I now have the latest installment.
After watching God keep my laptop running on several occasions, I finally purchased a replacement power adapter for my computer.
My original one is still working (I now have the luxury of keeping one upstairs and one downstairs for convenience), but I noticed that it was being temperamental. And that if I squeezed it in just the right spot, it would work once again.
So, I ordered a replacement.
The question is: was my ordering a new power adapter an act of faithlessness? After all, I had seen God fix the other one and keep it running several times in a row. Was my initial faith and thankfulness now being replaced by pragmatism?
I don’t think so.
A skeptic might say, “See, it never was God’s activity keeping your laptop running. You figured it out yourself: squeeze in the right spot and there you go, up and running again. It had nothing to do with faith, or with God’s Fatherly goodness.”
Experiencing God fixing my power cord was an event of faith and His goodness. Had I gone ahead with ordering a replacement at that time, I think it would have been an act of faithlessness and anxiety on my part. It would have been me trying to fix, trying to control, the situation.
But now, it’s a different situation. God carried me through that night of power loss, and prevented more serious disaster as well. He gave me eyes to see what He was doing. And now, He’s giving me the wisdom to act in prudent preparation. Being spared an electrical disaster is one thing: continuing to operate on an electrical device with a significant internal fault is foolish. I felt a peace to go ahead and order a new one, to be ready if or when the original one failed. God carried me through the time of uncertainty, and brought me to a place where I can continue to act in faith and wisdom, not in foolish independence, leaning on my own resources (not His) in order to make it through the situation.
Some may challenge my chosen course of action, thinking that I should continue to cling to and rely on His goodness to keep that power adapter working. I am clinging to His goodness, but without insisting that He deliver me from a potentially increasingly dangerous situation. He did deliver me, He brought me through, He gave me peace, He provided so that–even in the relatively mundane act of ordering a replacement part–I can do this too in faith, seeing His hand. Preparedness from a place of peace isn’t foolish or faithless. It’s God-given wisdom.
There’s no need to push God and to test Him, to try and force His hand to continue to provide miracle after miracle. He has shown Himself, and now it’s my role to respond rightly, to live out the lesson, and to permit Him to do something else in me rather than just have me cling to the same lesson of faith over and over again.
Surely, in some cases, the right response would be to continue to look to Him to keep that power adapter working as long as possible. He kept clothes and shoes from wearing out for 40 years when His chosen people marched across the desert (Deut 8:4, 29:5). They had to rely on Him past the first day, past the first year, past the first decade. That was the lesson He had for them.
For me, the lesson was spread out over a few days, and then it was time to build from that God-given faith to act out of God-given wisdom. Where the humanist sees me tossing aside my faith and finally turning to pragmatism, I can see that this is the next step for me right now. He preserved me so that I could continue to lean on Him, but it looks a little different at the moment.
There will undoubtedly be other lessons of faith (He’s fixing my car transmission at the moment), but we err if we lock ourselves into thinking that we must always be experiencing the same lesson of faith on a continual basis. God’s got more that He wants to do in us. Letting Him do that isn’t faithlessness. It’s wisdom.