We are well aware that God can do whatever God chooses to do. We are also aware that God's ways are sometimes unusual and unexpected (Isaiah 55:8).
At the same time, God is remarkably consistent.
If we pay attention, we discover that God works in similar ways. If we listen carefully, we begin to recognize the cadence of his voice. If we read the story attentively, we realize that God is still doing today what he has done from the beginning.
Even when we do not understand exactly what God is doing, there is always something in his behavior that looks like God.
When God's people were suffering in Egypt, they cried out for help. Groaning under the weight of slavery, they asked God for rescue. According to Exodus 2:23, their cries ascended to God.
And this is how God responded:
God listened to their groanings.
God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
God saw what was going on with Israel.
Exodus 2:24-25 (The Message)
In these very simple verses, we encounter the activity of God.
God listened. God remembered. God saw. God understood.
Just a few verses later, we find a similar list of divine activity:
God said, "I've taken a good, long look at the affliction of my people in Egypt.
I've heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters;
I know all about their pain.
And now I have come down to help them . . ."
Exodus 3:7-8a (The Message)
This second list is slightly different, but almost identical.
God looks. God hears. God knows. God comes down to help.
Throughout the story of God's people, we see the same pattern of God's activity. His behavior is consistent and steady. Repeatedly, we encounter a God who is aware, a God who cares, a God who knows, a God who sees, a God who understands, and a God who works to make things right.
It isn't quite enough to read about God's care for his children enslaved in Egypt. It is not enough even to be encouraged by those stories of old. Something more is required. What's required is that we come to know this same God who works in the same ways today.
Our lives today are shaped by those old stories And even when the circumstances are completely different - and even though we are not today "enslaved in Egypt" - we walk with this God who keeps working in the very same ways.
What a gift to walk with this God who listens, this God who remembers, this God who sees, this God who understands!
What a gift to walk with this God who looks, this God who hears, this God who knows, this God who comes down to help!
Sure, God's ways can sometimes be unusual and unexpected.
But even then, God is true to his nature. God's behavior is remarkably consistent.
These are challenging days. No question about that! But it is great to know that God is doing today what he has always done.
Mostly, God is being God . . . which is, pretty much, all we need.