I have several friends who have adopted children from Africa. It’s was a wild and miraculous thing to watch three families go through this process only to have all the pieces come together almost simultaneously. One couple is in Uganda now with their new baby girl. Within days, the other two families head to Zambia together to unite with their adopted children. It’s breathtaking.
As we’ve all joined in their excitement and prayed for them, I have been struck the idea that often we pray as if we’re telling God something he didn’t consider. Now, God, did you remember to pack the money they need? Don’t forget the passports!
What are we thinking? Do we think God is going to smack himself on the forehead and say, “Doh! I don’t know why I didn’t think of that! Thank you for reminding me.”
I don’t think so.
God is way ahead of us. In an amazing book I recently edited (and can’t wait to see published so I can tell you about it), the authors highlighted the first verse of Genesis where God’s Spirit “hovers” over the formless void. When God creates, there is a dance taking place. God is moving, stirring, changing things…making something out of nothing..and delighting in the dance of creation.
My prayers have changed. Now I pray, “God, give me eyes to see the dance, and let me join in.” I pray, knowing that the prayer is already answered. I’ve given up those prayers that were an attempt to kick God into action. My prayers have turned from drudgery (after all—it’s quite a tall order to kick the God of the universe into doing my bidding) into joyful expectation.
I don’t have to twist God’s arm. God’s arm is already moving, and He reaches his other arm to me, daring me to give it a whirl as He deftly guides me around the floor.
He creates the dance. We just follow along, keeping up the best we can, laughing at our clumsiness, and giddy with excitement about where the next steps will lead.
As we enter into the high point of the Easter season, it seems appropriate to focus on the God whose choreography included the exquisitely graceful move of kneeling to wash the feet of his friends and his enemy. Who could have imagined a dance like that?
There is a beautiful dance going on in Africa right now, and my friends are spinning around the floor in pure joy. I wish I could be there to see it!
Go! And know that God has already gone before you. God is creating new things—new dances. Get out on the floor and enjoy!
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)