The Vending Machine God
Unlike the government, most of us don’t have the ability to blow as much money as we want on any thing we feel like. We must instead, toil for our bread, struggling through decades to create the illusion of safety. So when Jesus pulled food out of thin air (the loaves and fishes), the Jews immediately wanted to make Him their ruler. But instead of alleviating their suffering, Jesus sent everyone home. What? The long awaited deliverer is here and He puts the kibosh on the golden parachute?
Like anyone with common sense, they couldn’t take no as the answer. They trailed the disciples and eventually found Jesus on the other side of the Dead Sea. When Jesus saw them He revealed their motive, “I am telling you the truth: you are looking for me because you ate the bread and had all you wanted, not because you understood my miracles.”* It is this disappointing response that causes most people to walk away from God. You see, the reason the Jews rejected Jesus wasn’t because they didn’t believe He was the Messiah, rather, it was because He didn’t alleviate their problems.
We come to God for the promise of a paid mortgage and a life free from frustration. Like a vending machine, prayers go in, wants come out. But God never promised mankind freedom from disappointment. Jesus didn’t come to bring mankind financial independence, rather, He came to deliver us from our proclivity for selfishness and the inevitability of our death.
Until Heaven, both joy and sorrow will intimately dance cheek to cheek. In the chaotic wild of life’s unknowns, we must come to embrace what Jesus’ miracles actually meant: strength is found in dependence, peace is found in letting go, hope is found in belonging, and finally, happiness is a perspective not a destination.
As I sail through change My resolve remains the same What I chose are magic moments
Because ships are safe in the harbour But that is not what ships are made for
As we sail through change Ride the wind of a silent rage And sing laments of magic moments**
* John 6:26 NKJV, GNT
** William Shedd