Archive for the ‘God’s Power’ Category

No Regrets

Posted: May 29, 2012 by clairer in God's Power, Purpose, Trusting God

I’m not a huge fan of the Field of Dreams. In my opinion, it’s a bit slow and rather nonsensical. Other than being a baseball movie, really, the only thing I like about the movie is the scene below. In this scene, Doc – once a young man with one major league at-bat, and now an old man past his prime – gets to go back and relive his baseball dream, until…

I suppose that in some ways, this is a tragic clip – Doc had to give up his own dream in order to save a young girl’s life. But I think there’s more to this scene than simply sacrificial undertones. I think it raises an important question about regrets and “if only’s” in our lives.

One of the most frequently quoted verses in the New Testament is probably Romans 8:28, “…and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This verse has become so routine that I think the concept can sometimes become stale. Take a minute to ponder this truth: for Christians, God works everything – our mistakes, our failings, our hurt, our confusion – for our good. Mistakes that we make are no longer mistakes – they are avenues to God’s greater purposes for our lives.

In this scene from Field of Dreams, Doc had the opportunity to go back and relive the dream he had left behind 60 years previously – playing baseball in the major leagues. But although Doc may have lived with regrets that he was never able to realize his dream, his decision to become a doctor instead led him (providentially) to a small village and a thriving medical practice that impacted the lives of hundreds of people around him for decades. In this clip, he essentially let’s go of the past, and embraces where his life has taken him.

I think this idea can really be seen in C.S. Lewis’s Prince Caspian. Lucy, a girl who goes to the fanciful world of Narnia, does not follow Aslan (Narnia’s parallel of God) when he originally calls. Instead, she follows her siblings into a disastrous alternate route. When Lucy sees Aslan later, she immediately regrets her mistake and wishes she could know what would have happened if she had followed Aslan.  She pleads:

“Please, Aslan! Am I not to know?” said Lucy rather faintly.
“To know what would have happened, child?” said Aslan. “No, nobody is ever told that. But anyone can find out what will happen.”

I think Aslan’s last line is very telling. In God’s kingdom, there is no room for looking back, for wondering what would have happened. As Corrie ten Boom once said, “There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s kingdom.” But all these past things are used by God to lead and guide us to be who we are today, and to be who we are called to be in the future – to shape what will happen.

I definitely find this comforting in my own life when I look back and wonder – did I get this right? Did I choose the right internship? Did I take the right course? Did I say the right thing? Did I spend my time wisely on that day? Maybe I made wise choices, maybe I made foolish choices and I will reap the benefits and consequences of those decisions. However, nothing that I do can surprise God or mess up His greater plan and purpose for my life. And ultimately, despite the consequences of mistakes, He’ll work all things together for my good. There are no “if only’s” when you have a sovereign and loving God.

His Strength in Our Weakness

Posted: April 2, 2009 by clairer in God's Power, Trusting God

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9a

I don’t know about you, but as spring comes and I have just made it through seven months of school, I definitely don’t have the strength, energy, and drive I had at the beginning of the year.  As I look at the calendar and see that only a month remains between now and my AP tests, I suddenly feel very weak and inadequate.  I’ve had my own sort of “March Madness” and I definitely don’t feel ready to take on April’s showers.  But there’s something I’ve been noticing in my quiet times lately: simply, I’m not alone.

As I read through my Bible, I keep coming across those well-known Biblical heroes: Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Hannah, Saul, and David… These “Bible heroes” have always seemed so strong — I mean, David killed Goliath, Saul conqered thousands, Hannah had faith in God to give her a son (Samuel), Gideon conquered the Mideonites with only 300 men, Moses brought the Israelites out of slavery, and Joseph saved an entire country from famine!  But I have something in common with all of them: I’m weak just like they were.

It’s something that never particularly stood out to me before — the people God used to accomplish the most for him were the weakest.  Think about it for a second.  Think about these “Biblical heroes.”  They were weak!  Joseph (the second to youngest son of Jacob — also a younger son) was a slave!  But that didn’t stop God from using him to save Egypt and Israel.  Moses said of himself, “I am slow of speech and tongue,” and begged God to “send someone else to do it,” (Exodus 4:10,13) but God still used him to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.  Look at Gideon of the “weakest clan of Manasseh, and the weakest in [his]family,” or Hannah who was barren, or Saul who was from the smallest tribe and of the least important clan, or David — the youngest son of Jesse and still a boy when defeating Goliath.  None of these “heroes” had impressive backgrounds, resumés, or abilities, but that didn’t stop God from using them.  In fact, God delighted in showing himself strong through their weakness.

How does this apply to our day-to-day lives now though?  Just seeing how God works through weakness should be an encouragement.  If you, like me, are feeling weak or inadequate, it isn’t a weakness; it’s a reminder and an opportunity — a reminder that we are not meant to be self-sufficient and an opportunity for God to show himself strong and faithful in our weakness.