I do not have trouble, it seems, with hearing from the Lord. Many times people ask me, “How do you know that what you ‘heard’ is from God?” The simple answer is, it is usually something so compelling that I have to follow its instruction; yet in my natural self I really do not want to. In other words, I know it is from Him when it is something I would not have thought to do on my own. Forgiving someone who really hurt me…giving money I really don’t think I can spare…extending help to my nasty neighbor who makes my life miserable… You get the picture. Not to mention, when God tells you to do something, you can always find it in His written word as well. He will never “tell” you to do something contrary to His Word.
I don’t even have too much trouble obeying the Lord. I have suffered the consequences of thinking I knew better than He did about the situation. I have also enjoyed the miraculous results of doing the exact opposite of what everyone thinks I should do, because He said so…God is not sadistic and He does not revel in hurting His followers. No matter what He says, I trust it will provide the best outcome for me, no matter how confounding it may seem at the time to my natural mind.
My struggle is in accepting His choices and ways without disappointment and sadness. Not because I don’t think they are best…but because they so often hurt in the process. You have heard the analogy of a body builder – the muscle must be stretched, broken down and frayed during a workout, so that it will heal stronger, and growth will occur. Or the fact that often a bush must be pruned before it can grow more beautiful. I get that.
But Lord, can I have a day off? It seems I am in a continual place of having to tearfully let something go – knowing it is best, knowing He is sovereign. Yet I wonder – Lord, couldn’t you have just made that work out differently?
This week, He asked me to do quite possibly the hardest thing yet. Because this time I was not asked to give up a thing, a lifestyle, or a dream…but to let a person I love walk out of my life, without a murmur or cry out to stop it. He simply told me to trust Him with the outcome and release it.
I won’t lie. It hurts.
So in these times, I offer to you, and to myself, these reassurances.
* God does not show love, He IS love. He loves us infinitely more than we love our children, so let that sink in. Like any loving parent, He is making decisions based on superior knowledge and experience. As kids, we don’t like it and often think He is ruining our lives. But He knows what is best.
* We cannot see the future, the inner workings of someone else’s hearts, or the events about to unfold. He can. My pastor tells a story of a child riding a bike down the street, oblivious to the truck about to hit him. His dad tackles him and they both tumble on the pavement to safety, although the child gets bruised and battered. While screaming that his dad hurt him, the child could not know that his dad saved him from a far greater hurt.
* God has a plan we know only pieces of. I used to labor over decisions, with my reason being “I don’t want to be locked up in the wrong thing, when the right thing shows up”. God knows the right thing, and may be keeping you “free” for His greater plan.
* God knows what will truly fulfill you. Scripture tells us that our heart deceives even us. We do not even know what is best for us, but God knows that even if we got what we thought we wanted, we would still be empty. He is trying to steer us to those things that will truly fulfill, not only on the surface, but in our deepest being.
In the end, the process of learning to trust God completely is just that. We must learn to hear, to obey, and to accept; because when we do, we will see the glorious life we could not even conceive of, but that He has dreamed for us all along.
Does it hurt? Sometimes.
But in the end, I want what He has for me.