Men like to manage things and there’s nothing wrong with that. But sometimes we men try to manage or fix things, so we don’t have to deal with uncertainty and there’s plenty wrong with that. This habit will often reflect how we approach relationships, which are inherently messy.
For instance, my seven-year-old grandson asked me if he could have a chocolate covered sugar free wafer cookie; something old people are suppose to eat when they watch calories and carbohydrates. Only when he asked, he already had the cookie in toll, right between two of his fingers. He smiled and did asked politely, but there is a problem here. Do you see it coming?
I felt managed and then said, “No, if you are going to ask me for a cookie, then ask me first, without having the cookie already between you grimmy fingers—as if I can’t turn you down.” He looked shocked! Like how was I supposed to know he was doing this? Then I said, “I’m being manipulated (another word for ‘managed’) by you and that bugs me.”
Later, my grandson comes to me and asked for the cookie again. This time, he doesn’t have it between his fingers and I say, “Yes.” After eating the cookie, he said, “Grampa, I asked first without holding the cookie in my hand.” There was a little smile of pride. I thought, “How come I’m still feeling managed?”
Whether my grandson asked in the right way or not, his focus was more on the cookie, which still seemed like he was demanding it. In other words, rather than enter into the uncertainty of possibly not getting the cookie, his goal is to find a way to eliminate that uncertainty, so he can in fact have that cookie. Hence, even asking in the right way was twisted, because his politeness is possessiveness.
This longer introduction into the subject of God and storms is to make the point that sometimes we men will do anything we can, just to get some proverbial cookie. It doesn’t matter what the cookie is and by the way, all of humanity is included in this scenario too.
Last week, when I mentioned Jonah’s story, it was to reveal how God can and will use personal storms to show us he’s soverign. And sometimes, it will come across as a disruptive love. I’m not talking tough love but disruptive love.
Storms shake us up and like it did with Peter in Matthew 14, the storm was used to impress upon him that trying to manage or manipulate his faith is considered “Little Faith.” Whatever it was, it seemed like Peter was going for a cookie of personal satisfaction. It looked good and what he did was bold, but as the waves continued to roll, he began to sink. God’s disruptive love brought Peter to this moment.
That moment was to trust Jesus, even in the uncertainty, without trying to guarantee he’d get whatever proverbial cookie he was demanding, which I think Jesus knew was happening—my bias.
It’s not that cookies aren’t good, but Jesus is enough. When I make the cookie the focus, I’m sinking. That’s true for Jonah, Peter, my grandson, and me too. How about you?