I was reading the Sunday School lesson for today, coming from John 6:22-37, and in it, Jesus was talking to people who had heard and witnessed His awesomeness through the feeding of 5,000 people through breaking bread. These people were so anxious to eat bread again, that they expected Jesus to give them physical food. Even though He tried explaining to them that He was not trying to give them physical, but spiritual bread from which they would never become spiritually hungry again, they still did not get what He was talking about, asking repeatedly for this “bread” which they could not understand. In reading the Scripture and asking God for understanding, He revealed to me that when God sometimes shows up in my life, I miss Him because of my limited scope of view when it comes to what He can do. I often try to put God’s power in a box, and logically say to myself, “If God showed up this particular way when I had this problem, then this is the only way He can show up to fix this problem,” because logically, this way is familiar to me, and as a creature of habit, ritual, and repetition, I can be comfortable with Him showing up this way when this specific problem arises. I sometimes treat God the same way when it comes to worship. I limit God to only showing up a particular way in worship service, and if the choir doesn’t sing the songs I want to hear, or the preacher does not whoop and holler the way I expect him to, then God did not show up during the service, because I have limited what God can do to a boxed-in, logical, repetitious, familiar pattern, and therefore cannot recognize God when He shows Himself in new, creative, innovative, non-traditional, non-repeated ways.
God showed me that even back then, people could not get past their limited scope of view and logical patterns of thought to see Him moving in radical ways. People are no different today, thereby missing out on the miracles of God today because they’re stuck on what God did yesterday, last week, last year, last half-century, last church anniversary, in the old church, back in the old-time way at the old landmark. God showed me that when I make a ritual out of God’s miracles and worship, I trade my faith for logic, saying that if God does not show up this way, I cannot be in line with God, and He cannot be in line with me. Rather, I should allow God to move in any way He wants to, for faith says, “ANY WAY YOU WANT TO SHOW UP, GOD, IT’S ALRIGHT WITH ME.” I’m looking for God to move in my life, in ways that I have never seen before, to give me this eternal bread that causes me to never go spiritually hungry again, and to not be stuck on what I can see, or what I have experienced in the past. Yes, those past victories, triumphs, and miracles were (and still are) amazing, but I would be a fool to limit God and what He can do in my life because I’m hanging on to the past and my logical thinking.
I understand now, to a degree, why lightning does not strike the same place twice most of the time. Sometimes I only get one chance to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch God’s miracle for that day. Though the memory will last forever, that miracle served its purpose for that day, just like Jesus feeding the 5,000, the actual act, was a one-time miracle that “served” its purpose for generations. But just because He did it that one time does not mean He will do it again, nor does it mean that He won’t. I just should not get upset whether He does it or not, because He will show up when He wants to, however He wants to, and I am just happy that He can.