The challenge of walking with the God who knows me
Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.
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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
1 Corinthians 1:25
“For the foolishness o f God is wiser than man's wisdom and the
weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.”
Mike had come to repair our double glazing window. He had to tap out some screws from the hinge that had failed. One of them was stuck, and he was really frustrated. As he observed, “There is always one and it is either the first or the last one that you can't get out.”
As I was watching him, I realised that what I should do was pray out loud for God to work and get the screw out. Yet I was unwilling. In the past I have always been able to rationalise that my failure to open my mouth was due to a lack of time and not being able to think on my feet. This time however there was plenty of time as the screw stubbornly stuck there. Then to increase the pressure, Mike commented to his colleague that a few words were called for. He meant swearing, but it would have been an ideal opening with which to volunteer some words of prayer. Still, held by fear I would not speak.
After the event, I was really sheepish. I had been praying for some time for opportunities to speak to people who came through the house. I had been noticing how little contact I had with the world of people who were not following Jesus. In particular I had been praying about this encounter. Now, Jesus had so generously answered my prayers but I had kept my mouth shut.
On reflecting about this event, I realised that the issue was one of a fear of being let down. After some reflection I realised that a mix of emotions that held me. Most of these emotions were tied up with looking like a fool. “What if God does not answer the prayer. What will I look like then? What will God look like then? What will my relationship with God look like then?”
If these are the emotions that have held me for so long, then this folly needs to be embraced lest it squeezes the life out of me. The only way forward was to embrace the possibility “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.” (Phil 4:6-7 NIV) So, I gave thanks to God that he would bring me to a place for his hidden purposes where I would look like a fool. I gave thanks that, in so doing, I was sharing in the sufferings of Christ who also looked a fool when he was taken to the cross. On the cross it looked like he had failed and that God had failed him. He was on show and there were many looking to see if God would come through for him. Some time later I was asked to perform in an event where I was taught some ballet moves by a 14yr old boy. All these emotions of looking the fool came up again, and as I prayed, I understood that I just had to decide that it didn’t matter what people thought. I did the performance, some laughed, but the really important issue was that the emotional hold was largely broken.
The end of that day with the window repair had been a complete failure. I apologised to the Lord for my failure to participate with Him in this, and asked for grace to do better in the future. Thankfully it was not long before Isaac was unable to remove a bolt from the car. I offered to pray, he agreed, and immediately following the prayer he had an inspiration for a new approach the bolt came out.
FEAR - LOOKING A FOOL