Saturday, November 24, 2001

When God is Working Most

“When things appear to be unraveling the worst, God is often working the most.”

Those are the words I heard during prayer this week. As I was walking through some dark days. And as I’ve been watching several people I care about live through some very unraveling times. Times when we’re tempted to think God has turned His head, or stepped out for coffee, or was taking a nap. You’ve been there, haven’t you. Maybe you’re there now.

Those are the times when God is often working the most. The problem is that we can’t see what is going on in the heavenly realm. We can only see the observable, the hearable and the touchable. The unseen is, well, so unseeable. And that is frustrating. No matter how much God is working.

The unraveling times are when God invites us to trust Him most. Trust Him that things won’t unravel completely, that we won’t be left with the end of the yarn of our lives jerked out of our hands and destroyed. Getting us to trust that He is working the most is exactly why God won’t let us know all that He is doing during those unraveling days. Knowing how God is working things out removes trust from the equation. And trust is the primary quality God wants to build into us.

How could Abraham watch God deliver Isaac from the fiery altar? It sure looked like all his plans and dreams were unraveling. But He saw God do “a working the most” miracle. How? By trusting Him.

How could Joseph experience God deliver on his dreams? It sure looked like his life was unraveling when he was sold into slavery, wrongfully accused of accosting his master’s wife, forgotten by a friend, and separated from his family for 17 years. But he watched God do more than he could have imagined in “working the most” as he assumed second in command of the world. How? By trusting Him.

How could Peter walk through doors and past soldiers like a ghost? It sure looked like he had the last inch of yarn of his life in his hand when he was arrested and awaiting death. His fellow apostle had already been killed and he was next. But God was in one of those “working the most” moods and miraculously saved him from certain death. How? By trusting him.

The biggest unraveling of all was when Jesus headed to the cross. The whole world thought it was over, that there was no way Jesus could be their king as they watched Him die on the cross. Not only did it appear that everything had unraveled for Jesus, it looked like it had come apart for everyone else. But God was “working the mostest most” when He resurrected Jesus on Easter. How could it happen? Because Jesus trusted the Father.

Now take another look at those things that are unraveling in your life. Anything come close to being asked to kill your child as a sacrifice, being wrongfully imprisoned for almost 2 decades, being placed on death row by a lunatic dictator, or dying on a cross as God turns His back on you? I didn’t think so. It might FEEL like it, but my guess is it doesn’t come close.

So as you watch things appear to unravel the worst, will you trust God to work the most? Trust Him by obeying what He says completely. Trust Him by allowing Him to work out the future His ways, (and keep your cotton picking hands off of it! Oh, sorry. Got a little carried away, there. Sounded like my mom!) Trust Him by abstaining from telling God what to do. Just put the threads that have unraveled and the cloth that is still intact in His hands by praying, worshipping, listening to His Word, serving others, being faithful and putting one foot in front of the other.

Oh, and don’t forget to keep your eyes open. Because you WILL see God come through. ALWAYS. And better than you could have imagined. If you will trust Him.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV)

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)