The notion that God can do more is something we need to work well within the fabric of our daily lives. One of the most tragic offenses I believe we make to the Creator is that we simply don’t expect enough. We limit Him.
It’s often seen as a lack of faith and while it may not stifle His abilities, it certainly cripples the effect of His gifts in our lives.
We pray that God heals cancer when we could be asking God to heal the entire body, cleanse the soul, give supernatural gifts, and spread His name to generations through this event.
Peter had faith… at least for a moment. When He saw Jesus walking on the water, he cried it out. I want in on that! Let me do that with you…. and he did.
And I think that is a good explanation for our troubled times. We are content to not get in the water with Him. We let Jesus do the water walking and we will stay and guard the boat.
Peter was on to something. The problem with the boat is that Jesus isn’t in it. He is walking on the water. He is turning over tables in the temple. He is boldly sharing His Father. He is headed for the cross. All of those sound scary don’t they? Is that why Peter sank?
When he saw the waves and took his eyes off Jesus was it because he realized what his request really meant? He exclaimed, ‘I want to follow you’, but he didn’t really want to go where Jesus was headed.
I think ‘more’ scares us. We don’t want it. We want our current lives, but just better. Jesus calls us to reject what we have and take on something new. And that is a difficult thought to consider.
We struggle with the math of ‘more’. We think in terms of our current understanding. “I can’t change the past” is something we often bemoan. At best it means We are going to quit stressing over something we can’t control, but often its an exhausted exclamation of regret.
Just like our weak prayers, we throw it off to the side and maybe ask for forgiveness. We completely drown out the whispers of God beckoning us to ask for more. No, God won’t change the past, but he can do better than that. He can do more than that. He can empower us to explode towards a better future.
He can take that static past and use it for good. He can mold us through it, He can touch lives with it, He can bless in spite of it. When we properly understand our relationship with God, we can understand why the Bible would say ‘do not dwell on the past’.
Jesus was frustrated at the comment that Lazarus would not have died had Jesus been there. They simply didn’t expect more. They were living in the past. The moments that they couldn’t control were the culprit. It was about what Jesus could have done or where He should have been… not what He could do right now.
Our God creates. Our God heals. He calms, teaches, loves, protects, and blows the doors off tombs. We can agree with scripture that He has defeated death… but we just can’t believe that our tomorrow can be better. We are certain that our mistakes and trials are life defining.
Sigh! Can you hear the desperate exhalation from God? Why won’t you ask for more? He won’t change that thing you did, or even the stuff that has happened to you… but He can lift you above the waves. He can do so much better, so much more, than our simple desires to undo the unwanted events of our lives.
When the disciples of Jesus sat in prison, they didn’t asked to be removed from jail… they brought Jesus into captivity with them. When Jesus hung from the cross, He didn’t say, ‘get me off of this thing’, He chose more. An end to His pain wasn’t enough. He could do better than that. So, instead, He prayed ‘Father forgive them’.
Nails through His veins and He thought of us instead. Can we begin to comprehend that we are the ‘more’ to Him? He wants us. Praise God Jesus didn’t look to the past while He was on the cross. The lies, the greed, the disobedience. I believe He looked ahead. ‘This is for them’, He must have thought.
Do we honestly believe that the God who turned His tortured Son into eternal joy for those who killed Him… Do we think He can’t use our pain for something better tomorrow? Why regret yesterday when God can do ANYTHING today?