A PRO-ACTIVE GOD
Look on my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law. Psalm 119:153
Knowing that God looks on my affliction and asking him to deliver me are two different things. Just because the first happens doesn’t mean I will automatically cry out for deliverance. If I am not used to asking for help, I will settle for a God who sees my pain but who is kept at a respectful distance. Needing Him is too frightening.
Many years ago, I had a dream that God appeared to me in the night. I was blinded by a bright light, the room felt the warmth of His presence, and the atmosphere was electric. At the time I dreamt this, I was deeply discouraged about something personal and had given up hope that the situation was ever going to change. God’s appearance in the dream was comforting yet I found myself indifferent about crying out for His help. I kept thinking to myself, “I should be feeling more than this.” I woke up so disappointed that even though it had been a dream, I had allowed a missed opportunity to play out.
If my experience with people growing up is that adults look upon others in pain but keep their distance, then I will grow up to believe that God is also passive. I will see Him as one who looks upon my affliction and hopes for the best. I must allow the truth of scripture to re-write my beliefs. God is a God of intervention, not passivity. Isaiah 42:13 tells the story. “The LORD will go forth like a warrior, he will arouse his zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, he will raise a war cry.”
Nothing smashed my notion of passivity more than the incarnation of Jesus and Calvary. My desperate spiritual condition was enmity with God without hope of salvation. Only a perfect Lamb could save me. Jesus gave His life so that I could be saved from eternal condemnation. And he did all this before I even cried out for help. The sacrifice was made. He stood with eternal life in His hands and He waited for me to recognize my need and cry out for salvation.
To choose to need God when I know that His timetable of deliverance is on a different clock than mine, is frightening. Yet, His interventions are perfectly timed, for my good. Without the faith to believe that God is pro-active on my behalf, I will mute my cries for help. Faith comes by the Word so I plant my heart in the truth of His character and the nature of His love and I stretch out my arms till they ache.
I see You. Hands full of grace. Eyes full of compassion. Heaven’s storehouse with everything I need. Amen