I came across this quote earlier this week:
It’s amazing how easy it is to focus on all the things that haven’t gone according to my plans.
My husband’s season of unemployment, a baby on the way, the death of my sister. It’s so easy to become discouraged and give up. I’ve even felt like walking away from God.
And yet, I keep feeling that God isn’t completely vacant from my life, that he’s working on something and just hasn’t revealed it to me. It’s frustrating to me, but perhaps that’s exactly what he is working on. I am not as humble as I would like to think. It’s hard to be dependent on Him alone. I wish we didn’t have to depend on others to provide for our financial needs right now. I wish we could bring a baby into the world without having to depend on the government for medical care. I wish we could just buy groceries and not worry about picking up the wrong size loaf of bread or brand of milk.
I become so focused on my own ability to meet my expectations of what things should be like, that I lose sight of any sense of eternal meaning.
My husband taught Sunday School on the book of Job this spring. He kept encouraging me to go back and read the book, and I kept saying I didn’t need to. I’d already read it and didn’t think there was much else I could glean from it. Uh, I sense the pride in that thought process, don’t you?
I finally picked it up this evening.
All my questions to God, all of my ranting, all of my hurts…and this passage at the end of the book was like a blinking neon sign.
Then Job answered the Lord and said:
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will make it known to me.’
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you,
therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Honestly, I’ve felt that God is trying to take away everything that is important to me. And it feels like he hasn’t left anything for me to hold on to – but that’s just it!
Take everything away, and He’s all that’s left.
I know that in my head, but it’s something I must learn to know in my heart. And it’s a lot harder to actually walk this path. I feel as if I have failed this test, but maybe it’s not so much of a test as it is pruning for the sake of growth.
I just read a book called Where Lilacs Still Bloom, and the main character has to save her garden of specially bred lilacs from a flood by removing them from the soil and putting them on rafts tied up in trees. Someone asks her if doing so will kill the flowers. She replied no, it wouldn’t.
“It will stress them, but it will save them.”
Now that’s a spot on spiritual analogy, if I’ve ever seen one. There are reasons beyond my comprehension for our circumstances, and while I would like to know what those reasons are, the point is not to figure that out. The point is learning to trust. And God is a refuge. He is a shelter in the middle of the storm, even when it feels like He’s not safe.
After all, “He’s not a tame lion, but he is good.”
That’s encouraging to me.
I’m linking up to Worshiping Wednesday, a weekly worship post hosted by my friend Tori.