written by Zach
I heard a pastor recently say something that I agree with wholeheartedly. He said christians pray too often for God to make “a table” when God doesn’t make tables, but insisted that God makes “trees” instead. The pastor wasn’t talking about literal tables and trees, but was making an analogy. He said christians pray earnestly for something to exist, to happen, or change, without considering God might want us to take more initiative in whatever that “thing” is we’re praying so hard for to happen. God doesn’t make the table. God makes the tree. You and I use the resources of the tree, work hard, and make the table ourselves.
That dream you have is not going to just happen one day. It’s not just going to appear out of thin air. God might have planted some kind of “seed” in you for something to happen, but he expects you and I to work hard and work with him in order for it to come to fruition.
The same applies with our health, especially our stinkin’ thinkin.’ I remember when I desperately wanted anxiety to be gone from my life. I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed…AND PRAYED for God to make it happen. He did, in fact, make it happen, but not in the way I thought he would. I prayed for the “table” without understanding that God had already planted a forest of trees all around that I could use to help find healing.
At that time I was not open to counseling and medication. These two options were actual, possible resources for God to use to give me the thing I wanted so badly- for anxiety to no longer rule my life. I didn’t know that scientists, researchers, doctors, and therapists had empirically proven, specific forms of therapy that could help a person quite literally change their negative thinking patterns to lead people to healing from their anxiety.
I don’t know why it took me so long to accept “outside” help with my anxiety. I just know I wanted God to take it away. I don’t know if I just didn’t want to work for it, or if I wanted healing to happen the way I thought it should happen. I don’t know if it was because I simply didn’t know that God could use other means, or if my legalistic tendencies would not allow myself to be healed in other ways except for the laying of hands and prayer.
I agree with the pastor. God doesn’t always make tables. But he always makes trees. As it relates to healing, I believe there is freedom from God for us to join him in the healing process. In fact, I think God enjoys it when we join him. He is a loving Father who wants an intimate relationship, so it’s natural for me to think of him in this way of joining him in his work.
The question Jesus asked a person coming to him for healing is the same question I’ll ask you…”Do you want to get well?” If your answer is yes, then I want to encourage you to open your thinking and world up to other possible ways God might want use to heal you. How can you take more ownership in your healing? Or even better…how can you join Jesus more in your healing?