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FIRST-PERSON: When Alexa isn’t helpful

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (BP) — Like many, I’ve been trying to bake more while spending more time around the house. More than once, I’ve shouted out to “Alexa” to help me convert cups to tablespoons. While convenient, it also helps me realize how often I ask questions and go to a tech source for answers. Don’t you love using YouTube as a training source for all of your DIY projects? It’s amazing!

What I am humbled to see is how the speed with which I turn to technology for answers eclipses the speed with which I turn to God for life answers. In questions of life, we tend to rely on ourselves and keep our questions inside. We are living in a season that certainly raises significant questions – ones we should not keep inside. The challenge is not that we have questions, but rather where we turn for answers.

John 21:1-19 describes a season in the life of Peter when he felt guilty for rejecting Jesus, lonely without a leader, and hopeless without a sense of direction. Interestingly we find him regressing to his old way of life. He instinctively went fishing again and took others with him.

We do this as well. Stress and anxiety can cause one to start smoking again or old habits to creep back into one’s life. The hope is that like Peter, Jesus is with us, preparing our next step. Look back at John 21 and notice what Jesus is doing. He is one step ahead of Peter and guiding him back in right relationship.

You can trust the presence of God regardless of your past. You can trust the peace and forgiveness of God regardless of your sin. You can trust God’s purposes no matter your “now,” because He desires to use your “now” to lead you into your “next.”

Rather than looking at your current circumstances and swirling in questions of doubt, consider a deeper question: How is God going to use your “now” for your good and His glory? How can He use your situation to teach you more about Him and more about yourself? How can you grow in the moment?

Alexa can’t help you with these questions, but I assure you the King of Glory will.

Ricky Smith is lead pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Columbus, Ga. This article originally appeared in the Christian Index.

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