Sometimes I’m an Ass


Have you ever met a Christian who seems very impressed with the notion that God speaks through him or her?

Have you ever believed you had a message from God for someone else and felt very special that He called on you to deliver it?

Knowing my own bent toward arrogance, one of the most frequent stories of the Bible to which I turn is in Numbers 22:21-25. Take time to read it.

It’s the story of a time when God spoke to a man through the donkey on which he rode.

It’s a good story to bring up to people who feel special because God speaks through them. Remind them that He also once spoke through an ass.

A frequent reader of my blog who only knows me in passing commented recently that even though I seem to be having my own version of a year like Job, I seem to be spiritually together.

Let’s fix that notion, shall we?

One kindness God wove into the Biblical narrative is that He included every weakness and misstep the great heroes of the Bible made along the way. God never wants anything to stand between each of us and Him, especially not some false notion that only spiritual giants get to go on the adventure with Him.

He’s actually prone to choosing us spiritual little people in order to make the point that it’s Him that makes the difference, not us.

Take for example, a recent prayer time I had with the Lord.

I was calmly discussing the troubles He’s allowed to visit my life in the past year.

Okay, I wasn’t calm at all. I was in my car and I was talking aloud to Him and if anyone saw me, they’d have been tempted to call 911.

I’d read Psalm 91 that morning and it was bugging me. Particularly, the verse that says, “If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.”

Not only has disaster come near my tent, it’s taken my tent!

So, I was complaining to God, suggesting that enough is enough now. Pointing out that, not only have I reached the end of my own strength, I’m running on the fumes of grace these days. I don’t feel spiritual. I don’t see the big picture. I’m just tired and I feel as though He doesn’t even see me!

I kid you not, at the moment I said that phrase “It’s like You don’t even see me anymore.” a sparrow swooped out the sky across my windshield and landed next to my parked car.

Was my response to be comforted as I was visually reminded that “if His eye is on the sparrow, then I know He watches me?”

No. Quite frankly, it sent me over the edge. I was annoyed by this response from God, my Father, my friend.

“Great! That’s just great!” I prayed. “Is this supposed to make me feel good? Well, it doesn’t. It’s annoying, actually, that you DO see me and yet You don’t fix the things that are wrong. You’re choosing to leave me in this! Nice. Thank you.”

If I had good aim, I’d have thrown a rock at the sparrow.

So, now you see. Not such a spiritually “together” soul behind the wheel of this blog. God and I, well, we have our moments and I’m always the problem.

The truth is, that as annoyed as I was by the whole sparrow message, it did calm me down. It did comfort me. I am relieved to know He hasn’t lost sight of me and that He hears me and puts up with my ranting devotion.

But the truth of me is that I lose it sometimes. I don’t handle everything gracefully. Sometimes, it takes precious little to push my buttons and I reveal my own bent toward self-pity, ingratitude, anger, petulance, self-centeredness, and small faith.

But this blog isn’t about the truth of me. It’s about the truth of Jesus.

See, God did not fix everything in Jesus’ world.

God saw Jesus in Gethsemane. He saw Him suffering and pleading to NOT have to make the journey to the cross. He heard Him ask for God to make some other way.

And He saw Jesus make the choice to trust Him when it was clear that the answer to His prayers was not a changed situation.

Jesus trusted God down the darkest road any human has ever had to walk and at the end of that road was the light of life, not only for Him but for all of us.

He is the perfect hero of scripture. He is the perfect hero of my life. If there is any togetherness in my world, He is the author of it.

I don’t think it’s coincidence that He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.

It reminds me that with Him, I can make the journey down any road.

Even when I’m an ass.

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7 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Felicia says:

    LOL Thanks so much for being so transparent-you just confirmed that we have so much in common. Definitely been there. Praying for you today!!!

  2. Alecia says:

    It was as though you were writing about me. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one. God bless!

  3. Glad I could make you laugh, Felicia! We all need a chuckle these days!

  4. Welcome, Alecia! Thanks for letting ME know! 🙂 God bless. Lori

  5. Michael W. says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! A fellow traveler in a season of discontent who has been learning these same lessons…praise God, I’m learning! Bless you. ~ M.

  6. You’ve been a true encourager to me these past few months, Michael. And now, again. Thanks.

  7. Love it—and you’re not an ass