It’s probably happened to you. You sit down for a meal at a nice restaurant and order your food. As you tell your server what you would like, you point to the picture of the delicious looking delicacy while you simultaneously tell him or her the name of the special treat. However, what you don’t realize is, the title of your meal does not correspond to the picture that you see. You’ve misaligned the two. It’s happened to me numerous times. And when the food finally comes, you think, “This is no where near what I ordered. It looks nothing like the picture.”
I think the Christian life is like this many times. We have this picture in our minds of what we think it should look like. We get this image in our heads of the road that we want to be on. And when our order is brought out, it looks nothing like what we imagined. So, we’re faced with two options when we’re served this meal. 1. Eat it – brace ourselves like a man, and go down the road that the Lord has sovereignly laid before us; 2. Try to return it – but we can’t. And in trying to do so, we miss out on all that the Lord has for us on this road.
I’ve written a song about this called Pleasantries Aside. I just posted it on our myspace. The chorus is taken from Jeremiah 41:6. Background: Who? The remnant of Israel that was left after the Babylonians came in and ushered most of them up to Babylon. What? They tell Jeremiah to intercede for them to the Lord and get His direction. In so doing, here’s what they say:
“Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you so that it may go well with us.”
Sure sounds sincere. But just a few verses later, we find our remnant arguing with Jeremiah about what the Lord told them to do. So, they decide they don’t like the road that the Lord is leading them down. And they try to return it. But they can’t. So, they just go on living in sin, doubt, rejection, and fear.
The verse of the song says:
“You caught me by surprise. When I opened up my eyes, You were standing there. But my mind went straight to ‘fair’. Cause it’s not the road I chose, but I guess I’m not the one who knows.”
If we could just stop for one minute and not focus on our situation, but focus on the God of our situation, we’ll see that He’s been there all along. And it’s not about fairness as we measure it, it’s about God’s sovereign hand moving and working in our lives to bring us down the road that He has marked out. Or to bring us a meal that we didn’t know we ordered. Either one.