“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”2 Thessalonians 3:3
In C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian, Peter, Edward, Susan, and Lucy returned to Narnia for the first time since their adventure in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, only to find Narnia being ruled by an evil king. As they set out to free Narnia from the king’s rule, Aslan the Lion appears, but only to the youngest Lucy at first. When the others don’t believe her, they decide to take a different path instead of going toward where Lucy saw the Lion. Aslan appears to her a second time and instructs her to get the others to come follow him, though he doesn’t promise that they would be able to see him.
Lucy, expecting that Aslan was going to help them the same way he had in their first adventure, became upset when she learned that wasn’t the case.
Lucy said “Oh dear, oh dear. And I was so pleased at finding you again. And I thought you’d let me stay. And I thought you’d come roaring in and frighten all the enemies away – like last time. And now everything is going to be horrid.”
But Aslan responded with a difficult truth. “It is hard for you, little one,” said Aslan. “But things never happen the same way twice.”
Faithful, But Not Predictable
I am exceedingly predictable. Whenever my wife Marie and I go out to eat, there’s a 99 percent chance she’ll be able to guess correctly what I’m going to order. I have a morning routine that I never veer very far from. Marie and I get up, sit in the same spots on our couch, pray together, read our Bibles, make a fruit smoothie, get ready for our day, and then head out the door. I am exceedingly predictable.
But God is not exceedingly predictable. God is exceedingly faithful. And there’s a difference.
Being predictable means holding true to the same actions time and time again. But being faithful means holding true to the same values time and time again.
God won’t always heal or help us the same way every time we pray. He won’t always take the same action every time in our moment of need. He’s not predictable like that.
But we do know God will always – 100 percent of the time – act out of his goodness and his promises toward his children. He is faithful like that.
Matthew 7:11, Jesus says, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” God will always faithfully give us good things.
God knows far more than we ever do what is ultimately for our good and for his glory in any situation. That’s why we pray, “Lord, not my will, but yours be done.” Sometimes God’s will is healing and helping quickly. Sometimes God’s will is that through hard things we learn to depend on him more deeply.
But we can know that in whatever way he helps us, he is holding true to his goodness and his promises. Every time.