Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Personality Plus

The people in the Bible lived outrageous lives.

Some lived to be over 800 years old.  Jonah was swallowed by a fish.  Noah and all those animals.  Moses’ amazing feats.  Jesus’ disciples hung out with him after his death. 

I’ve seen enough crazy stuff in my life to believe all of them.

And why not?  God can do anything.  If he wants to make whacko stuff happen, he can.  He sort of corners the market on doing whatever he wants.  I’m amazed and thankful everyday that he’s able to do all of it for good.

The stuff that really makes me wonder, though, is what was in the heads of the people in these stories?

We sort of know what Jonah was thinking about after being swallowed by a fish – his book is sort of like a diary.  But what was Noah thinking when the animals started coming?  How about when Moses raised his hand and the sea parted?  Was he jazzed by this?  Did he try it out later with a cup of water, under the cover of his tent?

Were these people like OMG that was amazing I want to do it again?  Maybe except for Jonah.

Or were they totally together, fully confident in their abilities with God at the steering wheel?  Like people today who do things like chase tornados and free sex slaves and jump from helicopters into enemy territory and stuff like that? 

How was David able to stand against Goliath?  What was he thinking?  We know that he was confident that God was with him overall, but he was human, wasn’t he?  There had to have been some small part of him that was like “This is nuts, what am I doing?”

I love thinking about the people in the Bible.  They were regular humans, experiencing life as we do.  Maybe the details aren’t the same between us, but they lived and breathed and ate and drank and interacted and worked and loved and cried, just like the rest of us.  Did they know they’d be in this book someday, that their lives would be used as stories to teach generations of people about life and faith and God?

None of us know how we really influence others during our lifetimes.  Most of us will not have books written about our lives.

But we all have the opportunity to live our lives according to the instructions God gives us, just as our favorite Bible characters did.  We can use their lives as examples of how to live our own, and we can model our faith after theirs.  They were chosen by God to teach us the lessons he wants us to learn.  Despite whatever was going on in their heads at the time, they are the ones that we look at when we are going through something similar.

I might have a Goliath to face today.  Will I standing tall before it, drawing on the power of God to face it head on like David?  Am I relying on God to clear the obstacle ahead of me like Moses?

Truth is, I don’t know.  Do any of us know what we will do at the moment of crisis?  Our plans and expectations may change in an instant; we may find that we’re not as brave as we thought.  We may even find that our faith wasn’t as strong as we thought.

It’s sobering and humbling to know that what we think and how we act could be two very different things.  I’ve proven that to myself many times over.

I don’t trust myself to follow through every time.  But I do trust God, and I pray that he strengthens my faith enough to withstand trouble when it comes.



  1. OK, about Jonah...there is the part where he got saved and didn't just drown in that whale's belly. So there's that for his "ah-mazing" moment.
    More often than not, I feel like these people in the Bible probably thought something like "are you kidding me??? That is never going to work. But OK...if you say so." At least that's what I think I'd probably have going through my mind.

    1. Yeah. I mean, most of it seems crazy. It amazes me, the faith that some of them had. Would I be that strong to go so boldly against the tide? I have no idea.