Yesterday I took a couple hours for myself. It’s something that I think everyone should do occasionally, just to make sure we aren’t going insane and to simply breath. Anyway, I did so by getting a wonderful mani/pedi (probably one of my very favorite “girly” things ever). Now, I don’t think that God had me get a mani/pedi at this particular location at this particular time just so I could see the movie I’m about to reference, but I do think he knew that my mind would connect what I saw then and what I read this morning for his glory. Just an example of the very thing I’m going to talk about here.
You see, they had Pursuit of Happiness playing at the nail place. If you haven’t seen this movie, seriously, you need to. Not just because Will Smith is my favorite actor (which he is) or because the acting his son does in this movie is phenomenal (which it is), but because the story of Chris Gardner is one that everyone who has a sense of entitlement (which we all have to some extent) needs to be reminded of and appreciate.
The movie tells the story of Chris Gardner (like I just said) and his, wait for it, pursuit of happiness. Unlike some, his happiness is simply to be able to provide for his son and to “make it.” Again great movie, but not my point.
Throughout the movie, his son (also Christopher) tells his dad these jokes. One of them is this:
Hey dad, you wanna hear something funny? There was a man who was drowning, and a boat came, and the man on the boat said “Do you need help?” and the man said “God will save me”. Then another boat came and he tried to help him, but he said “God will save me”, then he drowned and went to Heaven. Then the man told God, “God, why didn’t you save me?” and God said “I sent you two boats, you dummy!”
The drowning man had certain expectations that he didn’t see and died because of it.
My reading this morning has me in 2 Kings 5. It’s the chapter titled “Naaman Healed of Leprosy,” maybe you’ve heard the story. Here’s what is says,
So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house.10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
Like the drowning man, Naaman had expectations on how God would respond and what his miracles would look like. We do this all the time throughout our life. Even in the movie, Chris Gardner didn’t know why he couldn’t catch a break and it challenged him day after day.
Our lives are not our own. I think that is the first thing we need to remember. We either serve God or we serve Satan and our life is thus either puppeteered through Satan’s lies and deceit and directed by God’s divine guidance to what is best for us for whatever purpose he has planned. Blessings that God sends don’t always appear to be blessings when we first see them.
Have you seen any boats passing by when you felt as though you were drowning and while you were calling out to God (and even trusting Him to save you), but they weren’t how you pictured your salvation so you ignored them?
Have you been asking God for healing and his answer is the equivalence of going and dipping yourself multiple times in water that is strewn with sewage?
God’s plans are not our own and we need to remember that even when it doesn’t make sense, we aren’t seeing the whole picture. But we can rest in the truth that God does and is orchestrating it beautifully to bring him the glory and honor. Our expectations are not always going to be met, but they will always be surpassed in ways that we can only imagine.