I read an article recently where the Catholic Pope was quoted as saying that “People should look to God as often as often as we look at our cell phones.” I sort of chuckled when I read that article, but at the same time agreed whole-heartedly with it. I chuckled because my immediate thought was how odd it would be for Piper and I to go only a few minutes without thinking or talking about the things of God! God has just been the center of our relationship from our earliest days as seniors in High School.
Now that doesn’t mean that we didn’t do stupid things back then that we certainly taught our kids not to do… it just means that we always tried to include our Christian backgrounds, His Word and His ideals into just about everything we did… at the level of Christian growth and understanding that we had at the time! I have said it many times in the past, and especially now with the journey we have been on with the attack on Piper’s health, that for the life of me, I can’t even imagine how people can make it through the events of their daily lives without God!
So yeah… looking at God as often as we look at our cell phones… is a very real thing to me! I was telling one of the hospice workers that was at our home yesterday as she was looking at the display of each of our kids wedding pictures as well as at Piper’s and mine, that Piper has always had the ability to say the right thing at the right time and then cap off her thought with a confirming scripture. Like the time years ago, when she told a Pastor friend who was experiencing some intestinal difficulties and felt like he needed to stay close to the public restrooms while we fellowshipping at the local ice skating rink, that “Let’s just come into agreement for your healing for you know that the Bible says that ‘Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven…’ ” (Matthew 16:19 KJVB)
Well, I had all I could do to keep from bursting out into laughter as I looked at our friend and noticed the wide-eyed, bewildered look that came upon him before he realized that my little dynamo, twenty-some-year-old wife wasn’t joking but very serious! So Hal took Piper’s hand and without missing a beat she prayed over our friend… and you know… he never mentioned feeling sick again and had a great day teaching me how to ice skate! (or maybe it was from laughing at me as I spent more time on my back side than on my feet!)
James 1:6-8 in The Message Bible tells us that when asking Papa God for something, that we “Ask boldly, believingly without a second thought. (for) People who ‘worry their prayers’ are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.” The God’s Word © translation says that “A person who has doubts is thinking about two different things at the same time and can’t make up his (or her) mind about anything!”
I have found out over the years that the more time I yield to God, the more He becomes my first line of defense when the situations of life go south! In other words, the more time I spend looking to Him, the easier it becomes for my first response to the difficulties of life that show up each day to be in line with His Word, or you could say that His ways become my ways… many times without even having to think about it! (Like Piper’s quick response to our friend’s need…)
I think that is why Eugene Peterson, the writer of The Message paraphrase Bible chose the words that he did for the above mentioned scripture. It just makes sense that the more we spend time with Papa God and come to know Him, the more comfortable we are at asking for help with boldness and a belief that He will meet our request… Because, through our close relationship, we are already confident that our request will line up with Him and His Word!
It is like my ability over the last few years to be confident in making many of the decisions concerning Piper’s health and the direction of our lives without the current ability to talk over each decision with her. I have spent the time over the 46+ years of our relationship to come to know her quite intimately and am thereby assured that I already know what her input would be!
In that kind of relationship there are no “if’s or but’s.” There is no reason to be double minded or confused with doubts, and it is easy to make up one’s mind! So yeah… when I look at my phone today, I am going to be thinking about Papa God and how much I like to spend time with Him. And then when I do need to go to Him in prayer with a request, I do so “boldly and believingly without a second thought!”
Hopefully you have the same confidence that I do! Have a terrific mid-week and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Am I expecting to look at God as often (or more) than I look at my phone today?”