30 March 2010

Fishes or Snakes

Taken from one of my favorite blogs to stalk: resolved2worship.xanga.com (some emphasis/editing added)

"What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a snake; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:11-13)

I thought how ironic. I had to ask myself, "Why is it that when I ask God for a "fish" it seems like there are times that I get a snake!"

I mean, there have been times, even this past week where I prayed, I asked for a certain something, a "fish." And it really seemed like God answered with a "snake."

Then something hit me. The answer that I thought was a snake, REALLY was a fish. Yes, it really was - is - always is.

And I think just because God didn't answer the way I thought, or because He allowed something I thought shouldn't have happened happen, that I was getting a snake! And HOW could God do that to me! ? !

Thing is I've got pretty foggy eyes. It really is a fish, even if it looks like a snake to me and feels like a snake to me. Thing is, I don't have the mind of God. Generally, I have the mind of self. My flesh thinks God's answer should look like and feel like what I think it should look like and feel like. It should always feel good, right? And it should always look good, right? Because that's what's good for me, right?

(in the background of my mind I am suddenly hearing that old country song, "I Thank God For Unanswered Prayers.")

For the first time I think ever, these verses are hitting me differently - my heavenly Father truly does give a "fish" when I ask Him - He gives what is good. ALWAYS. Does it look and feel good to me? No. But it is good. And like any father who gives good gifts to his children, it's out of love.

But what if it doesn't feel like love?

I'll tell you why it doesn't feel like love - it's because I've got nose-on-the-dot-on-the-chalk-board-syndrome...You don't see the row of dots 'cause your nose is stuck in that one dot in the line of dots on the chalk board.

I've lost all eternal perspective.

So what may look like a snake to me, is actually just my perspective based on living for myself. If I could see how God sees things - with an eternal perspective - how different I would see what comes my way in life. How different I would see His gifts. . .

How completely I would understand His love for me, His vision for me. How much more freely I would live in His grace. How peaceful my heart would remain no matter what came my way.


My Reflections:

1. I DON'T HAVE THE MIND OF GOD! (Isaiah 55:10-11) and Praise the Lord that I don't, because so many would be missing out on God's best for them! Everything would be a mess. I would be a basketcase if I always got what I wanted, when I wanted it...I am far too easily pleased, as it is!

2. I have the mind of self! (Phil. 2:1-8 [v 2, 3, and 5: "...fulfill my joy by being like-mided, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself...Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,"]) This is one of those things that will not be perfectly achieved in this lifetime (like be holy, as I am holy!) but that I am to be constantly striving for. Having Christ's mind to exalt the Father in ALL things and loving others more than myself - aren't theses the greatest commandments?!

3. My perspective, based on living for myself, is going to be skewed 100% of the time! Having an eternal perspective, "the mind of Christ," changes everything. Then, we can say like Paul, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Phil. 1:21. Only when we live for Christ is dying gain. In all things we are to be looking to our future goal - becoming like Chrsit, being with Christ, the glory of the Father! EveryTHING and everyone else are all just extra blessings from God. He is so good and so faithful! Each trial, each new joy, that flat tire, the promotion at work, no internet, free ice cream - all fish!! Psalms 118:23 "This was the LORD’s doing;It is marvelous in our eyes."

This is not in response to some trial or specific, present instance in my life. I just read her blog, and wanted to share. But, how encouraging to reflect on the Lord's perfect provision for us! And, how convicting to examine our perspectives and see if they align with eternity! God is good!

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