“Then I said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, must I be defiled by using human dung? For I have never been defiled before. From the time I was a child until now I have never eaten any animal that died of sickness or was killed by other animals. I have never eaten any meat forbidden by the law.’ ‘All right,’ the Lord said. ‘You may bake your bread with cow dung instead of human dung.’ “ 4:14-15
Kind of a weird stand-alone verse, but it stuck out to me. It’s always catches my eye when people negotiate with God and he changes his mind. Moses does this a few times, and we read about Paul’s attempts to convince God of something in a couple of his letters. (God says no.)
It’s a reminder to me that God is living and active, and our relationships and prayers with him should be as well. Ezekiel isn’t trying to get out of the (very odd and disgusting) task that God has designated him. Maybe he’s trying to maintain his integrity? Cling to his obedience to the the law? I really don’t know, but I love that he at least asks.
And I love even more that God is gracious with his humanity. We see this earlier in Scripture, when Moses feels insecure and God grants him Aaron to partner with him. God meets us where we are. Don’t let your humanness stand in the way of obeying him.
When I felt like God was pulling me towards a really big life change, I gave him a thorough list of things he’d have to do before I agreed to it. (This if often my way of testing him: I don’t recommend it.) He met every single one of them, perfectly. I wish I could brag and say that I trusted God whole-heartedly without blinking, but it’s much more rewarding to brag about him in this story. He doesn’t condone my anxiety, but he bears with me.
Has God asked you to do something extreme? How are you responding?
Don’t be afraid to approach God with your hesitations or conditions. I’m not saying he’ll meet every one of them or alter his plans. But ask. Share with him and stay in prayer with him. What an understanding, gracious and powerful God we get to talk to! Let’s not take it for granted.