DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: God is creative
I admit that I am obsessed with weather. It might be more than a hobby for me. I look at the models daily to watch upcoming storms. I am always amazed at how radically a model can change from one run to another. One run can show a snowstorm, the next there won’t be a storm, and then there’s a rainstorm. It reminds me how difficult it must be to forecast weather.
What is interesting to realize is that a weather model only shows what happened in similar circumstances in the past. No two weather events are exactly the same. You may get a nice rain shower this time, but last time you had flooding rain. Last time you got snow, this time you get sleet and freezing rain. Each weather event is unique.
I was pondering this as I looked at the weather models this morning. In predicting the weather for the future, we examine what happened in the past to develop our expectations for the future. Sometimes our predictions are correct, and sometimes they are wrong. This can happen in any area of life. If you are scheduled to play an undefeated athletic team the obvious prediction would be that you will lose. The reality is that undefeated team will at some point be defeated. Who’s to say whether or not you might be the victor?
I think the same thing can be applied to our spiritual walk. Just because God acted a certain way in the past does not mean that He will act exactly the same in this situation. Some people may argue that the Bible teaches us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Bible is true. God’s character is the same, but He will approach situations and people in unique ways to accomplish His purpose.
Think about children and discipline. Some children only require a look or simply one word, and they will get back in line. Other children can be told not to do something and they just keep on doing it, even if they get punished. Parents in those cases have to learn how to adapt their discipline to get their children to comply. It can also depend on whether this is the first time you are being told, or the fifth. I know that most principals that I worked for treated the first offence much differently than the fifth.
So why would we think that God can only work in the exact same way He acted before? Sometimes God wants to test our obedience. This time put the singers and musicians in the front if you want to win the battle. Another time, you engage the warriors from the city and then start to run. When they follow you out of the city another group of men ambush the city from behind, and the victory will be yours. Another plan might be for a shepherd boy with faith and a few small stones who will defeat a giant.
Jesus demonstrated the same thing in His ministry. For one man He simply spoke and the blind man received his sight. For another, Jesus spat and made mud and spread it on the man’s eyes. He then had to go to a specific place to wash. Jesus did different things with different people. My point being that He didn’t do it the same every time.
We have to understand that we serve a very creative God. He wants our love and obedience. He will go to great measures and approach us in many different ways to get our attention. I try to listen and obey, but sometimes I fail. Thankfully, I haven’t needed a donkey to speak to me and tell me I was going in the wrong direction. When we put limits on how we think God is going to act then we might miss what He is doing.
I am expecting God to do great things this year. After last year, I imagine we all want to see Him do wonderful things. That means that I have to be open, available and obedient if I hope to see God’s marvelous and powerful hand at work in and through my life.
I want to encourage you to raise your expectations that God is going to do something wonderful in your life. Next, I encourage you to take your limits off God. Be willing to see Him move in ways you never expected. He is creative and He deals with each person as an individual. God is good, and we can expect good things from Him. Let’s allow our creative God to move in His own unique ways.
Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jim Bryan, who died on Jan. 8 in Chapel Hill at 88, was the kind of caring physician whom... read more