This morning I have been thinking about how life can be so frustrating when events do not unfold how we want or plan for them to. I don’t know about you, but there are times when I seem to just sit in that frustration and disappointment. Is that helpful? Not for me. Is it necessary? Nope. I would even venture to say that it is unhealthy in that it can bring about feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. None of that feels good. And even worse, sometimes we feel like God maybe is not listening to our prayers or that He does not care enough to answer. The problem is that we do not control this life, despite our (or my, anyway) desire to plan and control my future.
Another problem is that we do not have the wisdom and foresight of our loving Father, who actually IS listening and answering our prayers. The Bible tells us in I Peter 3:12 that “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers…” Our Father is always aware of our needs, and I have no doubt that He does not like to see me hurt. However, at the same time, I remember making decisions for my boys when they were younger that effectively “shut down” their personal requests or made them feel sad in the moment because I was using my wisdom and judgment for down the line consequences. Sometimes the answer is no because it has to be, regardless of how “wrong” that answer may seem or feel. God is all knowing. He knows us so well from the numbers of hairs on our head to our latest heart’s desire. Trust that He is there, He knows you, and that He is helping to guide you through this life on earth in the best way possible.
One example I can think of is that when my twins were young, like around 4 years old and after, for many years, they would often cry when they would be separated from me to have visitation with their father who had been gone since they were 2 years old. Despite friends and family encouraging me to not send them for these every other weekend visits, which was tempting because let’s face it, it is HARD to see your children cry, I continued for many years to insist that they go, sometimes having to physically place them in his car. Those who know me well can just imagine how difficult this was for me, as those boys were my world. But I knew two things: that visitation was ordered by the court and that children in that age range are not old enough and mature enough to make a decision as significant as whether to know a parent. They did not want to be separated from me or their home or their stuff or for whatever reason, but I had to enforce the rule because it was ultimately in their best interest. And guess what? Those little fellas are now 19 years old, and their relationship with their dad is whatever it is. And it is different for both of them but I have the comfort of knowing that I did not interfere with a basic human relationship. So, now in hindsight, those decisions I made all those years ago are now understood by all involved.
What do you think God saves us from? Maybe that promotion you want or the husband or friend you are dreaming of are not going to be best for you in the long run? God is infinite and all-knowing. We have to trust Him and know that He loves us like we love our children. In my opinion, of course God hurts for us. He does not want to see us cry when the answer is not what we want in the moment. But if you think about it, you will probably know of some things that you prayed really hard for that were not delivered to you. Maybe you ended up in a better position or walking an improved path or maybe you are still waiting.
Parts of my life have contained the most fulfilling events, but I awakened this morning knowing that I am in a state of change. A time for movement and growth. I have exciting changes coming around the corner, but I can tell you that while I have been praying for these changes, and although they make perfect sense to me, they will not come in the time or exact manner I have asked for them to be unless they are His will and His time. In fact, I have already received a “no” on my first idea for the future. And while I know that as long as I am praying to God for answers and change, the best thing will happen. He knows even while I do not. And I know it is easier said than done, but let’s just try to get out of the rut that we might have found ourselves and keep looking for ways for God to present our future.
My favorite verse in the Old Testament is Jeremiah 29:11 which says that “[f]or I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Whatever you are facing right now, try to move out of the hopelessness or unrest and look for the door that will opens. It will be just past the closed door that you were certain was right for you. Trust Him. Have a great week!
Listen to the Reclaiming Hope podcast with Misty & Ray!