2, 1, 3, 4, 5 …

The gentleman got up in the middle of the service, walked to the platform and took hold the the microphone. He called three young girls to come to the front. To one he gave a man's jacket, to another he gave the Bible, and to the third he gave a hammer.

"The first represents humanity," he said as he placed the girl with the jacket to his right. "The second represents God," he continued, placing the young girl with the Bible in the middle. "The third represents …" and here he fumbled for a word, finally settling on the word "work." She was placed off to the left.

He went on to explain that we generally think of that we, humanity, initiate every process. For example if we are sick, or someone else is sick, we pray. God moves in response to our prayers and things happen.

Then he took the middle girl and moved her to the right, placing the one with the jacket in the middle.

"But we have the order wrong," he said. "God moves, we respond, and things happen. If He moves, and we don't respond God finds another way to get done what He has foreordained. If we don't respond or resist, we miss out, He never does.

I kind of like that theology. It returns God to His rightful place and puts me in mine. It also reminds me that results don't depend on me; my faith or lack of it, the strength and frequency of my prayers or the lack thereof, my obedience or failure to obey. I do need stronger faith, a more dedicated prayer life and more constancy, but God is not limited by me as though He were a weak link in the chain of life.

Getting the order right is a great relief. I will fail at my part in the process despite my best efforts. God never fails. While He delights to work in me and through me, He will not be thwarted by me. Such understanding only makes me want to get the order straight and listen carefully for His voice so that I can be an part of His great divine design.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, …


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I have actually heard some say that God CANNOT do ANYTHING unless we pray first. It is grievous to think that some will believe anything without really searching the scriptures for themselves first.


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