I was on the phone with a good friend discussing her current romantic interest. She shared her concerns, her desires and her hopes that this was “it”. A 30-something virgin she never intended on waiting this long for marriage and kids and well, sex. So she was ready to get the show on the road. But previous experience told her that this current relationship may not lead to marriage and kids and sex. It may just lead to more surrender and more waiting and more trusting God. So she prayed that God would end the romantic aspect of the relationship if it wasn’t meant for marriage. That He would make His will clear immediately. I understood her heart. No one wants to feel like they are “wasting time” (especially at this age). However I could not help but caution her to be open to God not answering her prayer in the way that she wanted. Because maybe He would choose to work things out in a different way than she would have thought. She was receptive to my input, however I questioned my own heart.
Was I lacking in faith that God would answer prayer? Was I jaded by my own life experience that diminished my child-like faith and removed the zealous emotionalism I was once high off of? Or was I operating in wisdom learned from walking with Him in greater maturity and revelation?
My political friend found out he did not win the campaign race he was running in. We were all let down though he and his wife took it very well. We gathered in the sports bar where we met to see his results, bowed our heads, and he led us in prayer. There was someone (horribly) singing karaoke in the background while others engaged in conversation, shot pool and had drinks. But we stood there, in prayer, seeking God. He and his wife had worked tirelessly for months pouring all of their energy, time and resources into this campaign shortly after their wedding. Many had offered financial support and invested in his dream. Yet even though he felt God had called him to run, the outcome was not what he expected. He reminded us that all things work together for the good. I held on to that reminder during the drive home.
I struggled with the outcome. My heart went out to my friend. And then I was reminded by Holy Spirit the word that has been the theme of this season for me “Lean not to your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him” (Proverbs 3:5-6). And instantly I had more peace.
At the end of last year in my year-end review I ended the blog post by sharing that I hoped God would give us the desires of our hearts, but that even if he didn’t that we would worship Him anyway. I have been tested on that word. Sometimes God’s outcome is not what we would have chosen. Sometimes it will make no sense and seem like He is unconcerned or doesn’t care based on His sovereign decision in our lives. However I am reminded of 3 Hebrew boys who understood that they could trust Him regardless of the outcome:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up
So maybe I’m a little jaded by previous hardships and let downs. Maybe I’m in need of more healing from the wounds I suffered from spiritual combat. Maybe I shouldn’t have lost my childlike faith. But I still believe His word. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than are thoughts.
But we can trust Him.
He is faithful.
And He is for us.
P.S (There is a great song by Shane & Shane called “Burn Us Up” that was inspired by this passage…)