Who can do it all?

“You are so special that God took time out from the running of the universe to be with us at this wedding today.”

Those were the words of an opening prayer at a wedding I attended this weekend. Immediately my spirit inside was wrankled and squirming with this statement made to a church full of people.  The bride and groom are indeed special people.  Doggone sweet to be truthful!  And this statement had nothing to do with them.  But the person giving the prayer spoke something that just didn’t set right with me.

Later, when I arrived home, my son said, “Did you hear what that guy who did their opening prayer said?”  I knew immediately what he was talking about and was actually grateful he had noticed the fallacy of that statement.  But what he said after really struck me.  “According to that statement, if God had to take time out from running the universe to be at that wedding, how selfish are we!  Some poor kid in some third world country wasn’t healed so God could come to a wedding.”

What a concept some people have of God.  How limiting is our belief in His omnipotence and power?  I do think there are moments we might feel forsaken. There are moments we feel thoroughly alone.  But it’s not because God took time off to do something else!!

We’ve been told for years that some people can do it all!  How crazy to think we humans can do it all, but God can’t?  He has to take time off from something in order to do something else?

Well I’m so glad to tell you otherwise!  That’s not true!  MY GOD CAN DO IT ALL!  One of my favorite set of verses tells of his magnificent power. From the version called The Message:   Hebrews 1-3 Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son. By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words!  Yep, my God does it all.  From the beginning of creation to now and to eternity, He holds everything together by the power of His word.  He never stopped, He never stops.  To the end!

And if ever for a moment you wonder, where’s my God now?  Well…He’s not busy doing something else.  He’s upholding everything, my everything, your everything, the universe’s everything, and He never stops.  Not even for the wedding of a very special couple!

Following the Leader….

For five years, while we lived in two states, we traveled back and forth past the Mammoth Cave National Park without stopping.  So in our first actual vacation in six years, we decided to take our family to this great historic place in the middle of Kentucky.  I had been there as a child and remembered the cavernous entry that was huge to me when I was so young.  The cave is different now.  In fact, it is so popular that you must make reservations online prior to going in order to secure a spot.  We looked at the different tours that were offered and chose a two hour tour called the Historic Tour.  It would be a moderate hike, some tight and narrow places, some low places and a lot of steps at the end.  Not too strenuous, but enough that it felt like we did something.

When we arrived, we enjoyed the quietness of the area.  It’s so vast that we didn’t notice that fully 97 people had already amassed for the same tour we were on.  Our Park Ranger and guide was Ranger Dave, who began to explain how expansive the tour would be.  It truly would be historical in nature, describing the history of the cave and its significance.   As he described the reasons you might NOT want to be on this tour, the darkness, the tight curves titled “Fat Man’s Misery”, the low spots that you go through hunched over, I actually found myself feeling a little nervous.  As I looked down at my sweet Kara, who was turning eight that very day, I saw tears on her face.  “Momma, I don’t want to go.”  I wished the Ranger would get on to the exciting part to calm her fears.  And mine!!

We forged on ahead into the cave with her hanging on tight and a tugging of her quivering lip.  As we moved barely into the main portion of the cave, Ranger Dave made a point about the civil war era inhabitants of the cave, their work, and how they did that work in such poor light conditions.  He extinguished his flashlight and I felt my girl move close.  I was wishing he’d turn his light on for her sake.  Another family with an infant soon experienced my same angst when their baby started wailing.  The Ranger explained the fascinating details of the time and finally moved on.

I knew the tighter spot was coming and I started to let the group space out in front of me.  My thought process was that if there was lots of space in front of me, then I could rush through the tight spot with nobody noticing.  But my Kara had another thought.  “Mommy, hurry up.  They’re getting too far away!”  Ugh!  What a difference between the two of us.  I am more of an island type.  I want to work through it on my own.  My Kara, although very independent, was more worried about being alone.

I wondered if it would be easier for her, with her personality, to keep up a tight relationship to Jesus than me.  More interested in staying close and never losing sight of the guide than being left behind sure seems like a better way to follow a leader.  How amazingly different the mentality of staying so close to the guide, than my method of holding back and catching up.  I noticed another difference in our travel though the cave.  As I got into the tighter spots, with the low hanging solid rock ceilings, I felt more apprehensive.  But in those tighter spaces, Kara finally gained her confidence.  She, much littler than me, seemed to gather strength from conquering the whole space available.  I felt like there wasn’t enough space for me.  I was more at ease in the big open spaces, the ones that made her nervous.  I think being “an island” personality leaves me wanting my room so when I mess up in one way or another, I have room to recover.   How do you follow the leader?  Really, do you stay so close that you can’t possibly lose sight of God or which way He is taking you?  Or do you hang back, playing catch up where you need to?