Redeeming Pleasure

"Coauthors with God"

The stunning view we often see in the Bible is a God who is present with us in each moment and who opens up a world of possibilities with us.

We see this in moving stories such as Hezekiah, the Israelite king who heard from God that he was about to die. Specifically, God told him, “You are going to die; you will not recover.” Not a lot of ambiguity there. But Hezekiah wasn’t quite ready to die, so he pled with God to let him live.

And guess what? God changed His mind and changed reality according to what Hezekiah asked for. He gave Hezekiah fifteen more years to live. Hezekiah co-wrote a new script with God.

The traditional argument to this is to say God knew He would eventually give Hezekiah fifteen more years to live. Makes sense, right? As long as we are okay with a God who lies to us. Remember that whole thing about Hezekiah not recovering from his illness? Stories like Hezekiah’s cause us to wrestle with a God of limitless possibilities inviting us to be coauthors of an incredible story, or having to create some serious logistical hoops to jump through.

Or, in one of the most famous moments of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, He awaited His execution the next day by praying during the night in the Garden of Gethsemane. But the wording Jesus prayed should alert us to a bigger reality.

Faced with crucifixion, torture, and ridicule, Jesus felt appropriately overwhelmed. We read about this man, fully God and fully human, praying this prayer: “If it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” Then He added, “If it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

If it’s possible?

Shouldn’t Jesus know the answer to that? Yet even God in flesh interacted with God the Father in open terms. That’s because God hasn’t planned out every detail of your life. He’s left that to you. Sure, He has a plan He’d love you to follow in order to live the type of life He designed you to live. But it’s up to you. You get to decide the big picture as well as each moment.