Would God go so far as to hide a dress to help one of His children? Perhaps I should ask it this way, would God do something as simple as hiding a dress to help one of His children? Because, really, after creating the universe and raising the dead, hiding a dress really is small potatoes.
Yet, doesn’t the question seem a little bit loaded? Of course He can, one might answer, but that’s not what I asked. I didn’t ask if He could. I asked if He would. Big difference. This week’s lesson in the Believing God on-line Bible study covers point 2 of our five statement pledge of faith: God can do what He says He can do. I promise, you’ll see how the dress fits into it all before the end of this post.
As well as doing this Bible study, Believing God with Beth Moore, I am reading the book The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus. The subtitle is Unleash the Untamed Faith Within. It actually goes along nicely with the Bible study. Hmmm…I wonder if Erwin ever met Beth.
This is how Amazon sums the book up:
Barbaric Christians see Jesus differently than civilized Christians. They see disciples differently, and they see Christ’s mission differently. The Barbarian Way is a call to escape “civilized” Christianity and become original, powerful, untamed Christians-just as Christ intended.
I think for many people, Christianity equals a guaranteed happily ever after. And it’s true that there is a happily ever after once we get to Heaven, the problem comes when we expect (or maybe even demand?) the happily ever after here on earth and don’t seem to get it.
My problem has not so much been believing God can do what He says He can do, but believing that He will do it. Or perhaps, more honestly, fearing that He won’t do it. I have been short sighted, not doubting that He can work miracles, but only looking for the miracle that I think is needed.
Yes, I believe God can do what He says He can do. He heals the sick, He restores marriages, He saves souls, He mends broken hearts, and oh, so much more. My disconnect has been what to believe when He says No. No to the outcome we’ve been praying for in the suffering of a family member. No to the job offer when the severence pay is about to run out. No acceptance letter to the college close to home. No to solving our crisis at home right now. And while I’ve never been one to get angry at God, the “no’s” have caused me a lot of confusion and fear over my lack of answers.
Both Erwin in The Barbarian Way and Beth in Believing God made reference to the plight of John the Baptist. As you may know, John was Jesus’ cousin who was born six months before Him. John was not your typical guy next door. He lived in the wilderness, dressed in animal skins, ate bugs, and preached the coming of the Messiah. John witnessed the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus like a dove with the voice of God proclaiming, “This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased” after he had the privilege of baptising Jesus, the Messiah.
John the Baptist boldly proclaimed Jesus to be the Lamb of God and he correctly believed that to be true. Yet, when John was in prison he sent one of his disciples to ask Jesus if He really was the One they were expecting or should they look for someone else to be the Messiah.
What caused this doubt and fear? Jesus wasn’t responding to John’s situation the way he expected the Savior to. He expected to be, well, saved after all.
But that was not God’s plan for John. John’s work here on earth was finished and he soon would be given a front row seat in Heaven to see the rest of redemption’s story fulfilled. Yet, before his death, Jesus’ message to John was, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away because of Me”. Jesus encouraged John and He encourages us to not lose faith when He doesn’t work things out the way we think they should work out.
As Beth says in this week’s lesson, sometimes prayers are answered with a “no” so God can grant a greater “yes”.
So where does the dress come into play you may be wondering? While it seems I have been focusing on God notgranting a miracle when we need one, the missing dress is one small miracle God allowed me to be part of this week. And it happend right after I watched this week’s lesson on miracles. I was home alone at the time.
After the lesson, I wanted to get my clothes ready for work the next day. There was a certain dress I wanted to wear. My daughter had tried it on but it didn’t fit (well, duh, she’s a size 2 and I am not, what was she thinking?) and told me she had left it in her closet. So off I went to dear daughter’s closet to retrieve my large, but cute, dress. Only, there was no such dress in her closet, or my closet, or hubby’s closet, or college son’s closet (thank goodness) or anywhere in my house. As I searched for the dress, I found something very important. I believe it will be a big help in the crisis my family is going through. I would not have come across this if I were not looking for my dress and I believe God caused the dress to be lost for this reason. And no, I still have not found the dress.
From this week’s lesson, I have learned that while God is still in the business of performing miracles, and often does, the most common ones seem to be the work He does inside our hearts. But I also believe that He delights in us asking Him for ANYTHING in faith. Ask Him for a miracle, open your eyes and be careful you don’t miss it. You may be looking for one thing, but He may hide a dress so you can find something else.