August 16, 2012

Googling God

Today I sat at my desk—staring at my computer—and found myself wishing that I could “Google” God. There are so many questions I want answers to. Am I doing what I should? What’s going to happen next? How am I supposed to accomplish all the things I have to do, much less all of the things I want to do?

Today is not the first time I wish God was just a keystroke away. I want more than a telephone call; I want all the facts, the reasons things are the way they are. I want to click on a link and download where God is in all of the humdrum and nonstop stuff that seems to be filling my life.

I know I’m not the only one with questions, the only one looking for answers. David was called a man after God’s heart (see 1 Sam. 13:14), and his life and writings ask questions that pierce the soul and trouble the mind. I can hear him crying out: “Why did you dump me miles from nowhere” (Ps. 22:1)?* “God, are you avoiding me? Where are you when I need you” (Ps. 10:1)? Yet God was with David. Filled with His Spirit, David was chosen, appointed. 

So what happened when God’s chosen one asked a question? Was there fire from heaven, or writing on the wall? Did God send a prophet to answer David each time he had questions or doubts? As much as I want the answer to be yes, to prove that if I just get close enough to God, He will give me life directions above and beyond the potential of Google Maps, I’ve learned that the answer is frequently no.

2012 1523 page14Courage and Faith
I’m tempted to ask: “Then what? What is the answer to the impossible questions that life asks? How did David do it?” David wasn’t great because he was strong, or confident because he was talented. David believed well (see 1 Sam. 18:14). He had the courage to take God at His word, and the faith to depend on that word to do what it says it will do. David did more than simply write songs when he found himself in desperate situations.  He praised God through them, then shouted for joy each and every time God came through. 

It was his attitude of gratitude that inspired David to write this: “I’ve already run for dear life straight to the arms of God. . . . But God hasn’t moved to the mountains; his holy address hasn’t changed. He’s in charge, as always, his eyes taking everything in, his eyelids unblinking. . . . God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye” (Ps. 11). 

Some might think, I’m glad that worked for David, but what about me? What about the problems I have to face? And to answer these poignant questions, I can point to a few examples from my own experience. I too have had my share of days that seem to have been less than satisfactory, and I’ve discovered that when I choose to praise God anyway, He moves. He hardly ever changes my situation, but by spending time in His presence praising Him, I see my situation differently.

Trading Yokes
I was recently struggling during one of those days—doing my best to praise God anyway. The morning had been stressful, and the evening hadn’t made the day any better. That night I logged in to my Facebook page to check my mail, and God led me to check out one of my friends’ pages. Posted on her page was a text that reminded me how good God is to me. She had written: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30, NASB).†

With just one text I was reminded that worrying about my day wasn’t something God wanted me to waste my time doing. I realized how I had allowed the day’s events to shift my focus to my own goals instead of staying centered on the goals God had for my day. In taking God’s yoke, I allowed Him to be once again the ruler against which I measured my day.  And as I measured, I found that I had been able to bless and that I had been blessed—what a tremendous day!

I still wish I could “Google” God today, but I know that wherever He leads I will follow. By daily choosing His yoke and praising Him no matter what the day holds, I will find myself living in the will of God. There is no place I would rather be. 

* Unless otherwise noted, all scriptural references are taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
† Scripture quotations marked NASB are from the New American Standard Bible, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. 

Danita Rasmussen writes from Modesto, California. This article was published August 16, 2012.