I am in a women’s Bible study right now that is studying John Ortberg’s “God is Closer Than You Think.” It is one of those studies where most people understand and know the truth presented, but some just need it presented in a new light. I really haven’t gained much new information from it for my Walk, but it is just enjoyable to spend Wednesday morning with a group of ladies looking at God’s word together.
There was one section, though, that I really did like. John talks about different kinds of days we can have. He listed four: Rainbow, Ordinary, Don’t look at me God, and Mystery.
Rainbow days are days when it is easy to see God; He is almost tangible to us.
Ordinary days are days when it takes work to see God. We are going along with our usual routine; we’ve become spiritually habituated taking God for granted.
Don’t look at me God days involve us pushing God out; most especially when we are very aware of our sin.
Mystery days are when we want to experience God but He is hard to find.
All of these days involve us. God is there, it is just whether we take the initiative to follow Him and look for Him or not.
Our women’s group came up with another day to add: Give Up Days.
These days can come in different forms. One of those is when our circumstances or situations so overwhelm us that we say “I give up God, you take over.” We’ve tried everything within our own power to handle life, but then come to the realization that we really need God to handle this. I believe God loves it when we do this. He is just waiting for us to ask Him because He has already handled it for us, we just need to give up and allow Him to do the work.
This type of day is illustrated in God’s word by Elijah. In 1 Kings 18, he has just battled the prophets of Baal. He invited them to a battle of sorts between their god and his. The Baal prophets shouted and pleaded with their god to rain down fire on their altar full of bull pieces. Nothing happened. But when Elijah stepped up to his altar, he had it doused with water not once, but three times. Then he called on the Lord to rain down fire and God did. The fire burned up the bull pieces, the wood, the stones, the soil, and the water. Elijah then had all the prophets of Baal killed. Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done and she swore to have Elijah killed. So, Elijah took off to hide.
With this, Elijah proclaimed, “I have had enough, Lord.” (I Kings 19:4) Then he fell asleep.
Those are my kind of “give up days.” When there has been so much stress that I call out to God, “I’ve had enough.” I know in my heart that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle and that he always provides a way out and gives us strength to handle all things. But, there are times when I just don’t want to have to deal with those tough situations. Especially when there have been multiple ones in a row.
Of course, I’d rather have rainbow days all the time. But, then again, life would be a bit dull that way and my growth in the Lord would be stagnant without mystery or give up days.
With Elijah, God sent an angel to feed him and tend to him. In our “I give up” days, God also will feed us, nurture us, and provide the sustenance we need to get through. I often (very often!) have to remind myself of that as I walk through those difficult times when I just want to give up and go hide in a cave (or under my covers).
Those are my thoughts for today.