Delete the Llamas

I was working on a new blog post, minding my own business when all of a sudden my sister who lives in CA sends me an instant message, trying to reach my Mom who is visiting us for the weekend.  Apparently my Mom asked my sister to take care of her “farm” in “Farmville” for her.  My sister apparently had a pressing question that needed an immediate answer.  And as it turned out, the answer was “Delete the llamas.”

So, here I am finding myself a go-between for two virtual farmers talking about where to put the “market stand”.  It seems that a market stand is more important than llamas, at least in Farmville; at least on my mom’s farm.

I should say here that not only do I not have a farm of my own, I don’t understand the phenomenon of Farmville.  On top of that, I tend to mock those who do.  As I’m typing this blog, I keep getting interrupted by having to be the messenger of my sister’s maniacal questions and my mom’s nonsensical responses.  “Move the fence.”  “Kill the chickens.” “Put the donkey by the tractors.”  “Replant the lavendar.”

Are you kidding me?!?

There are some things we’re just not meant to understand.  But many people have a hard time accepting that.  As humans we demand answers when things don’t make sense to us.  Especially when we feel a wrong or an injustice has happened.  When the scales don’t seem to us to balance, we quickly cry “foul” and demand an explanation.  And since God is the biggest thing we can think of, we often point our finger of blame at Him, and insist that He explain Himself.

Long ago, my dad taught me that above every human being’s head is a steel bar.  Anything below the bar is our business, our responsibility, and within our grasp to act on.  Everything above the bar is God’s business, God’s responsibility, and ultimately God’s prerogative.   And so when we have a situation in life or a question that seems to not make any sense to us, we tend to try and stick our head into God’s business and put our hands into what He’s working on.  And consequently we end up with a splitting headache from banging our head into a steel bar.

Let Deutoronomy 29:29 be a guide for you when you’re faced with unanswered (or unanswerable) questions:   “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”

On many occasions, I’ve counseled people who were frustrated, wearied, bewildered, and even angry at God because of a situation they were in where they couldn’t make sense of what was happening and why.  And I have many times directed them to this verse.  I know it’s a verse that demands trust and faith, but that is precisely what God is seeking to foster and cultivate within us through the difficulties we face.

So, the next time you are faced with a crisis and everything seems upside-down and inside-out, making no sense, trust God and His ability to handle the things that belong to Him.  And while you trust Him, you handle the things that are within your grasp to handle. 

And stay below the bar.

2 thoughts on “Delete the Llamas

  1. Again, thank you so much for your thoughts. For some reason, God has a way of speaking to me through your experiences, scriptures, and stories. More than you know, I am grateful for your thoughts of wisdom. Just a question…. how do you know where the bar begins and ends?? Where does my “business” end and God’s begin? While I know and understand the trust and faith required, how can you suppress the “human element” of worry, fear, anxiety, etc. and fully rely on God’s perfect plan and His timing on dealing with His portion of “the business” when the situation is life changing and all encompassing?

    Much thanks for your thoughts here…. I enjoy your writing as much as you enjoy writing it, I think. I especially like how it’s real and tangible for people to apply and understand.

    • Gigi, great question about what’s God’s business and what’s ours. I believe it comes down to ability and purpose. I believe that God wants us to do what we are able and to follow His Spirit to speak to us when we step out of bounds, or beyond where we should. The peace we receive from God (explained in Phil. 4) is the indication that we are in the right place, doing the right thing. I believe peace is not merely an absence of anxiety, but a reward for trusting God fully. Let that peace not only refresh you, but guide you.

      And I think you’ve hit it on the head with the idea of “suppressing the human element”. Jesus instructed us not to worry about what we will eat, or what we will wear. He said clearly that our Father in Heaven knows what we need and will provide those things for us. But it is such a common human response to fret and worry over the issues of life. I’m a simple-minded person, so I understand things simply (not to be confused with naivety) when God consistly tells us to do our part, and He’ll do His part. While He could effortlessly do our part AND His part, I love how He allows us involvement in what He’s doing.
      All that to say that I encourage you to stay in close communion with Him. Walk with Him faithfully and closely and He will NOT allow your foot to slip.
      I love how God is not at all interested in confounding us or confusing us. He takes no joy in seeing us frustrated and aimless. Rather, He speaks and guides us by His Spirit. He’ll do that through His Word, through others in your life that love Him, and by speaking directly to your heart.
      A critical question to ask regularly might be, “Is what I’m doing now something God has called me to do or instructed me to do?” If it is, then do it faithfully. If it’s not, then trust Him to do it. Either way, He’ll guide you to His outcome.

      I suspect all of this sounds rather ambiguous and maybe even “gray”, but when dealing with the intimate details of life, and where we are to step next, I think it’s best just to keep your hand in His, and trust His Spirit to provide you with the daily guidance and strength you need. Psalm 37 is a wonderful song for those who are struggling with what to do next, and need encouragement to trust God in the midst of difficulty. I recommend that perhaps you make that psalm a daily prayer.

      Beyond all that, know that you are loved by God and you are in the palm of His hand.

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