My circumstances lately have been less than idea and I’ve been feeling rather like a yo-yo. Caught in one of those ‘when it rains it pours’ seasons in life, I’ve (regrettably) given over to a lot of complaining.
I thought life would be a little easier than this and I didn’t realize the wait would be so long. It feels like whenever I start to make headway, I get blindsided by some other calamity.
After facing a series of disappointments in one area of my life, I tried focusing on other areas and ran into a wall professionally. While I was struggling against that discouragement, Hubby and I got hit with major car repair bills, setting back our savings goals and plans.
So you see, left and right, I felt like our plans, goals, and dreams were under attack.
Confession time: I was getting angry with God.
I felt like He was against us and I couldn’t figure out why He wasn’t blessing anything we did. With the timing of certain things, I felt like God was purposely messing us up. Why would He do that?
I was feeling like I’d given up so much that there was supposed to be some sort of exchange, like if I trusted and obeyed Him, I could pick my prize of choice. You know, like that plastic toy you got when you behaved for the dentist as a kid?
I felt like God was letting me down. I felt cheated.
So I went on a prayer walk to have a good, long talk with God. I felt compelled to read through some old prayer journal entries and flipped to one that was three years old, to the month. And wouldn’t you know it, it was an entry in which I put in writing that I was giving my job and my car to God.
Well, oops. What can I say to that? “Well, God, I didn’t actually mean for You to touch my stuff”…?
And that’s when I realized that the Lord hasn’t messed with anything that I haven’t already given to Him. I realized that I had given Him my permission – even asked Him – to take my life and do with it as He chose.
So what was I getting upset about? Because God was doing exactly what I asked Him to do?
I surrender my idols to Him and then get angry when He takes me at my word.
I get frustrated when I ask for more of Him and He answers by making room in my heart by reorganizing my priorities.
But at the end of the day, once I’ve settled down and stopped throwing my fit, I realize that it hurts this much because He is after my heart. And when the sun burns up and the stars stop shining and the sky falls down, my idols and my earthly dreams will be shown for the empty, shallow things they are. Only God and His love will last. So He is what I need to cling to.
Besides, if I believe that God is a loving Father Who wants what’s best for me, can’t I trust Him with the precious things? Can’t I trust Him to do what’s best for me, to give me beauty for ashes?
And that’s why I’m changing the cry of my heart, why I’m aiming for a different Prize.
As much as it hurts, I’m asking God to give me the desires of His heart instead.