A Faithful God, a Doubting Heart, & a Good Journey

February 16, 2012

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Today I am privileged to have Tom Phillips guest posting on NoSuperHeroes.com. Tom lives in Lake Lure, NC where he directs The Emmaus School of Biblical Studies (ESBS).  The ESBS is a residential discipleship school taking students through the content of the entire Bible in nine months.  The ESBS was founded in partnership with Youth With a Mission’s School of Biblical Studies (SBS) International.

Our web address:www.esbsonline.org

It’s crazy how quickly I tend to blame God for the slightest bit of hardship that arises. In the blaming I gloss over and forget all the other times in the past God has answered. Those answers range from bailing me out, coming though in the clutch, blessing or providing for me. I used to think it was all the late nights up with my kids that caused my forgetfulness. In reading Exodus, it became clear to me that our selective amnesia towards the saving acts of God, is a plague affecting us all.

It seems absolutely absurd that Israel, three days removed from the most amazing act of deliverance the world has ever seen, would begin to complain and doubt God.  Three days removed from walking through the Red Sea on dry ground, the Israelites are acting as if they’ve been hopelessly abandoned in the wilderness to die of thirst (Exodus 15:22-25).

Three hot days, three thirsty days, and its as if all the miracles never happened.

The plagues.
The passover deliverance.
The Red Sea crossing.
The total destruction of one of the most powerful nations on earth.

Like it never happened.

Wow.

It is easy to judge Israel and how they acted. Yet following our own miracles, all the “what if” scenarios play out in our minds.

What if the year-end bonus doesn’t come?
What if my health deteriorates?
What if I lose my job?
What if the roof leaks again?

What if…what if…what if? Until we’re blue in the face, and totally forgetful of the fact that none of the scary “what if” scenarios have ever taken us completely out of the game. Not once has any of them materialized in a way that God could not bring us through it and out the other side.

I don’t want to be like this anymore. I want to trust like a little kid (Matt 18:3). I want to see the kingdom, believe it, live it, love it, and trust it like my three-year old daughter does.  She’s has no “what if” scenarios, no contingency plans beyond her childlike trust.  I love that.  The thought of living with abandon as she does both draws me to God, and completely freaks me out at the same time.  But this is what the journey of following Jesus is like: you’ve got to try and see it as a little child would, or you don’t see it at all.

I don’t want to be the type of person who hurries through the Red Sea, afraid the walls of water are going to crash back down before making it through.  Since I am already on this journey, I’d rather enjoy the ride, take a second to pick up a shell or two from the ocean floor as a souvenir, and never forget that it was God’s hands who parted the waters of my darkest past.

He did it once, and he will do it again.

Do you struggle with amnesia concerning God’s acts towards us? What strategies do you use to reflect on the provision of God?

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God