What do you do when God holds back from you the thing you want so badly? What do you do when you have prayed and believed and you're not "seeing" an answer? What do you do when His will seems a mystery?
It's November â the eleventh month of the year. We all had plans for what this year would look like. We all had things we were certain would get accomplished. Some of us have been successful. We stepped out in faith, prayed, trusted and we saw doors open. Othersâwell we stepped out in faith, prayed, trusted but the doors remain closed. In fact, some things have even gotten worse! Loved ones have died, jobs were lost and dreams are still on hold.
I have a friend who wants to be a pilot. He has wanted this for longer than I have known him. He is the guy who spots a plane 30-50,000 feet in the air and can tell you make and model. He speaks of directional stability FPMs, pitch, trim and control towers. It's his love.
In his journey to become a pilot he has experienced many delays and in some instances denials. And while he has had down moments in which he struggled with the pain of yet another door seemingly closed, he continues to stand resolute in His trust in the Lord.
Talking to him got me wondering. How does one not get bitter? How do you continue to serve God and share Him with others when some things you ask for are still pending? Even more so, how do you continue to say that God is loving and good when everything around you seems to fly in the face of that?
I am discovering that there is a place in God where it is more than just being "okay" with God's plans, There is a place where it's more than knowing it will "work together for our good", even though the latter reason is very noble and true. There is a place past "working yourself up" to feel better that the object of your affection doesn't return the interest, or the career goals you set haven't been met, or the estranged spouse has not returned. That is the place where Jesus is more than just runner up prize. He is the tournament ending, world-series trophy, the prize.
My aunt compared it to a baby suckling on its mother's breast. You have seen it before... that faceâit's complete serenity. The baby doesn't care if the mother has scars on her stomach. It doesn't care if its mother is rich and stylish. The baby doesn't even care what its mother's race is or if she did her hair that morning. All it cares about is that it has the milk the mom gives. The baby knows it has scored! Its got milk! Status: contented.
Interestingly, I believe He more than just satisfies us. To me the word satisfied implies that I just meet your need. That is limiting to me. Whenever I spend time in concentrated alone time with the Lord He more than meets that one need and nothing else.
am more than just supplied for that moment. Instead I get things like perfect peace, and unspeakable joy things that go beyond a general satiation of my needs. We are instead fulfilled with Jesus A life fulfilled with Jesus chooses the upward call of Christ a priceless gain.
It is God's glory that we see as a great reward even though surrounded with deep despair and battling very real disappointment. One's eyes are opened to the reality of His love that started with redemption and in Him you are complete (Colossians chapter 3 verse 2).
And when you are complete in Him the focus shifts from us to God. Joni Eareckson Tada said it this way when talking about her struggles with quadriplegia and chronic pain: "It is no longer a matter of being content with His plan for my life; it is a matter of finding Him utterly and supremely the source of all contentment."
It's when He is beyond enough. When we like Paul can say,
"as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger;.....through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated ..... as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything."
We possess everything. The situation may change or it may stay the same but that variant doesn't affect a life completely satisfied with Jesus. God getting the glory becomes our sustenance.
Now this sounds like a massive feat, and on our own it probably is. But as I heard a speaker say a life like this begins, continues and ends with Jesus. His divine power is what gives us what we need to be content with Him. He is how we are content and He helps us to be content. He just does everything. It's like a Swiss army knife on steroids. One device that can do everything!
I write this from a place where I am still hashing things out with Jesus. I still lock myself away in my bathroom and fall on the floor in tears at the hardest moments.
I smile though as I write because in every single one of those moments the Holy Spirit was faithful to blanket me with assurance and peace. He was and is my refuge. His being my everything took me beyond the now.
Stacy-Ann Smith - is a child therapist. She is involved with youth and children's ministry and has a heart to work with young women teaching them the ways of the Lord. She serves as a board member of the Kingston and St. Andrew Foster Parent's Association
Stacy-Ann Smith's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/stacy-ann-smith.html