The Magic 8 Ball

If only our toughest decisions could be trusted to a Magic 8 Ball.

Do you remember those?  You’d ask it a question, shake it up, and then see if it answered “without a doubt,” “ask again later,” or “my sources say no.”  A lot of us want to use God in the exact same way–but we want to limit God to a simple “yes” or “no” response.  It doesn’t take long, however, to realize that God won’t be used like that.

The more we think about it, the more we understand that we didn’t mean to treat God so trivially, but we so desperately want to know what God wants for and from us that we get impatient and expect God to always make things quick and easy.

The trouble is that once we understand that God’s will is sometimes hard for us to discern, we seem to stop asking him for help.  That, however, is the exact wrong response.  I’m at a point in my life where huge decisions will have to be made in upcoming weeks and months.  These are the kinds of decisions that impact the direction of my family and my ministry, and I admit that I pray that God will make decisions clear–even easy–for me.  The hard part is remaining patient and not running ahead of God.

I’ve found in the past that God usually does open doors that need to be opened and close the doors that need to be closed.  Our job is to patiently watch and pray.  Then, assuming we have an idea of what God’s purpose is for our lives, we can be confident that God will help us recognize the right path to take.  But we have to wait for God’s timing.  If we decide to rush ahead and do our own thing, God will let us, but we’re likely to fail.  If, on the other hand, we decide to let God lead us, then we can be sure that God will light our way and make our paths straight.  That’s his promise to us.

And we don’t need a Magic 8 Ball to convince us that God will always keep his promises.

Please keep me in your prayers.  I’m sure there are exciting days ahead for my family, and we’re just waiting for God to make things clear.


About PatrickBarber

Preaching Minister East Point Church of Christ Wichita, Kansas
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