Not a Genie: My journey through Psalms (89)

It’s funny how quick we are to question God’s authority. Despite the fact that he is a sovereign, omniscient and all powerful, we tend to view him like the genie from Disney’s Aladdin–“It’s all apart of the Genie gig,” our minds seem to say “phenomenal cosmic power–itty, bitty living space”. As if God can be confined to something like a lamp that all we need to do is rub and request. We put shackles on our God and then wonder why things don’t turn out the way we planned.

Funny thing about genies. Despite the fact that genies grant wishes–whatever wish you desire. Almost every narrative with this concept–once the wish is granted…Problems.

Aladdin learned this pretty quickly. Oh, yeah, my wish got me all this gold and a title and status, but it didn’t change the fact that I had to start my relationship off with a big, fat lie. And that always ends well. Not.

In the movie Bedazzled, the main character discovers a similar fate when he accepts 7 wishes from the devil (always a smart move) in exchange for his soul. His wishes…didn’t exactly turn out the way he had planned. He wanted to be rich–so he was turned into a Columbian drug lord. Yeah, great.

Fortunately, our God is about granting our wishes. He has phenomenal cosmic power, but no matte rhow we try to fit him into a box (or lamp), He doesn’t fit. We can’t shackle him into doing our bidding no matter how hard we try.

And I’ve found that’s actually a GOOD thing.

I’m a planner, so it won’t surprise most people to know that I pretty much had my life planned from the time that I exited the womb.

But God is so cool, he totally wrecks my plans. All. The. Time.

And it is incredibly frustrating. At least in the moment. It’s not until later that I understand HIS plan was so incredibly unfathomable that MY plans paled in comparison. So yes, it’s cool, but I have to keep learning this lesson over…and over….and over again.

Fortunately, our God is a really good teacher who believes in formative assessment (yes, I just teacher educationed you. Deal with it). Rather than handing me a test, patting me on the head, and wishing me good luck–then shaking his head and saying ‘too bad’ when I fail. He let’s me learn from my mistakes until I get it right. And sometimes…it takes a lot longer than either of us really expected. But he is steadfast and gracious and teaches me without a lick of condescension. Although there may be an occasional ‘I told you so,’ His ways are just, and right (Psalm 89:14). And unlike genies or satan–he’s not out to trick, manipulate or coerce me.

If he was–he’d grant wishes and laugh when they blew up in my face.

No, my God is good and his plan is greater than mine.

And that is beautiful.

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