Here’s the question that plagues me tonight:
Why is it so incredibly difficult to trust God with the desires of my heart? To truly lay them down at His feet and know that He will give them back more blessed than before? Why do I find it easier to believe He will provide for me financially than to believe that He really cares about the desires of my heart?
Most people I know have this same problem. Most of whom I know fall into two categories. I am sure I have been in both categories at one point in my life or another, because it’s really easy to switch sides depending on your season of life.
The first category are those that “have what you desire”, i.e. a husband, baby, loving family, house, dream job, etc etc. How easy is it to be the voice of hope to someone when you have received one of the desires of your heart? I have to say, it isn’t very easy in a state of hurt to hear “God has a plan and His timing is perfect” as that person smiles with one arm around their adoring husband and one arm holding the newborn baby. Yeah. I know. But 5 years ago, I bet you felt the same way I do….so instead of being encouraged to lay down my desires and yes, WAIT, I am instead frustrated with waiting longer and find myself coveting – a whole new ballgame! How did that happen? It’s not their fault I see their bubbly happiness as more a stab in my heart than the encouragement it was meant to be. This category of people have nothing but good motives and speak the truth. Yes, God’s timing is perfect and He does have a plan. But how easy it is to forget what it’s like to wait. Or perhaps some in this category did not have to wait for the very thing I long for….perhaps the desires they long for are different, and so God did not have to make them wait for the other. But a little ways down the road, the people in this category may switch sides again when another desire arises that isn’t receiving an answer from the Lord – and they might find themselves once again waiting and watching others smile and be happy…vicious cycle.
The second category that we all seem to gravitate to at some point, is the naysayers. The ones who haven’t seen a desire of their heart realized. The ones who’ve had one stripped away. The ones who’ve become bitter. The ones who laugh at your small shard of hope, the small part of your heart that is trying desperately to trust God’s plan, looking fervently for the bigger picture, hoping against what seems all hope that He hears your cries and will satisfy you with good things….how hard it is to talk to someone who is bitter. Or perhaps not even bitter…perhaps just consumed with their frustration in waiting for something, in their disappointment in a human that has failed them….so they claim your situation will be no different. That your hope is immaturity. That maybe God has a plan, but it can’t be the one you hope and desire for – that’s too good to be true. Oh how fast the walls build up around a bitter heart…it only takes one conversation with a naysayer to start construction.
So where is the middle ground category? Where are the people who don’t “have it all together” but aren’t “naysayers of hope”? Can I be one of those people? Can I dare to hope and trust that God really does hear the desires of my heart, and that while I know He may provide for them differently than I could imagine – He will still provide for them? That He did create desires in my heart and He will not leave them desolate and empty? Can I keep my heart tender, gentle, and free from bitterness? Can I take my eyes off of myself long enough to see the testimonies from others of how God can and will bless us with our heart’s desires? Can I resist the jab of jealousy when I see others who received so “easily” the blessing I have been waiting on with all the patience I can muster? Can I continue to wait well and not take matters into my own hands? Can I speak genuinely to friends – not dashing their hopes because of my own situation, but not ignoring the fact that it’s painful to wait years for what you feel has been promised you? Can I encourage the hopes and dreams in others even if I haven’t received the very things I ache for? Can I believe what God has spoken to me or others, until He speaks differently? Can I not discount another’s dreams, simply because they seem unattainable? Isn’t it true that nothing is impossible with God? Can I dare to believe that for myself and for others, no matter the circumstances?
How I long to be Category #3. Feel free to join me.
“I am weary in believing, Lord please help my unbelief…I will proclaim it to the world…I will declare it to my heart. I will sing it when the sun is shining, I will scream it in the dark…You are faithful! When You give, when You take away – even then, great is Your faithfulness.”
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him” Lamentations 3:22-24