My family and I have been praying for a special intention for more than a year now. It is fundamental to our family’s life and immediate future. We got an answer to our prayer last week, but it did not look close to what I had in my head. In fact, I was downright disappointed and discouraged about the answer. When I called my mom and shared the news, even she said, “We got the answer. It just wasn’t the answer we were looking for.”
So then of course, I start questioning myself and God. You know the swirl that can go on in your head. “Seriously?” I started to think. “This is probably the worst of both worlds!” (And by worst, I don’t really mean worst. It’s always relative of course.) I proceed to call my wise Christian friend and ask for counsel. She told me to stop calling myself a brat (which I was doing), and reminded me that I was human, and my feelings were normal. She said it was OK to feel befuddled.
She helped me to realize that my prayer now needs to change. Now I need to ask God to help me to react to this answered prayer in a way that both honors my feelings and supports my family as we proceed. I need to feel a little more gratitude, and a little less attitude. I need to live today, and ask God to trust in His plan for right now. This answer may not be a permanent answer, but God is putting this in front of us right now.
My friend said – “Now. Here. This.” God’s plan is in front of me right now. It is right here. It is this that my family will be facing and coping with. Will it change? Maybe. But it is our path at this time. Maybe God is actually using this as a way to draw me closer to Him – to rely on Him more and myself less. Maybe just working through this will help me grow and change for the better. Am I scared about the future and the changes we will be going through? Yes. Do I trust that God is so much bigger than my fears? Absolutely.
I found this great devotional passage from Sarah Young in Jesus Lives – Seeing His Love in Your Life.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! I am a God of surprises – infinitely more creative than you can imagine. The universe displays some of My creativity, but there is more – much more. I am making a new heaven and a new earth. Moreover, I am preparing My people – all around the world – to live there with Me in endless ecstasy. Let the eternal perspective strengthen and encourage you.
As you journey along your life-path with Me, refuse to let the past define you or your expectations of what lies ahead. You may feel as if the road you are on is tiresome or even a dead end. That is because you’re projecting the past into the future. The roadblock you are straining to see up ahead is really just an allusion. The future is in My hands, and I can do surprising things with it!
Your gravest danger is giving up: ceasing to believe I can still do wondrous new things in you and your world. Your assignment is to keep moving forward in trusting dependence on Me. Stop focusing on obstacles you might encounter, and concentrate on staying in touch with Me. As you continue taking steps of trust, expect the path before you to open up in refreshing newness. I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Have a blessed week as you journey through Lent!