Many times the best way to experience a video game is with someone else. I have held numerous get-togethers with friends and co-workers where a video game console took center stage, and there are few things better than sitting down with your family and enjoying a good old-fashioned family game night with some Mario Kart or Super Smash Brothers or one of my favorite party game addictions, Fortune Street on the original Nintendo Wii. (Seriously, if you haven’t tried the hidden gem that is Fortune Street you are missing the greatest Monopoly-style Mario party game that has ever existed.) But on occasion, you have that one friend who brings the whole party to a standstill. The guy who isn’t ready to start the game yet, because he has to do that dreaded fun-killer… he has to MAKE his Mii character. And for reasons known only to this guy, he will not move on until the character looks exactly like him.
|… he has to MAKE his character.|
At first, you hand him the controller, hoping he will simply make a rudimentary avatar that vaguely resembles him with hair color and size, but then the horror of what is truly happening here dawns on you. Your friends all sit staring at the television, awkwardly and quietly, as this one guy spends fifteen minutes trying to decide which pair of eyebrows look most like his. Gradually your friends lose interest and meander back towards the snacks to make a take-home plate, fumbling for their keys and explaining they actually need to go check on their cat, who was perfectly worthy of their trust until just a few minutes ago. Of course, our good friend Mr. “DoesMyNoseLookLikeThisOne” is blissfully unaware of everything going on around him, and as the party dissipates into goodbyes and farewells, he finally settles on a character that you can tell he is still less than enthralled with. And the best part of this? He has no awareness that he ended your get-together with his creative exploits, and he is now finally ready to play some Wii Tennis.
|Does God truly care about the minutiae of my life?|
If you have never experienced this phenomenon, you are truly fortunate. In my life span I have watched helplessly as people have spent valuable fun time making the most accurate Mii character for a Nintendo Wii or WiiU game, or felt the pressing need to make their boxing avatar photo-realistic before sending them to the ring. I have showed many an epic role-playing game to a friend only to watch then lose themselves in the customization menus and never actually get to the gameplay, and after an hour of character creation decide that the awesome game I am waiting to show off to them is boring. I suppose to some people the little details matter, and everyone has their own threshold of needs in this area. What may be a small matter of no consequence to me may be mission critical to someone else. So this begs a few questions – Does God truly care about the minutiae of my life? Do the little challenges in my life really matter to the One who holds the fates of billions of souls in His hand? Should I even bother Him with my small difficulties when He has a universe to run? Let’s find out…
In the Biblical book of 2 Kings, chapter 6 we find one of the most powerful prophets who ever lived, the prophet Elisha. I know some people hear the word prophet and immediately disconnect, so let me explain what Elisha was. He was simply a man who was chosen by God to be God’s mouthpiece, and share God’s words with the people. In those days, people didn’t have God’s Word in a nice, neat, leather-bound book they could carry wherever they went. No pocket Bibles in those days, no iPhone with a conveniently downloaded app to reference. They were at the mercy of God’s chosen ministers, the prophets, to tell them what God had to say to them. Now we have all of these words available to us in physical and electronic form, neatly divided into chapters and verse for easy reference. But in those days, God used his chosen spokespeople, code-named “prophets”, to speak His mind and thoughts to the rest of the nation.
Elisha was one of these people, a prophet who had been hand selected by God to meet the spiritual needs of the nation of Israel. This was an awesome and incredible responsibility, and Elisha was a faithful minister of God who had already been faced with many challenges that required supernatural provision from God. In his tenure as a prophet thus far, he had already parted a river, blessed a barren land with healthy water, prophesied a great victory for Israel over an enemy army, restored a child to life, turned poisonous food into a safe dining experience, cured a man of leprosy and multiplied food to feed a hungry crowd. Quite a busy man, if you ask me. His account to this point reads like a best-of Elisha list, with story after story of incredible supernatural exploits God had worked through His mouthpiece.
|…a beautiful moment of Divine interruption|
So what does this have to with what we were discussing? Everything… you see, even with all of the things God’s chosen prophet had on his agenda; God still had His eyes on a special situation that is seemingly so small and insignificant that if you blink, you may miss it. We find Elisha tagging along with a group of men chopping down some trees, with plans on building a larger dwelling place. Looks like a pretty ordinary, mundane activity so far. As the men are chopping down the tress, a very unfortunate happenstance occurs – the ax head of one man’s ax goes flying off of his handle and lands in the Jordan River. As the heavy iron sank to the bottom of this notoriously dirty river, the man cries out in horror – this particular ax head had been borrowed. In the particular circumstances of this man’s life, this was a dreadful occurrence. And here is where this simple story has a beautiful moment of Divine interruption.
Hearing the man’s desperate cry, Elisha asks the worker where the ax head had fallen in. Once he was showed the place, Elisha cut a stick of his own, threw it into the same spot, and in a moment of supernatural provision that defied the laws of physics and gravity, the ax head floated up to the surface of the river. The man picked it up, and this brief interlude in the life of Elisha ends with the recovery of the lost tool. The next chapter continues the incredible life of Elisha and God’s continuing mighty exploits with an entire army being struck blind at his command. So why is this story, the tale of unfortunate loss of a borrowed tool, sandwiched here in between all of these incredible miracles and moments of international intrigue?
The truth is that God is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives. In Jesus’ teachings, He plainly told us that God knows our needs, and if we seek Him first He will supply all of them for us. There is nothing that transpires in your life that escapes His notice. He has a running count of the amount of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30), and keeps all your tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). Every experience of your life is of intimate interest to your Creator, and if you think your problems are inconsequential to God or your circumstances are not of enough importance to gain his attention, I invite you to turn your Bible to the book of John, chapter 2.
|Every experience of your life is of intimate interest to your Creator|
Jesus, the very personification of God in the flesh, came to the earth on a mission to save humanity through His death on the cross. His time of ministry was exceptionally short, and with the knowledge that He only had three and a half years to accomplish all that He had to do, every single day and every single choice HE made was exceptionally precious. One would expect that the Son of God would have a very deliberate plan plotted out to insure he maximized every moment of His time here. So that is why it is so incredible that the very first miracle Jesus performs is not a dramatic resurrection of a deceased loved one, or an incredible healing of someone who was blind or paralyzed. Certainly He would get around to all of those and so many more, but our Creator, the God of the universe, chose for the first act of His ministry to be a miracle that had nothing more at stake than a poorly planned wedding reception.
In a quiet and thankless act of kindness, Jesus secretly supplied the liquid refreshments that had not been provided by the wedding organizer. His supernatural gift could possibly have never even been realized by the recipients of the miracle, the bride and groom who could now continue their celebration without the embarrassment of failing to provide for their guests. So stop and think about that for a minute. Almighty God, He who set the entire universe in motion, the One who hand-crafted every star, whose very words create kingdoms and topple governments, decided that his very first recorded act of ministry was that He would provide what was needed for a newly married couple. With all of the troubles of a world lost to sin pressing on His back, He took the time to turn water into wine. What an amazing God we serve.
|He is waiting for you to ask for His help!|
I hope this helps you realize how truly special you are to your Heavenly Father. He longs to provide for your needs, if you will simply stop trying to do all of this on your own and let Him help. Whatever your worry is, and no matter how seemingly small your problem – He is waiting for you to ask for His help. Lose an axe head? He will help you find it. Fail to prepare a proper reception? He has capabilities that you cannot even imagine. The key is that only by establishing a true relationship with Him and surrendering yourself to His plan for your life will you be able to experience His wonderful provision. This does not mean everything will always turn out the way you hope, or that God will prevent anything negative from ever happening in your life. Jesus promised us that we would always have trials and tribulations, but that we should not fear – because He has overcome the world. He is in charge. And His eyes are always on you. You are never alone, and your troubles are never beneath Him to listen to.
Next time you have a problem, don’t think for one second that the little details of your life don’t matter to God. Go ahead, talk to Him about it. Cry on His shoulder, and give Him your worries. Because unlike us, He is actually interested in seeing you create your own Mii character. He wants to share in every aspect of your life, and you will be amazed at how your life changes when you take your concerns directly to Him instead of to your friends or Facebook. And let Him do for you what He has done for me so very many countless times…. what He does best. He stops what He is doing, and listens to His child.