“In that day I will respond,”
declares the Lord—
“I will respond to the skies,
and they will respond to the earth;
and the earth will respond to the grain,
the new wine and the olive oil,
and they will respond to Jezreel.
I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
I have had this word on my heart for a while and felt that I needed to write it down. In my process of recovering from a very difficult season, I often look back (almost daily) and I wonder why the Father orchestrated certain events in my life in the manner that He did. I all too often compare and see how He blessed “so and so” with this or that and yet chose not to for me. I am very well aware of the scripture that cautions us not to compare, yet and still, it happens.
It’s so easy to quote scripture when you are growing in your faith. It’s easy to know the word logically, it’s quite another story to actually walk His path out. To apply His teachings to your life’s journey. Day in. Day out. For years.
I remember when my friend started dating her now husband, she talked about having all of this book knowledge about dating beforehand, but how difficult it was to use that knowledge when she finally had the opportunity. She said it was like being on a sports team and learning the plays before the game, then she got in the game and forgot the plays. That resonated with me. How often do we forget to apply the knowledge that we have accumulated in those “high” season of faith, when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death?
And maybe it’s not that we forget. Maybe its just that we are in too much pain to do so.
I have sought the Father on His way of doing things in my journey, even so recently as this morning during quiet time. “Father, why did you do it this way? Why did you ‘bend’ to your people in times past and not for me now?” Indeed, I could think of several scriptures where I saw that He would give the people what they wanted, even if it was not what He wanted. Never mind that they ended up being worse off in the end. I just wanted some kind of relenting from this thorn in my side.
But in my time of prayer I was reminded of what He is teaching our fellowship in the spiritual school we are in. He is teaching us, that in all things, to give thanks. So as hard as it was, I started doing that. Memories of how He manifested Himself in those final days with my mother flooded my heart. How He led her to repentance. How He gave us time. Every trip she made us go on. The Bible Study He gave that we attended together. His presence during that time. He made Himself so manifest even though I didn’t know why. Now I can look back and say, He did it for me.
He did it for us.
There is so much pain still in my heart that I am working through. So many mornings I wake up and think of them. My family. My mom. My grandmother. I am still in shock that this is the path. This is the outcome of all those years of faith. And yet, when I give thanks, I see that He did not forsake me. He did not leave me alone, even though I have felt so very alone.
I wrote in a journal entry recently, “Singleness has been a thorn in my side these 15 years, but it has not killed me”. That was the truth. It has been difficult and challenging. Painful and lonely. Hard and led to much hope deferred. But it did not kill me.
He does things His way. That is what I am learning. He answered in His way. He gave me my own business in response to my former employer persecuting me. He gave me time with my mom when I didn’t know our time was limited. He gave me an amazing companion in a season of singleness when loss was faced on several fronts. He gave me sisters when I did not have close family. He gave me financial provision when I didn’t have steady income.
He answered. He just didn’t answer in the way I wanted Him to. He did not take away the thorn.
Instead He gave grace for it.
I’m grateful for His provision. I’m grateful for the women in my life who are there through thick and thin. I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit who’s mercies are new every morning.
He does not give up on us. He does not leave us alone.
Thank You Father for Your answer.
I know that I am not worthy of even that.