The Rule to the Exception
Reading the Bible as a book of stories that happened to special people can feel defeating. We read about the greats like Moses, Abraham, David, Elijah, Peter, Paul, etc. and we knowingly or unknowingly believe they are somehow better than we are, that they were the exception to the rule of ordinary living.
This morning I was reading Exodus 33 where God reveals himself to Moses. It was not but a few weeks ago that I wrote about this passage. It still amazes me how the Spirit can cause certain verses to stand out when just a few days before they were just another sentence on the page. Verse 17 says that the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and know you by name.” The thought hit me: “Why not me?” The times I previously read this text I thought how awesome it was for God and Moses to be this close. But if I read the Bible as a book of examples, why can’t I insert my name here?
Many of you know that our daughter Annabelle is in the NICU. And many of you are holding us up and battling for us in prayer. God continues to answer with many yeses every day. In light of this situation I keep wondering if this could be my story. If Moses can ask God for a specific request and He do the very thing he asked, why not me? Why not you?
I am more and more a believer in asking God for very specific requests and eagerly awaiting a response. Gideon asked for a sign, that the fleece be wet and the ground by dry. God did the very thing he asked. As if one sign was not enough, Gideon asked a second time that the fleece be dry and the ground be wet. The next morning it was so.
How about Elijah? James recounts the event when Elijah prayed earnestly that it would not rain and God answered. Elijah was a man. Just. Like. Us.
David has many requests throughout the Psalms. God shows up time and time and time again.
These men and women of faith were regular, ordinary, humanly weak people just like us. Their faith is what sets them apart. We are called to this same kind of faith.
The medical staff keep telling us that Annabelle is acting her age. They tell us she is medically boring (which we count as a tremendous blessing). They tell us her progress is normal. I am grateful she is doing well for her age but honestly, I do not really care what is “normal.” God is not confined to our timeline of when certain skills should develop. My prayer now is that I will receive the response that Moses received: “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and know you by name.” I pray every day that today is the day that Annabelle learns to eat and we can break her out of there! The Bible is a book of examples not exceptions.
My prayer for you today is that you begin to insert your name in these examples. We each have our own trials that we are in need of an answer like Moses received. Ask it. Pray specifically for it. God is sovereign and His plan will prevail. But we know without faith it is impossible to please God. God has answered specific requests of his saints for generations. Pray bold prayers and eagerly expect to be another example and rule to the exception.