Tuesday, December 9, 2008
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We were visiting with some of my wife's cousins the other day, and we got to talking about the incredible fishing results that Cousin Marty gets. It doesn't seem to matter when he fishes or where he fishes, he brings back a stringer of big ones. He would not understand at all a fisherman that I heard about recently. It was one of those days when it wasn't just the bugs who were biting; the big fish really were. And this particular angler kept reeling in fish that were at least a foot long, and then he kept throwing them back. A fisherman in a nearby boat kept watching this with a mixture of amazement and disgust. Finally, he couldn't resist. He called over to the fisherman after he had just thrown back another fish that was over a foot long. He said, "Hey! Why are you throwing back all those big fish?" The answer was more disturbing than his not keeping them. He replied, "Hey! I've only got an eight-inch pan!" What?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Settling for So Little."
So this fisherman is settling for little stuff because he's only prepared for little stuff. Dumb. But then, I wonder if that isn't how some of us pray. We pray for what humans could do, not what Almighty God could do. We go to God with an "eight-inch pan" when He wants to give us something much, much bigger. When you consider the size and the power of the God to whom we pray, a lot of our prayers are - well, they're pretty pathetic.
Let's go to our word for today from the Word of God and see if we can pick up a much bigger "pan" for answers to our prayers. We begin in Jeremiah 32:17: "Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm." Think about that when you come to Him with a need, a problem, a challenge. In the words of John Newton, "You are coming to a King; great petitions with thee bring, for His love and power are such, none can ever ask too much."
Jeremiah goes on to celebrate the one to whom we pray with these words: "O great and powerful God, whose name is the Lord Almighty, great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds." Later in this chapter, God responds to Jeremiah: "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" You may have an issue in your life that's totally beyond your control, beyond your ability to fix it, beyond your ability to change it or even understand it. But is anything too hard for "the Lord Almighty," the one who "made the heavens and the earth?" Does the number of zeroes on the amount of money you need make it harder for God? Do the medical odds affect God's power to take care of it? Does the number of people you're up against mean God's going to have a harder time pulling this one out? The size of your need is absolutely inconsequential to a God for whom nothing is too hard!
So we shouldn't be surprised that a few verses later, in Jeremiah 33:3, this all-mighty Lord extends this invitation: "Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things..." We get man-sized answers because we expect man-sized answers. We believe God for what we can conceive, but your God is the God of the inconceivable. We've settled for so much less than what He could do because we continually overestimate the situation and underestimate God.
How often has God been ready to give us a bigger answer than we've ever seen, and we miss it because we've only got this "eight-inch pan?" It's time to blow the lid off your prayers by trusting your God, within the parameters of His perfect will, for something only God could do!