“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” Psalm 50:15
By the sound of the knock on my office door, I knew the issue was urgent. As I opened the door, I was quickly informed, “There’s a fire!” Without hesitation my eyes began to look for the fire extinguisher; where was it located? How do I use it?, How much will I need? I knew the extinguisher would be the only thing that could stop this fire. It didn't take me long to find it and it didn't take us long to arrive at the scene. The trash can went up in flames, but the fire remained within the container, so I quickly sprayed the can and put out the fire. As the trash can went from flames to smoke our anxiety went from worried to peaceful, because the extinguisher did its job. Shortly after the fire extinguisher went back in its place and was never touched again...well till the next fire.
I can’t help but to think that I treat God like that extinguisher, not paying attention to him when things are comfortable and easy, but the moment all hell breaks loose I’m on my knees crying out to Him. Asking Where is He located? How do I use Him? How much will I need? I often find myself crying and begging for His mercy and grace or questioning Him. “Why me?” Now God being a loving father shows me grace and love, but me being a not-so-loving son all time, I simply puts him back where he belongs after everything is back to “normal.”
Never do I want to judge another person’s heart but I can be honest about mine. In many cases I have acted like my success has been due to my own efforts and God had no part in it. When things are going my way and my plan is being unfolded I don’t need God, but the instant things are out of control, well, I better have that extinguisher at hand. My actions say, “thanks for putting out that fire, but I got it from here, I’ll call you on the next one, right?”
That day I put out one small fire I asked myself, “what if the fire did grow out of control?” I would have had to call 9-1-1 and get the big leagues to handle my crisis. Let’s be honest, that small extinguisher would not do the trick. Whenever my circumstance is too great for me to bear I usually call in the big guns, the man upstairs. For small things I’ll call him occasionally, but for big storms I’ll wake him up like my life depended on him calming the storm with his words like he did the disciples.
After all, you know what they say, “ desperate times call for desperate measures.” On a good day I’m not desperate, therefore I don’t need to call on God, usually He ends up being more of a distraction to my to do list anyways. I have a hundred more things to get to besides spending time with Him. So I’ll just rub the lamp when I need Him, get my three wishes, call it faith and then tell others how much He has blessed me when it's convenient.
I am not sure what is worse, keeping Christ in a box or thinking we can set him “free” when we need him. He has become a prisoner of our hungry egos not the author and perfecter of our faith.
The truth is He has always been there and He always will be. He does not depend on our call or invitation to do the miraculous. If anything we depend on Him to live, breathe and walk, let alone in time of crisis. Spending time with Him is not a distraction from our day it’s the fulfillment of our being. In Him we are made whole, only the Creator can give purpose to the created. God does not need to do one more miraculous thing in order to have our hearts. He did it all on the cross and said, “it is finished.” He put out the greatest and last fire we need to be concerned about, He restored the souls of man.
God is more than capable of putting out any fires in our lives, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego He kept them from being burned in the furnace. Or the disciples on the boat, he kept them from drowning in the storm. But I don’t think the purpose in these stories is for God to put out their fires and kept them from smelling like smoke or to keep the disciples from drowning. The purpose of these stories is that no matter how out-of-control the fire is we will praise him and regardless of how great the storm is Christ was there with them in the boat. His presence in both the fire and the storm should be our refuge, our peace and our strength.
I challenge you with this question, if God did not put out another fire or answer another prayer in your life would you still praise him for who He is? Would He still have your heart?