Jared and his dad were playing a game of catch one afternoon, when Jared asked, “Dad, is there a God?” Joe, his father, had a string of trite answers racing through his mind. But in the end his father opted for honesty; “I don’t know, Jared,” he replied.
A Message To God
Jared dug a little deeper, “If there is a God, how would you know him?” “I really have no idea, Jared. I only went to church a couple of times when I was a kid, so I don’t know a lot about those kinds of things.” Jared seemed deep in thought for a few minutes as the game of catch continued. Suddenly, he headed for the house. “I’ll be right, back, dad,” he yelled over his shoulder, “I have to get something.” Jared soon returned with a balloon fresh from the circus along with a pen and an index card. “Jared, what in the world are you doing?,” his father asked.
He earnestly replied, “I’m going to send a message to God—airmail.” Before Joe could protest, Jared started writing on the index card: “Dear God, if you are real and if you are there, send people who know you to my dad and me.” Joe kept his mouth shut, not wanting to dampen his son’s enthusiasm. This is silly, he thought as he helped Jared fasten the card to the balloon’s string. God, I hope you are watching, he added to his silent petition.
After Jared let go of the balloon, father and son stood with their faces to the sky and watched it sail away. Two days later, Joe and Jared pulled into a free car wash. “How much?” Joe asked as he neared the line of buckets, sponges and hoses. “It’s free,” the guy told him, “No strings attached.””Really!,” Joe exclaimed. He was intrigued by getting something for nothing. “But why are you doing this?” “We just want to show you God’s love in a practical way.” It was as if that simple statement opened a hidden door to Joe’s heart.
The look on his face was incredible. “Wait a minute,” he practically shouted, “are you guys Christians?” “Yeah, we’re Christians,” the man replied. “Are you the kind of Christians who believe in God?” The man could not help but smile, “Yes, we’re that kind of Christians.” After directing a big grin at Jared, Joe proceeded to tell the story of releasing the helium balloon with its message only days earlier. Joe said, “I guess you’re the answer to one of the strangest prayers God’s ever received”.
God’s Thoughts Are Not Like Our Thoughts
This is a great story, because it points to one thing I want to say this morning: God works in a mysterious way. You may have heard that saying before. But I find it’s very true. You never know how God is going to work in our lives. It can be very surprising! There’s some wonderful verses from the Bible which explain further. Isaiah 55:8-9 says: “My thoughts, says the Lord, are not like yours. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.”
That simply means God’s ways are not our ways:
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- Why does God seem to provide a great solution to a difficult situation, with everyone agreeing that it is the perfect solution, only to later unravel the solution to everyone’s dismay?
- Why does God sometimes work in mysterious ways?
I don’t really know the answer myself, but he does.
But We Can Know God
In the movie Rudy, the undersized Notre Dame football player endures some tough times because his dream to play for Notre Dame is not being fulfilled. He goes to see a wise Catholic priest named Father Cavanaugh. In one of the best lines ever to come out of Hollywood, Father Cavanaugh says, “Son, in 35 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard incontrovertible facts: there is a God and I’m not him.”
There is a God, you’re not him, but you can know him personally! You may wonder how that is possible—our human limitations prevent us from thinking and talking correctly about God. That’s why God reveals himself to us in the Bible. And the Bible says while God is majestic and mysterious, we can seek him and know him.
Isaiah instructs us on when to seek God and how to seek him. We are to seek him while he may be found, to call on him while he is near. God is not playing some kind of cosmic hide-and-seek. He wants to have a love relationship with you. He sent his Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins and mine.