in divine providence, so they’d explain it as dumb luck. (People like me, who married way up, and have had so many life pieces “fall into place,” are ever grateful for the Lord’s invisible work.)
We who trust in the Lord do believe in and give honor to divine providence. “The Lord shall provide” has been among our tenets since Abraham on Mt Moriah. We have faith, that even if unbeknownst to us, our good God is at work to bring about rescues and blessings. Our confidence is not in ourselves, in our merit or performance or pure intentions. Nope. Our trust is in the Lord alone. His goodness will so often surprise us. Blessings will come often in spite of us.
I hope you find this truth truly freeing. What wonderful relief it is to know that how things will turn out isn’t all on you! God wants to use us, true. God calls us to join Him as instigators and distributors of blessing, true. We have out part to play, (so don’t be a slacker.) But to say that it’s all up to us is untrue. God is God: He is at work to bestow life, health and salvation, even when we are asleep. So sleep tight; don’t carry the weight of the world on your puny shoulders. That’s the Lord’s job.
Jesus tells a parable in Mark 4 in which the Kingdom of God is underway and will grow “while we are sleeping”, night and day, though we know not how. Here’s how He puts it : “The Kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how.”
I love that. I don’t have to lie awake and worry, don’t need to fret about outcomes, don’t have to live my days sweating it. It’s like the farmer: he does his part, then admires what God has built into the seeds and soil and seasons. He need not yell at the plants to get with it. He need not pull on their heads to make them produce.
God’s got a plan; God’s got the power. Isn’t He just marvelous?! (And it’s not “lucky us”; it’s “blessed us!”)