Content & Images © 2008-2014 - Rachel Miller, Ink Road Originals LLC, All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 9, 2012

In Case of Emergency (and Even When It's Not)

In public buildings in the US (I don't know about other countries), there is always a fire extinguisher, encased in glass, on every floor, marked "In Case of Emergency, Break Glass." The obvious understanding is that you don't break the glass for any emergency--only for fires.

While it's an imperfect comparison, I can say I've observed people treating God like that fire extinguisher: He just sits there behind the glass, only to be used in an extreme situation, and only in a situation when we think He can help us.  The problem with this image is that it's unrealistic, and will lead to trouble.

God isn't only there to help when we can't solve the problem; He's always there, always available, and always able to help.  We are taught to be resourceful and self-reliant, and that is fine as far as our interactions with other people go.  We are taking it too far, however, if we think that we only need God "in case of emergency."  We need Him, always.

I am reminded of a "non-emergency" prayer I prayed in college one weekend. I had so much homework that I had opted to say in the dorm rather than going home to enjoy the comfort of familiar surroundings and Mom's cooking.  I felt weary at heart and not just in my body, and as I sat poring over some research papers before dinner, I wished for the one meal the school cafeteria did especially well--breakfast food for dinner.  It was comfort food, and that's what I felt I needed at that moment.

I decided that it wouldn't hurt a thing to just ask God for it.  He claims in His word, "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry," (Psalm 34: 15 NIV).  The Bible never says, "God only listens when He thinks it's worth His time."  Keeping in mind that the worst He could say was "no," I prayed for biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and bacon, and maybe some hashbrowns and pancakes.

Guess what the cafeteria workers had whipped up by the time I made it to the cafeteria two hours later?

If you guessed a full range of breakfast products, you got it right.  They didn't taste like something out of a box, either!

As I munched on my third helping of biscuits and gravy with my friends, I attributed this miracle to God.  Unfortunately, only a few accepted this explanation.  Most of them chocked it up to coincidence and dismissed it.  I could have agreed with them, but I have chosen not to.  I believe that "Every good and perfect gift is from above," (James 1: 17a NIV), so there are reasons to thank God and spiritual lessons to be gleaned, even in a good plate of eggs and bacon.  I also believe that frequently "coincidence" is the hand of God dismissed, since nothing happens outside of His awareness or without His permission (Psalm 33: 13-15).

So, returning to the fire extinguisher metaphor, I'm asking you to change your thinking if you are still thinking of God as a fire extinguisher.  Call on Him, even for "silly" needs that you think you can handle without Him.  He wants to show you how closely He is listening, and how easy it is to depend on Him for everything.  Be prepared to be amazed.

P.S. I will be out of town for the Monday post, so I will see you back here next Friday.  Meanwhile, I welcome you to peruse the archives here at SavvySheep.  I hope you will find something good there that will bless you!  Thanks for reading.