Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blind Deer

There is a camp game we play at the zoo called "Blind Deer."

In this game there are several people who are "it." They are blindfolded and put on the perimeter of the area you are playing in and stand so that their feet are about 8-10 inches apart. On the floor between their feet you put something that the other "deer" must collect, like a rock or baseball. The trick is for the deer to collect their item from between the feet of those who are "it" without being heard. If the blindfolded players hear someone and points to them, the players must switch places.

The blindfolded group must rely heavily on their sense of hearing to catch the other "deer" in this game.

Genesis 18:10-19 (emphasis mine)

Then the LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son."

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my husband is old, will I now have this pleasure?"

Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the LORD ? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."

When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."

Sarah and Abraham had a promise and God had a plan. The Lord himself showed up to deliver the promise to them and reveal His plans to them. Clearly their sense of hearing was not an issue here. Yet Sarah laughs and at some point she and Abraham decide that Hagar, Sarah's maidservant, is really the one who is to bear Abraham's child. Isaac was promised, but Ishmael was what came from Abraham and Hagar. (Note that God's promise was actually specifically for Sarah and Abraham, NOT just Abraham.)

It is clear what happens when we have a lack of faith and try to make things happen our way: Ishmael became the father of the Arab world and mortal enemies of decendants of Abraham even to this day.

Sometimes I think how nice it would be to have God show up at my house and deliver His plans and promises to me in such a clear and focused way. Life is probably more like the blindfolded player in "Blind Deer." I am straining my ear to hear the direction of a noise and hoping I am hearing right, but I am still blindfolded in many ways. (By the way, this is why it's called FAITH...believing what you cannot see.)

I live in a community of Believers who have our ears attuned to listen for the Lord's voice. I myself am straining my ear for Him to speak. Yet even when I do hear something, I still often laugh in dis-belief (or cry in hopelessness that it will ever happen). Sometimes I even try to make it happen my way, like Sarah and Hagar.

I have some "as clear as a blindfolded deer can hear" promises from the Lord, and my belief for them is a bit shakey right now. Do I believe in spite of circumstances or do I laugh? Do I trust that they will happen even if I do something dumb like send a maidservant into my husband? Do I move confidently, even if I might be hearing wrong?

What I don't want to do is worship those promises so much that I try to make them happen my way or to be so unsure of what I hear that I am afraid to go the direction I am hearing like a blindfolded deer. I want to believe, not doubt and be able to say, "God said it, that settles it."

I need my eyes focuse on the One who gave the promises and let Him be the one to make it happen and know that the answer to the question: "Is there anything too big for the LORD?" is NO!


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