11 February, 2006

Does God Ever Annoy You?

OK, don't get all upset over that title and think that I have lost my mind. The truth is, that if all of us were honest, we would admit that there are times that God does annoy us.
Think about this; aren't there times that you think you have a better idea of how to do something, but God says differently? And there are times that God finds it convenient for him and his will to be accomplished by putting us in some very inconvenient situations.

And it really annoys me when I actually have a few extra dollars in my pocket and I have my heart set on buying a new shirt and tie or something for my computer... but then God tells me to give it away.
Who does he think he is... God?

Someone once said these words and I have used them many, many times ever since... "He's God and you are not. Deal with it!"
His ways are not our ways.
But he always has a purpose.

I remember one time many years ago when we had just moved to Danville to pastor, where God was really annoying me. One day I had just finished lunch and was driving out to visit with one of my church members and as I approached the Sirloin Stockade, I heard the Lord telling me to go there.
I thought, that can't be God, after all I had just had a big lunch.
As I sat at the red light across from the restaurant, I heard God again telling me to pull in. I kept thinking, "No way."
The light turned and not only did I hear the Lord speaking, telling me to turn around and go there, I felt this weight come on me, and a sense inside of me that I cannot even describe. It was God just messing me up inside, and I literally said out loud, "All right! I'm going!"
I turned around, pulled into the parking lot and sat there for a few minutes thinking, "OK, I am here... now what?"
Finally I felt this compulsion to go inside. So I'm thinking... "God, you are getting weird."
I walked inside and just stood there. I was not even slightly hungry, so I figured surely God must have someone there that I am supposed to meet... or better yet, they were going to give me some money or something.
Didn't happen.

After a couple of minutes standing there with nothing happening, I started to leave, and I felt the Lord telling me to go order a steak. Man, I was ticked!
I mean, I was not hungry, and not only did no one give me any money, now God wants me to buy a steak that I know I am not going to be able to eat!
Man, I was not only annoyed at this point, I was getting mad at God!

So, I go through the line, order my food and go sit down.
Just as I sit down, a server comes up and tells me that the section I had sat in was reserved and that I would need to move.
So I get up, move across the room and I sit down, still not able to figure out what in the world I am doing in this place. I mean, I am not hungry, I've just spent money that I really did not want to spend and I had things to do and people to see!

As I am sitting there I must have really looked upset, because this young lady who worked there walks up to me and said, "Sir, are you OK? I've been watching you since you came in the door, and you just look like you are lost or confused or something?" I told her that I was OK and that she really would not understand.
She said, "OK, if you say so. By the way, my name is Charlie, and I will be your server today."
Light bulbs went off!
A woman at church had told me a few weeks before about a waitress in town who used to attend the church who really needed prayer. Her name was Charlie.
"Charlie?" I exclaimed.
She said, "Yes, it's a nick name. You act like I should know you!"
I thrust out my hand and introduced myself and I said, "I am your new pastor."

It was one of those moments you really had to see to appreciate. Tears started streaming down her face and she sat down across from me and said, "He still loves me!"
I asked her what she meant, and she explained how that she had been away from God for a long time and that she was trying to straighten out her life and that on that very morning she had prayed and said to God, "I need a pastor. I need a shepherd. Lord, please give me a pastor!"
And she said, "Here you are! He sent you here just for me!"

I told her all that had happened with my having already eaten but God telling me to come in there, and that was why I was looking all confused, because I was.

I have learned something down through the years. God's ways are always better than my ways. But you know what?
He still annoys the daylights out of me at times!


Neil said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing! With all the talk about the new days of the church, all the things we should or shouldn't do, who we should be and how we should act...I'm all for being relevant...I just needed to be remind that we still need the still small voice of the Spirit of God!

Thanks Pastor!

Amy said...

This story made me cry!! God is so faithful . He so awesome . \o/\o/\o/


P.S. ("He's God and you are not. Deal with it!")
this is a verry wise word!!!

michigan preacher said...

Great story, Darrell! I love when God moves in these ways!