GOD IS NO VENDING MACHINE
GOD IS NO VENDING MACHINE
By: Pauline Lee
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I was thirsty and tired. The heat and humidity never seemed to cease. The moment I spotted the vending machine, I jumped with joy. It looked a little old and unused. I checked my wallet for coins. It was double joy when I found enough to slot in for a can of cold beverage. After paying and selecting my choice, I EXPECTED that good old can of thirst quencher to roll its way down to my hand. Nothing appeared. The common reaction followed. The laborious kicking did not seem to produce any result. A machine that showcases a functional device but only deceives in the end.
Many of us seek God for our own human reasons. Our thirst and hunger send us immediately on a sprawl, quickening us to slot that last coin hoping to gain from God. Then we become disappointed when our EXPECTATION is not met. Then we are surprised when God acts in contrary to our interests. And we lament thinking that God has deceived our poor souls. Christians easily fall into the trap of making God their vending machine. Coins in, can out. And we are always caught in surprises when our EXPECTATION is not met by our God who claims to "Ask and it shall be given" (Matthew 7:7). Seldom we remember to ask ourselves what our EXPECTATION is based upon. Is it our own will or God's? Our human will may seem perfectly harmless but only God knows what is best for us. And thus, Jesus gave us the second part of Matthew 7:7 - "seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." We often forget to seek. We desire quick answers to our problems and make conclusions of God based on our limited view of Him.
The characters of the Bible were no different. When they faced storms, they trembled. Even the prophet Jeremiah thought God deceived him (Jeremiah 20:7) when he was ridiculed and persecuted for his obedience. For years, I struggled with problems and issues. They were haunting me unceasingly. The world would have looked at my life and laughed. My friends who knew my challenges could only feel pity for me. Unbelievers scoff and say "Your God is not worthy of worship! He has not restored you to riches and glory!" I do not look particularly blessed to the world. But through the years of being mocked, God continued to minister to me. Though my body was fragile and weak, my mind and spirit grew from strength to strength. No doubt, there were instances I was tempted to think God was my vending machine. Each day I live, I hear these words taken from John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Come to think of it, I had victories too. The overcoming has helped me to live. Else, I would have been lost in the pile of godless souls.
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Pauline, I loved the title and it was very thought provoking! Thanks for sharing it with me.