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Two and two make...

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice? Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes. (Romans 11:33)

To be painfully truthful here, there have been times when I have imagined God needed my advice on how to fix a particular matter in my life or that of another. How foolish of me to think God needed my 'input' on the matter in order to find the solution. There have been plenty of times when he just needed me to finally hear what he was saying to me - allowing me to 'catch up' with what he was doing in my life - but there hasn't even been one time when he looked to me to advise HIM on how HE should be working! Even when I assumed he needed my input, he has been extravagant in his love to me, showing me grace and helping me to see the futility of my advice. It wasn't that it wasn't reasonable advice, but it wasn't what was necessary for God to do whatever it was he was up to within my life. I wonder how many times I shut down God's input because I am too busy offering my own? If you are prone to the same 'malady' of soul as I am then you know exactly how hard it can be to just be quiet and listen as God speaks. 

Everything within our lives comes from him. Everything - that seems hard to believe as so many of us like to think of ourselves as 'self-made' men or women. That is exactly the problem! We have been trying to make something work in our lives that only 'works' when God is at the center of it. There isn't any other 'solution' to our 'malady of soul'. I just want to go on record as saying anything 'self-made' falls far short of what is 'God-created' in us. We might clean up our act a little, gaining a little ground, but in the end we are left with something far short of what he would have done if given the chance. The wisdom of God to truly 'know' us inside and out, then to know exactly what needs to be removed, replaced, and renewed is amazingly above our own contemplation or self-help plans. We might think we understand our pain, but do we truly? We might believe we know what triggers our failures, but do we know how to release those triggers so they no longer have that power within us? If we are all truthful here we'd have to admit we have tried to figure it out, but we don't really know the 'exact' answer.

My grandson has this little 'tell' when he is about to get ill. He begins to complain that his throat feel a little 'limey' and that his stomach is upset. It took some time for my daughter to realize this signaled something pretty significant. You might think the stomach flu, but it almost always points to one or both ears being infected. If she had counted on earthly wisdom to figure that out on her own, she would be thinking the kiddo had stomach flu every time. When she was able to finally connect two and two, she began to realize the symptoms meant far more than an upset stomach. They signaled a significant illness that required medical intervention. There are times we count on our earthly wisdom way too much and then miss the importance of taking the 'right steps' the situation requires. God's knows the exact reason we are experiencing whatever it is within our lives and he desires nothing more than to be asked to reveal it. What we need to do is lay down our earthly wisdom and pride long enough to listen. When we let go of what we 'think' is the reason, listening to the words of the one who 'knows' the real reason for the present challenge, we might just learn a little about how two and two add up in our lives. Just sayin!

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