It was exciting! I was on my third trip to TBN to be on the internationally televised program, Praise the Lord. The first two times had gone well and had helped promote my first book, Epic Grace: Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot. This time the topic was the challenges of marriage and my recently released marriage book, Mr. & Mrs.: How to Thrive in a Perfectly Imperfect Marriage.
Hmmm . . . let me see, an all-expenses paid trip to Southern California to talk about one of my favorite topics and to plug a book I wrote. Sounds good to me.
But things were about to change.
I’d literally just gotten off the plane when I received a call from the show’s producer. She said the host was sick and all the backup hosts were unavailable. (Yes, I did offer to host the program. She didn’t bite.)
Frankly, my first thought was not a good one. In fact, I said to myself, Pentecostals don’t get sick! Of course, I also thought about turning around and getting right on a flight home. However, the cost of changing my ticket made that option flawed.
When I got to my hotel room, I dumped my bags on the floor and then dumped on God.
“God, why didn’t You tell me this was going to happen when I prayed about going?”
“Jesus, this doesn’t make any sense. I thought you cared about marriage and my book!”
“For heaven’s sake, I have too much to do and can’t afford to waste time.”
I wasn’t happy. It wasn’t pretty. I had a wee bit of a temper tantrum.
Then, somewhere in the more spiritually mature part of my heart, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “So, things didn’t go the way you had planned or the way you had wanted. Will you trust me even when there seems to be no rhyme or reason? Besides, why is this all about you?”
Okay. The last part stung, but God was right (go figure). I had made this all about me and my sacrifice and my inconvenience and my loss.
Then I started to think about my friend Paul and all he has suffered for years with no apparent reason for his long struggle. I remembered my friend Sally, who has cancer for the second time. And I thought of my mom, who lost the love of her life a couple of years ago.
At that moment, I ended up in a pool of drool crying. So many others have lost so much more than a few days of travel and not being on TV for twenty minutes.
Why is it we struggle so much with why?
What is it about our human nature that actually thinks (silly us) that we have a right to know everything about everything?
How crazy is it that we think our lives should always make sense to us?
Why do we demand an explanation from God as if He owes us a reason for the unreasonable?
Too frequently, I insist on seeing a cause and can’t rest until something good happens so that I can say, “Oh, that’s why this happened. Now I get it.”
Perhaps, we should choose to trust God regardless of our inability to wrap our heads around the events of our life and even when we don’t get it.
Maybe, God is more concerned with the development of our character than He is with our comfort? Could it be that the way we deal with disappointment is more important than not being disappointed?
What if there’s something bigger going on that may have nothing to do with us directly, but it’s God working behind the scenes to accomplish His will in others?
I repented (again) of being such an idiot. I confessed my sin of trying to be God instead of letting God be God. I decided to change my attitude even though I couldn’t change my circumstances.
And then it came . . . peace . . . sigh . . . that’s better.
Seemingly nothing had changed. But, in fact, everything had changed because I changed, and maybe that’s the point.
Then I decided to go to dinner at In-Out-Burger. All was not lost!
“Trust in the Father, with all your heart,
even when (especially when)
you can’t figure it all out.”
Proverbs 3:5 (BPV)
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