Larry called out to me, “This cantaloupe isn’t any good.” He sat leaning over a partially eaten half-of-a cantaloupe. “It’s so hard.”
I went over to the other half sitting on the kitchen counter and touched it. It was as hard as a rock. “Well, no wonder you think it isn’t any good. It’s not ripe.”
Teasing me, Larry said, “Well, why haven’t you trained me in ripe cantaloupes?”
And so I did! “You have to wait until it feels soft on the outside.”
I thought this was a cute story and applies to my previous post about Jesus waiting so that He could raise Lazarus from the dead, rather than just heal him. The plan of God wasn’t “ripe” until the four days had passed and God would get even more glory from delivering from death, rather than just sickness.
As I’ve thought about that biblical story, I’ve felt drawn back again to a few chapters before in the book of John–John 11:1-3: “As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
The disciples revealed their very narrow thinking: someone’s to blame and it’s either the man or his parents. Jesus didn’t blame anyone. He didn’t think so narrowly. It would seem He’s indicating that bad things happen and no one is to blame–they just happen in our fallen and wicked world. But anything that happens is meant to be for the glory of God.
Somehow these two themes are related in my thinking: because we often limit God thinking He must do something the way we think and in the timing we think. Our narrow thinking can’t imagine another way. But our great, creative God can work in amazing ways beyond our understanding and expectations. Of course, He always keeps within righteousness and holiness. But He can out-think and out-plan us beyond what we could ever come up with.
I’m not suggesting we never try to figure out what God is doing, that would be impossible. But let’s not demand that He only work within our shallow and limited thinking.