October 28, 2009
I love the scene in the movie “Evan Almighty” when Evan’s wife, Joan, and kids are sitting in a restaurant distraught and disoriented after leaving Evan because they believe he is certifiably crazy. The kids go to the bathroom and “God” (looking an awful lot like Morgan Freeman) shows up asking Joan what is wrong. God shocks her by observing that her crisis looks like an opportunity to him. As Joan sits stunned, he continues to ask how she thinks God answers prayer.
"If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does He give them the opportunity to be patient? If they pray for courage, does God give them courage or does He give them the opportunity to be courageous? If someone prayed for their family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings? Or does He give them opportunities to love each other?"
— Morgan Freeman in Evan Almighty
I’ve noticed that is EXACTLY what God does.
PROCESS. Disorientation to Reorientation. From where we are to where God wants us to be. Painful and thrilling. Frustrating and fulfilling.
When God wants to do something in our lives He takes us through a process rather than zap us. He starts with circumstances that are opposite of what we want, seemingly ignoring or abandoning us. Though we feel that way, it is NOT TRUE! In those moments God is closer than we can imagine, rooting us on to exercise our spiritual muscles to seize the opportunity to experience what we really want. Those feelings are intended to disorient us so that we are open to His reorientation.
Joan Baxter, Evan’s wife, was floored by this truth. Then she pulled herself together and went back to seize the opportunity God presented to experience what she prayed for. (Okay, it is a movie but is exactly what God does!). God is doing the same thing in YOUR LIFE. What will you do?
What are you praying for? What are the opportunities to experience it that God is offering that look like crises? I challenge you to get up and seize the opportunity TODAY!
(To listen to Herb via the internet go to http://www.newsongpittsburgh.org/sermons.htm )