The blogger was ranting about Christians who claim God got them a good parking spot at the mall. “With people starving, dying from easily curable diseases and lack of clean water, terrorism and hatred on the rise and the world basically going to hell, do you really think God cares about being your personal mall valet?”
At first I cheered him on thinking, “Yeah, how can we be so self-focused to think God cares about us getting a good parking spot.”
Then I remembered a story a Bible translator told me.
He was translating 1 Peter 5:7 into Ixil (ee-SHEEL) a Mayan language.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
He would translate and then ask his translation partner – a bi-lingual native speaker who was also a Christian – to read it over and see if it accurately communicated what the passage said. The translator said his translation needed to be reworked. He tried another way of saying it. The native speaker still didn’t like it. After three or four more unsuccessful tries the translator got frustrated and went back to his original translation.
“What’s wrong with my first translation? If you read this passage in your native language what would you think it was saying to you?”
“If I read that translation I would believe that God is concerned about every aspect of my life, no matter how small or trivial”, the translation partner explained.
Surprised, the translator said, “That’s exactly what this passage is saying.”
Stunned, the translation partner rocked back in his chair. He knew God loved him but he was overwhelmed that the God of all creation could actually care about every little detail of his small life in a remote Mayan village in the mountains of Guatemala.
I read that passage so casually that it doesn’t even phase me. The God of all Gods, the supreme, all mighty Creator actually cares about things that concern me, about everything, no matter how trivial? Is that possible? Would that include parking spaces at the mall?
I can only begin to understand it if I look at it from a father’s perspective. I may have big adult problems I’m dealing with but if my beloved child is sad over a dead bug then I’m sad over a dead bug. A dead bug’s not important but this dead bug is important because she’s important. I don’t point out that there are people dying so we shouldn’t care about a lowly bug. It’s important to the one I love so it’s important to me because she is important to me.
Can God possibly be the same way? Can trivial matters in our life be important to Him simply because we are important to Him? Important enough that He sent his son to die for us.
No, he isn’t going to be our personal valet and sometimes he may say, “You need to walk.” But I’ve got to believe that our heavenly father, in the midst of dealing with all his big adult problems also occasionally says, “I want to bless and encourage you today, my child. Here’s a great spot just for you, my love.”
Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4