“Where shall we prepare the Passover meal for everyone?”
It was a simple question. So why did it need a detailed, seven-part answer?
I read it again. And again. What am I missing here?
Obvious observations and applications immediately stand out to me:
- The disciples didn’t know what to do. Jesus told them.
- They were sensitive to Jesus’ wishes. Am I sensitive to what Jesus wants?
- They were obedient and did what He asked. Am I obedient?
- They didn’t question why such a small thing needed such specific directions. They trusted him. Do I?
Certainly, there’s enough here for me to chew on. So why do I feel disconnected from it?
I’m missing something. Going back again, I read more slowly. This time I pay more attention to my feelings. What are they?
Puzzlement. That’s what keeps coming up. Why did Jesus give them such specific instructions?
It’s not the only time he did that. In fact, he gives details all through Scripture. The Ark, the Tabernacle, the Proverbs, the teaching on the side of the mountain…all have that same attention to detail. Taken together, those directives describe a certain kind of God. They show a God with a plan.
It seemed kind of anticlimactic when it crossed my mind. But the more I pondered it, the more important it became.
- When do I stop listening and start taking things into my own hands?
- When do I get anxious?
- When does soul weariness drain the life out of me?
- When do other people’s bad choices get on my last nerve?
- When does injustice overturn my desire to do good?
- When do I become entitled because of hardships I have endured?
These “fleshly” movements exist in an undercurrent of Adam’s whine, “We were afraid, so we hid.” He might as well come right out and said, “We thought you were holding out on us, so we did what you told us not to. Then we were sure you’d be mad at us, so we hid, even though you’ve never treated us with anything less than respect and love.”
But God has a plan.
The first rule of spiritual formation makes more sense now – God has always been working…is still working…and will continue to work…no matter what. He knows where I’m headed, he knows how he’ll get me there…just as surely as the disciples found the room and prepared the Passover meal. The question is, do I believe it?
“Of course!” is my first response. “Wait a minute. I need to think about that,” is my second.
Despite lack of sight, confusion over methods and pathways that sometimes just don’t make sense, will I let the invitation to believe expand in me? When I would be too responsible or too vigilant trying to control outcomes, will I live in the rest he offers by allowing faith to rise and rise again expressed in a listening, attentive heart?
Can you imagine what kind of God the world would see if we said “yes”?
What feelings do you have about God’s plan in your life? What causes your faith to falter? What does the God you see look like right now?