Tuesday, September 29, 2009


How are things going?
No, really – How are things going?
If you’re like most guys out there, you’re a bit concerned about the economy, your job, your finances, your 401(k), being able to meet sales quotas, cutting back on expenses, etc. But a few other guys are probably much more focused on some of the more serious difficulties of life than you may be.
For example, one man I know is waiting for both his brother and his sister to die – they both have terminal cancer with a prognosis of days to maybe months to live. Two friends of mine have marriages at the crossroad – can they be salvaged or will they unravel? I know three men who were at the peak of their business careers not too long ago, but now they can’t find any employment to support their families.
If we are honest and transparent about how we answer a question like “How are things going,” I think our answer will probably say a lot about what we are focusing on in our lives.

While it’s always a dangerous exercise to ascribe to God our characteristics and emotions, have you ever thought about God’s response to a question like “How are things going?” How do you think He would respond?
Someone who may lean heavily on a ‘pre-ordained,’ carved-in-stone theological philosophy, probably sees God as a bit impersonal and cold and would envision Him responding to that question with an answer like, “According to plan.” But I can’t believe that it was part of God’s ‘plan’ for His people to sacrificially give money to an organization that would send Bibles to lost people in the Philippines and then for storms on September 26, 2009 to flood a warehouse there and totally ruin 90,000 Bibles. Could that be ‘according to plan?’ I don’t think so.
Someone else may imagine God answering the question with a frenetic, out-of-control, “Not too well right now!” But that would imply that the Maker and Sustainer of the entire universe is somehow ‘surprised’ by or not completely in control of every little thing that happens anywhere and everywhere. I can’t believe that.
Another may theorize that God set things in motion (wound the clock, so to speak) and then He let them take their natural course. Such a ‘God’ would respond to “How are things going?” with something like, “About like I would have expected.” But such a God would not have seen our need, cared, and solved our most pressing problem by intervening and sending His own Son.
So how would God answer the question, “How are things going?”
I am convinced that God’s answer would depend totally upon who was asking the question.
God is perfect, self-sustaining, and in need of nothing. Yet He desired to create beings with whom He could have a personal relationship. He set up the perfect place for that to happen and then . . . His created beings decided their plans were superior to the perfect plan.
And decisions have consequences.
Things no longer operate according the perfect way God intended them to, but they still operate within and under His supervision and control – just impacted by man’s decisions to do things contrary to His perfect way. Not just way back there in the Garden, but today, too.
Yet God still desires personal relationships with His created beings.
And He is reaching out to each and every one of us.
Every day.
He loves us so much, in fact, that He has done everything necessary to make that relationship possible. And that relationship is the key to God’s answer to any specific person’s question of Him, “How are things going?”
Certainly God cares about our circumstances, our hurts, our finances, our stress, our worries. But He cares most about our relationship with Him. That’s where His focus is and that is where He wants our focus to be.
All of those other things won’t necessarily go away, or be fixed, or be explained. But focusing on our relationship with God will bring about a peace that transcends all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)

So, “God – how are things going . . . between You and me?”

I said to the Lord, “You are my Master!
Every good thing I have comes from you.”
You will show me the way of life,

granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalm 16:2,11, NLT

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