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  • Katie Smith

The Advantage of the "Disadvantaged"


Have you ever doubted? Doubted God's existence? You've prayed, you've tried to read a Bible, you've visited a church or heard a sermon. But God is silent? There's no way He's real. You feel nothing different. I recall many moments I wondered if what I believed about God and the world was true or not. Why couldn't I communicate Truth to doubters? Why couldn't I hear God's voice at a particular time? Why did God feel far away? Why didn't He answer my prayers and those of others the way we requested?


In God's abundant grace and compassion, He always meets us right where we are. Gently and persistently, he patiently waits for us to come to Him. He lets us speak first even though He already knows the answer. Just like a parent listening to a child teach them something they already know, God actively listens when we come crying, complaining, or questioning His ways. His silence doesn't negate His existence.


Many people question God when He doesn't answer their demands. But isn't the truest sign of intimacy when friends can can sit together in peaceful silence? God yearns for us to trust His perfect love. There are no conditions or demands in true love. Charles Spurgeon explained the endless cries of doubts and unanswered pain from the Israelites like this:


“The first thing to be done with the [them] was to cause them to be anxious to come out of [their home], for it is not God’s way to make men his servants, except so far as they willingly yield themselves to him. He never violates the human will, though he constantly and effectually influences it. Jehovah wants not slaves to grace his throne; and, therefore, God would not have the people dragged out of Egypt, or driven out in fetters, against their own glad consent. He must bring them out in such a way that they would be willing to come out, so that they would march forth with joy and delight, being thoroughly weary and sick of old [life], and therefore rejoicing to get away from it” (Spurgeon.org, "Israel's Cry and God's Answer")


Amazingly, God knows when we are just whining to get away from discomfort, and when we are really crying; when our readiness leads to sincere change because we trust Him, in silence. Afterwards, He speaks. When GOD speaks to you, and your heart is ripe and ready to listen, His voice unquestionably echoes in your ears. It's a force of wind no one can deny, but the crier hears the voice; the whiner only sees wind.


God has affirmed His existence in my life every time I've questioned it. He has spoken with irrefutable evidence, blotting out all my uncertainties. God's voice can be as clear as the words we communicate to each other IF we are actively listening.


To those who can't believe or don't believe in a True God--perhaps you need the wisdom of the Deaf or disabled, the insight from those living with some disadvantage or that of a small child. All prove more trustworthy than the intelligence of world leaders. God always uses the weak and meek to shame the might of man.


My meek Levi asked everyone to pray for His routine x-ray, and he believed in faith that his hip disease would be gone. He wanted to jump! Jumping on a trampoline was his heart's desire. However, after a disappointing x-ray and an MRI confirmation, Levi was told he would be bound to a wheelchair for at least six weeks this fall. No trampoline, surgery instead. Did this take away his faith? No.


Instead of saying, "How sweetly innocent, Levi stills believes." Instead of chalking it up to naiveté, perhaps ponder that my precious boy trusts that blessedness comes with trial. His past hardships have prepared him to have fearless faith. He once was bound by casted legs, dependent on others to put food through a tube in his tummy. And for this reason Christ exclaimed, "I praise you, Father, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." (Matthew 11:25)


God will speak directly to the humble (Mary), the meek (Moses), the small (David), the obscure (Disciples), and the persecuted (Paul), before He will reveal himself to those with great intellect or sizeable treasures. My son and his brothers have more insight than I did at their age, no doubt because of Levi's disadvantages.


Levi is not perfect; he was born sinful and has many more years to learn and grow, but I see something special in those who suffer and endure through hardship. I once envied their strength, but now I see the gift of trials. Let the trial finish its work so that you may be complete, lacking nothing, and resting in eternal joy (James 1:4). When you give glory to other things after a trial ends, you miss the chance of hearing your Creator's voice!


Roads that lack pavement are rough, but the end can provide a remarkable reward (note the Beatitudes). Levi's life hasn't been easy, but I'm grateful to share in the lasting-joy along the bumpy path. If you are ready to listen you'll start singing with God's sweet voice no matter where he takes you.


Taste and see that the Lord is good....



~Listening Carefully & Carelessly



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