WORDS FROM W.W. December 9, 2009

“Specific Requests”

An old friend from Michigan (I’m old. She’s not!) wrote us about her son Timmy’s letter to Santa Claus. It read, “Dear Santa, could you please bring me a Crystal Swiper with the Power-minder guys and rock monsters and crystal Lego set. You can get them at Meijer’s (a store) on the top shelf.”
I love the specificity! It reminds me of the plot line in the movie A Christmas Story, where Ralphie wants a Red Ryder BB gun, which his mom doesn’t want him to have because of a fear he would shoot his eye out.
It’s interesting that the Bible has a multitude of stories about specific requests of God to His people, but is lacking in the number of specific requests from the people of God to Him. It’s not a completely vacant category–Gideon did cast a fleece before the Lord–but specific requests are few and far between.
On the other hand, God “gets specific” with Moses about numerous points of emphasis for the Jewish law. He gets specific with Jonah about the city he is to go to and the message he is to speak there. He gets specific with what Philip is to do and say to the Ethiopian he meets. He gets specific with the wise men about where they will find the Christ-child.
God specifically requests that we go in a certain direction, listen in a focused way, speak certain words, practice procedures in a certain way and order. The intent is not to create a legalistic culture and following, but rather to hone and shape an obedience that deepens the divine-human relationship.
Perhaps Timmy has something that we need to recover! A child can see hope in the world in a certain way that being specific and precise in his requests does not bother him. He hasn’t lost faith in a parent, or Santa, or in many cases, God to come through with the boxed object on the top shelf.
The harsh stories of our lives have a way of lowering our sights. The more mature we become, the less we look up. That may sound a bit brutal, but it is often the case. What is beyond a child’s reach is still hoped for. What is beyond a grown-up’s reach is disbelieved. We’re afraid that looking higher will cause us to lose our bearings.
May there be more “Timmy” in us this Christmas, and less Thomas (the doubting kind).
Look up.

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One Comment on “”

  1. Oxidayfilla Says:

    Fantastic issue, did not thought reading this was going to be so awesome when I saw your link!


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