One of my favorite stories from pastoral sermons I’ve heard goes like this:
A man was drowning out in the middle of the ocean. Fearful for his life, he cried out to God, “God! Please save me!” Shortly after, a small boat came upon him, and the captain reached out his hand to save the man. Waving him on, the drowning man said, “No, thank you. God is going to save me.” The captain shrugged and went on about his business. The drowning man once again cried out, “Please, God! Save me!” and once again, another boat happened upon him. The drowning man again denied the help of the boat, claiming God would save him. This happened once more before the drowning man fell victim to the sea. When he reached the gates of Heaven and saw God, he asked, “God, why didn’t you save me? I cried out for you to help me, and save me from drowning. Why did you never come?” God looked at him for a long moment before answering, “I sent you three boats, didn’t I?”
More and more, I’m finding the relevance to this story in my own life. So often we get caught up in waiting for God to save us, when the whole time He’s been sending boat after boat trying to help us, but every time we deny the help and claim that in God’s time, our problem will magically be solved and we’ll be saved.
Stop pretending that the boats coming to your life, or even your work, aren’t the tools God has placed before you to do the work yourself.
Stop pretending that God will wave a hand over your situation and your problem will disappear on it’s own every single time.
Stop pretending that God isn’t speaking to you.
There are situations and circumstances in your life right now that God has given you the tools, passion, or abilities to overcome yourself. Right now, there’s something in your life that is frustrating you, upsetting you, or demeaning you and you have the power to fix it yourself. Why then, are you waiting on God to make the situation disappear?
Maybe for you, it’s the opposite. Maybe there is a goal you have been desperately trying to attain, and you have every tool in your toolbox necessary to do it. Why then, are you waiting for God to bestow upon you the gift of whatever comes from that situation to you without you putting in the effort?
God is indeed the mightiest and most wonderful power to ever exist, and He can do far more than we could ever ask or imagine, and He doesn’t NEED us to do anything. Still, time and time again He calls us to a situation, whether it be to grow ourselves or help another, and places everything in your hand for you to do it yourself and to glorify Him, but still, you feel the need to “wait for God” to hold your hand and walk you through it.
Because of the very nature of our sinful selves, we justly deserve death. We don’t deserve 1/10 of the gifts and blessings that God bestows upon us. Why would God, knowing the sins that even you overlook, call you to do something for His glory? Because even after we fall short of His glory time and time again, He seeks us with passion that if physically quantifiable would outnumber any human numerical scale, and forgives you of the countless offenses against Him without thinking twice about it.
Why then, after knowing all this, would you not pour your heart and soul into what He has called you to do? Why do you wait for Him to do it for you? Why do you not get into the boat?
Stop pretending. Start acting.