–November of 1997
God Will Do What It Takes
Thanksgiving this year finds me in the praise section, giving God thanks for something a little off the well-worn path of typical praise petitions. I’m thankful that God will always do whatever it takes to make me His and to get me home.
God has proven over the years that He will do whatever it takes to get me safely home to Heaven. Popular writer Max Lucado tells a story in one of his books about a plane ride. While flying over Missouri, the plane encountered a storm. The flight attendant gave the order for everyone to take his seat. It was a rowdy flight, and the passengers were slow to respond. She gave the warning again. With some still not responding, she changed her tone of voice and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, for your own safety take your seats.” One would have thought that by this time everyone would have been in his seat buckled up; but apparently that was not the case, because the next voice that was heard was that of the pilot. “This is the captain,” he advised. “People have gotten hurt by going to the bathroom instead of staying in their seats. Let’s do what I say. Now sit down and buckle up!” About that time the bathroom door opened, and a red-faced fellow with a sheepish grin exited and took his seat. The pilot was not being insensitive or unthoughtful, but rather just the opposite. He would rather the man be safe and embarrassed than uninformed and hurt. Any good pilot will do what it takes to get his passengers to the airport safely.
God has been teaching me that He will do whatever it takes to get us safely home. He will whisper, shout, touch, and tug. He will be kind and stern, tender or tough. He will lift burdens or take away blessing. He will do what it takes. He will allow my world to be crushed and my heart to be trampled if that is necessary. God will do whatever it takes to get me home to Heaven.
He will do whatever it takes to make sure that we are completely His. God’s goal is not our happiness but our holiness. He is not scampering about the landscape seeking ways to meet our every want, but He is committed to turning the world upside down, if necessary, to provide us what we need to be holy. If suffering is what we need, God will let the storm break in upon us. If it is adversity that we need, God may allow the devil to unleash his hoards against us. If it is the tender caress of His heavenly hand or a miraculous answer to prayer, God will make sure it comes. Whatever we need to conform us to His image, God will see that it is there. This is consistently reaffirmed in Scripture. Israel could have been out of Egypt and in the land of promise by foot in only eleven days. But God took them on the forty-year route. Why? Deuteronomy 8:22-24 tells us that He wanted them to suffer hunger and then feed them manna so they would know that “man does not live by bread alone.” Their clothes would not wear out, and their feet would not swell so that they could learn that He is absolutely trustworthy. He sent the Hebrew boys into the fire, He sent His disciples into the storm, and He sends His Church into a world that promises opposition and hatred. But through it all, He brings us through. He does whatever it takes to make us His, to make us holy, and to get us home safely.
This Thanksgiving you can look for me in the praise section, and my note of praise is going to say, “Thank God that our Heavenly Father will do whatever it takes to make us His and to get us home.”