My daughter has one default answer to the question, “How are you?”
Most people default to, “Fine,” “Good,” “Okay,” or even “Great!”
I’ve heard people answer, “better than can be expected.”
And even, “blessed” or “still alive.”
Not her. She has one response, “My tummy hurts.”
You may catch her in the middle of jumping up and down or running full-force outside on the playground. Even then, if you ask how she’s feeling, she’ll pull a long face, drop her hand to her stomach and groan out an agonized, “My tummy hurts.”
Sometimes she’ll get really wild and crazy and say something totally unexpected like, “I have a headache.” That’s just to keep us on our toes.
But when she started complaining this week of a stomachache, I fell into my normal mom-stance of skeptic complacency.
Sure, a stomachache. So what else is new?
But it was new and different. It was for real this time, a true illness that would confine her to the couch with a bucket for three days and counting.
She sure showed me!
How complacency blinds us and binds us! One minute we’re living out the daily routine blindfolded and half checked out and the next minute we’re thrown awake, eyes wide-open, forced to pay attention.
Oh, for real this time. This isn’t the normal. This is new.
And we need to be shaken awake.
God didn’t design us to live life and live faith halfway asleep and mostly disengaged.
He wants our full attention.
So, He’s not above surprising us sometimes.
Maybe David needed a surprise like that.
When King David announced that the Ark of the Lord should be brought home to Jerusalem, the priests should have followed proper protocol.
Instead, they loaded what probably seemed like an old and generally meaningless relic from bygone days onto a cart and sent it on down the road.
They broke the rules. God told them exactly how to handle His presence—carried on poles on the shoulders of priests, not bumbling down a bumpy road in a cart entrusted to animals.
So, when the Ark started to tumble off onto the ground, Uzzah the priest reached out to catch it, thinking surely he was doing the right thing, the good thing, the honorable thing.
But he was struck dead by the holy might of Almighty God.
No one should have touched the Ark. Not ever.
Max Lucado writes:
Uzzah should have known this. He was a priest, a Koathite priest, a descendent of Aaron himself. The ark had been kept in the house of his father, Abinadab. He had grown up with it. Which may be the best explanation for his actions…..The message: don’t grow lax before the holy. God won’t be loaded on convenient wagons or toted about by dumb animals….
King David snapped to awake. Of course, he snapped to anger also, exploding at God about the injustice of Uzzah’s death.
And then He worshiped in awe.
The truth is, all those years living in the same house as the Ark hadn’t impressed Uzzah; it had made him complacent, like he was handling little more than a dust-covered knick-knack from a living room shelf.
All those years living in the same house with my daughter, and she still manages to surprise me.
All these years of marriage, I still discover my husband and could there be any better than falling and falling and falling in love?
And, all these years with Jesus, surely He still surprises. And amazes.
Just when you think you know what size box God fits in, He loves to show off His might.
Just when you think you know how far faith will take you, He asks you to go farther.
Just when you think you understand how deep His love is, He draws you down deeper.
David’s praise became rooted in a God who is great beyond comprehension:
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom (Psalm 145:3 NIV, emphasis mine).
God sure can surprise us.
In fact, He can shock us right out of our socks and shoes some times.
How much better, though, to lean in and listen….
To quiet our restless hearts…..
To be still….
To pause and deeply look….
To awaken to the holiness of God and live life in awe of His presence, expecting His glory this very day, this very hour, this very moment.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.