Something you really need to learn about God is that He will always do what you least expect. In fact, I had a seminary professor who advised, if you want to know God’ will, then think about what you want and do the opposite. I wouldn’t go that far; but if you want to make progress on the spiritual journey, you will only make real progress through hope.
I wrote earlier in the year about my disappointment with God for not allowing Brian and me to go to the Holy Land together. I’m embarrassed about how much resistance I gave to God’s invitation. Just when I conceded to the fact that God may not want us to go on that pilgrimage together, my husband wins a trip to the Holy Land and I can go with Him. Of all the scenarios that I came up with about how Brian and I could go to Israel together, I can guarantee you that this one never crossed my mind!
Jesus’ haunting words about the people of Jerusalem from Matthew 23:37 expose how sad our wrong expectations are:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
What are we missing out on because we are so blind to the people God is sending to us to teach us about His love and even His love and comfort?
Jesus makes God’s desire to hold us close so real in the picture of the mother hen. We don’t have hens around, but the goslings hatched this spring, and my husband and I have had great joy in watching them grow up so fast under the tender care of both of their parents. The mother goose was instinctively nurturing to her two small offspring. She kept them warm and safe under her wings. I can’t think of a more comforting metaphor for how God wants to relate to me. He wants me to feel safe, secure, warm and loved, as close to Him as possible.
I want the safety, security, warmth, love and closeness, but I have other ideas for how He can give this to me. Rather than allow Him to cover me under His wings, I run after the next greatest book, product or relationship to meet all my needs.
What would happen if I simply expected God to show up and left the way and timing totally up to Him? What if I pictured myself safe, secure, warm, close and comforted under His wings and, therefore, didn’t have to worry about everything else brewing in a fallen world that gave evidence that I wasn’t safe, secure, warm, close or comforted?
The goose mom goes after her goslings to force them under her wings, but if the baby won’t stay still, she must leave it to fend for itself in the world. Hopefully, it will come back to its senses and take its mom up on the offer.
What about you? Will you let Jesus give you what your soul needs most even when everything else doesn’t feel safe and secure? Progressing on the spiritual journey means seeing God’s love and comfort come to you daily when you least expect it. Try keeping a list of unexpected love and comfort from God each day.