Sunday Post 116: Doing It Yourself

On Monday, I was driving back from the dance studio for the seventieth time this week, this time with Michelle.  We passed an ambulance and she asked, “Dad.  When you see an ambulance or a fire truck drive by, do you say a prayer for the people they’re going to help?”

I responded, “You know Michelle, I actually do.  It just pops into my head.”

“Yeah, me too.  Do you think God answers our prayers?”

“I don’t know.  What do you think?”

“Sometimes I think He wants you to do it by yourself.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Well, when I was trying to quit sucking my thumb, I asked God to make me stop, and He didn’t do a thing about it.”

“I understand.  I’ve experience similar situations.”

Sometimes I think He wants you to do it yourself… hum…

I don’t know that I really have a problem with people praying to win a ball game or praying for a good parking place at the mall.  I guess that’s sort of between them and God.  But to be honest, if He won’t save my young wife from dying, I sure hope He’s working on something more important than finding parking places for someone.

Maybe there are times He intervenes.  Maybe there are times when He wants us to do it ourselves.

Life certainly isn’t easy, and I sometimes think I feel God’s presence.  I sort of see His hand in things.

At other times, I’m disappointed He hasn’t more quickly and apparently stepped in.  Maybe He’s busy helping someone else.  Or maybe He thinks it’s about time I took things into my own hands and took responsibility for my own actions.  He probably isn’t gonna yank my thumb out of my mouth!  First I have to want to stop sucking.  Then, and only then, might He help give me the strength or put the tools in place to help me.

I don’t think that God can cure my grief if I don’t work at it too.  It isn’t like Bewitched, a squenching of the nose and all is well.

Is it possible to rely too much on God?  I’m not sure.  But I’m confident that at times I don’t rely on myself enough.  I don’t take responsibility for my own actions.  Maybe that’s what that great philosopher Michelle Tanner was talking about.  Sometimes I just need to look myself in the eyes and begin the process of change.  I think He can usually help, but it’s likely that we may have to do some of the work ourselves.

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  1. Great philosopher our Michelle Tanner, really!
    It took me much longer to understand what she’ up to!

  2. Thanks for this!

  3. Ac Snow

     /  April 28, 2013

    Sorry, I misssent message intended for my daughter. Anyway, nice posting this morning…a good little sermon there…cheers…acsnow


  4. Aunt Susan

     /  April 28, 2013

    wow, the words of wisdom out of the mouths of children.

  5. Miriam

     /  April 28, 2013

    You have a very insightful daughter. And I like this:

    “Life certainly isn’t easy, and I sometimes think I feel God’s presence. I sort of see His hand in things.
    At other times, I’m disappointed He hasn’t more quickly and apparently stepped in.”

    I’m going to carry that thought with me this Sunday, that perhaps it is enough to simply feel the presence of God in our lives rather than any clear answers or solutions.

  6. Very well said, like that statement, “God helps those who help themselves.”

    • Danny Tanner

       /  April 30, 2013

      I think He tried to help all, but you gotta contribute something!

  7. Sharon

     /  April 29, 2013

    This is exactly what Pastor Steven was talking about in his sermon series “The Will of God is WHATEVER”. Check it out…you will be touched!

  8. Jill Hensdale Shipp

     /  April 30, 2013

    Bruce –
    Small, small world – I found out about your blog from Steve Montgomery. I’m in Charlotte and work for KinderMourn, an agency that serves bereaved parents and children. He shared your link, I clicked in and poof – Bruce Ham from Terry Sanford. I am so sorry for your loss but am so moved my how you have chosen to continue living. Your writing is amazing – thank you for sharing.

    Jill Hensdale Shipp

    • Danny Tanner

       /  April 30, 2013

      My old buddy from FTS. I’m glad to know what you’re doing too. That is important work – I know the value firsthand. It’s been a tough couple of years but we’re doing pretty well. Somethng like this will change you. Tell Steve I said hello. It’s good to hear from you!


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