I got to the restaurant before Stan did one morning. I took a seat at our favorite table facing the door and waited for him.
After a few minutes I looked at my watch wondering where he was. Just then someone tapped me on the shoulder and I jumped.
“Sorry to startle you,” Stan said as he sat down, “but I came in the back door.”
“I didn’t even know there was a back door,” I replied.
“Yeah,” Stan said, “it’s off the alley that runs along the side of the building. There’s also a door in the kitchen to the outside, but that’s just for the staff.”
“This isn’t what I was planning to talk about today,” he continued, “but what just happened does have a spiritual component. Why don’t we focus on that?”
“What spiritual component?” I asked.
“When I tapped you on the shoulder,” he replied, “what were you doing?”
“Watching for you to come in the front door.”
“Because I always come in that way?” he asked.
“That’s it,” I replied. “Why?”
“Well,” Stan said, “I came in a different way you didn’t expect, and I think God does the same thing. He doesn’t always show up the way I expect.”
“But doesn’t the Bible say something somewhere about God always being the same?” I asked.
“Sure does,” Stan replied, “but that’s another story for another day. For now, just know that being the same doesn’t mean doing things the same way.”
“Okay,” I said, “but if God may not always come into my life the same way, how can I make sure I don’t miss Him?”
“Seems to me,” Stan replied, “that the best way for that is for us to keep our spiritual eyes and ears open and not be restricted in our view of God and what He wants to do in and through us.”
“Let me give you an example,” he continued. “Suppose God spoke to you in a dream and you thought that dreams were the only way He was ever going to speak to you. What would you do?”
“Probably stay in bed and try to sleep so I would have more dreams,” I replied.
“Probably so,” Stan said. “Rather than getting up into each new day expecting God to show up whenever, however, and wherever He wants.”
“Sounds kind of like discipleship,” I said.
“How so?” Stan asked.
“If I don’t always expect God to show up the same way, that’s kind of like denying self,” I replied, “and then if I take up the fact that God will come into my life however, wherever, and whenever He wants, I can step forward and follow Him. How’s that?”
Stan smiled and said, “I think that’s good!”
Bible verses to consider:
He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3.
I have directed you in the path of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. Proverbs 4:11.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you come into my life exactly as you want. I confess that too often I do not look for you in the way I should, that I only look for you to come the way I expect. Please forgive that foolishness, and please help me to follow every step of your lead so I am open to seeing you at all times in all places just as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Has God come into your life in the sense that you know you will spend eternity in His presence when your time here is completed? If no, why? What’s holding you back? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with being totally open to seeing God in your life however, wherever, and whenever He wants? If you sense the need for change in being open in that way, how is that change going to happen. Is that what you want? Why or why not?