Yesterday I dealt with a situation that discouraged and disappointed me. There was something that I thought was going to happen, something I wanted to happen and it didn’t. After the initial response to the news wore off however, I was surprised to find that I wasn’t as devastated as I thought that I would be. Some people gave me encouraging comments, which included little nuggets of wisdom and I am extremely grateful for all that they gave me, they lifted my heart. But that wasn’t why I didn’t take the news as hard as I thought I would or should.
Last night as I was reading Scripture and praying, I worked through this news with God. I reaffirmed that above all else I wanted to follow his will. And then the Scriptures made me laugh. I took the message all out of context (don’t we all sometimes) but in the situation it just struck me as very funny to be reading in Ephesians these words….
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents …as I read that I burst out laughing. “Yes, God, Abba, Father I will obey you.” It was good to laugh with God, and to reaffirm my faith and my desire to walk his pathway. Because you see, although I was doing everything right, and asking others to pray in order to keep my will out of the situation, my will still prevailed—at least in my mind. I believed that what I wanted, was what God wanted. To make matters worse God had been telling me that this was not for me, and what was I doing, I was interpreting his voice as the doubts planted by the evil one. I even had friends who counseled me to start thinking that this may not be of God. My response to them….”you are stressing me.” Thankfully they are good friends, who love me as I am.
So last night I got to wondering how I could have been so wrapped up in what I wanted, rather than hearing what God wanted when I was working so hard on having a faith-filled journey with God. In fact I had just commented to someone that I was really enjoying riding a big faith bubble. And then it dawned on me that the faith-bubble had not been damaged. I had felt the big bump certainly, but the faith-bubble was intact. Faith wasn’t my problem, hearing God was my problem. Confession you know is so freeing. I was able to see things in a whole new light.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t have concerns. My future is still uncertain. I don’t have a straight path down which I can see where God is leading. A friend told me last night that her mother always said, “only God needs to see around the corners.” to which I responded “fine, but it would be nice if he would put up some road signs.” The truth is, that I do need to know what my future holds fairly soon, but the bigger truth is that I know that God will take care of me. My friend promised to put a PS on all her prayers and remind God that I am getting tired of waiting.
Which brings me to the second chuckle in my evening’s devotional time. A verse further on in Ephesians said: And, fathers, do not provoke your children…. And God so graciously listened while I expounded at great length how all these delays and twists and turns felt to me as a provocation.
Now please remember that I said earlier that I had found humor in the reading from Ephesians, but that I had taken the passage completely out of context. Normally I would not recommend that anyone feel free to treat Scripture in this manner. But for me, last night, it worked because it helped me start a conversation with God about where my heart was at, and what I felt I needed from him next. What will God do next? Only God knows.
Only God knows, but my affirmation of faith today comes from Psalm 130
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.