It starts with small things, or “disposable” items as we call them now. Some of these are good things, like disposable diapers (hallelujah…thank You Jesus!), while others are just wasteful. For example, on a recent remodeling project at home, my first instinct was to rip out all the moldings and buy new…but why? Because I didn’t want to do the work to fill all the old holes and trim off old caulk. It would have been easier to just replace it (I reused all that I could, just so ya know). But here’s the thing: ease doesn’t always mean “best.” Can I get an amen?
These are small things, but I’m coming to realize this idea , to use a phrase from the politics of my childhood, “trickles down” into other areas of our lives. Unfortunately, it creeps into our relationships with others. I read an article this morning about “leases” in marriage. Huh? Yeah…instead of a lifetime covenant between two people, you sign an agreement to stay married for a time, with an opt out clause at the end. I’m serious. You can read it here if you’d like (be warned, it’s not an easy read).
We are a consumer culture that figures, hey, if I don’t like it, I can exchange it. But again, is that the best?
I think the root of it is impatience. We want what we want, and we want it now. Easy credit gets us what we want, materialistically speaking. Why shouldn’t it be the same in the rest of life? Not happy, then leave. Not getting what I want, then quit. We want our lives to be as conveniently wrapped up and packaged as the food we order in the drive-thru. Drive up, place your order, get it your way, and go on.
But life is just not that neat, is it?
Sometimes, it requires that we dig in. Sometimes, life requires that we make hard choices. Sometimes, life requires that we wait, and that we watch.
I was reading in 2 Chronicles this week, and came upon the story of Jehoshaphat. He was a successful king, one of those rare “good kings” in Scripture. After a time of relative peace and plenty, the enemies of Judah were literally lining up to invade.
It didn’t look good. Jeho knew he couldn’t defeat the army assembling to attack. He knew that there was no where to run. So, not knowing what to do, he did the best thing we could all do in these situations: he prayed. And this was the answer he got:
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.” (2 Chron 20:17)
Stand still and see. Do you think that was easy for him to do? Probably not. He probably thought he was going to get his tail handed to him by Moab. But God’s Word was clear: stand still and see.
How many times do we miss what God intends for us because we just won’t stand still and see? We try to kick open doors that are firmly shut. We try to make a way where there is no way. We jump to conclusions about people, or jobs, or whatever, before the truth is known, or before the “battle” is really done.
Maybe God just wants us to hush, stand still, and see. Maybe, just maybe, if we trust Him (like we say we do) He will do marvelous things, the things that the Bible we read clearly says He’s going to do.
Maybe we just need to take Him at His Word and stand still and see.
Cause you know what? As Yogi Berra said: It ain’t over ’til it’s over. And folks, until God says it’s over, let me tell you, it ain’t over.