I once heard a story about a man who decided to ride out a storm. “A man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The man replies, ” No, I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”
Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in God and He will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.” With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God.
He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”
My pastor told this story years ago, when I was a teenager, and it has stuck with me. Although this story is a joke pastors may tell to wake up the congregation, it has many valuable applications. For me, it reminds me that opportunities are out there if I just pay closer attention. This man could easily have appeared to have more faith than anyone, but he displayed no wisdom or obedience. This is why people with the best intensions struggle because their intensions never turn into actions. It also reminds me that my idea of an answer, or miracle, can often make me blind to the actual answers God provides. It reminds me that most of us have help all around us – but we have to receive it, apply it and cultivate it. Whether it’s allowing yourself to receive love, guidance, support or knowledge, I believe our biggest flaw is waiting on help to look like what we think it should look like.
I can give someone guidance, and if it’s not what they want to hear, they’ll walk away empty handed – not because I didn’t give them something, but because I didn’t give them what they wanted.
Like J.G. Holland says in this quote, God may give us what we need, but He rarely plops it in our lap. It is probably within reach, even if it’s a stretch, but we have to decide to make an effort ourself if we truly want to continue to grow, mature, improve and learn – and stop wasting time waiting on a better time, a better situation or a better answer.
Beware of putting God, friends, family, goals, hopes and dreams in a box. Because oftentimes your narrow-minded vision of how you define them could keep you from seeing truth. I can’t tell you how often someone comes to me saying “help”, when I literally put everything I know out here online for anyone to use free of charge. Help is there. I can give someone guidance, and if it’s not what they wanted to hear, they will walk away empty handed – not because I didn’t give them something, but I didn’t give them what they wanted. So they will follow someone else’s blog, or join someone else’s gym, seeking the answers that better fit within what they are willing to receive.
What do you have in a box? What are you being blind to? Are you blind to a truth, or knowledge? Are you blind to someone’s love? Are you blind to the right process to get healthy because it doesn’t look like what you imagined? Are you waiting for God’s hand to reach down and pick you up out of today’s circumstance, or are you willing to climb down off your perch, climb in the boat and get to paddling?