Before anything, I need to thank you for reading that really bitter, self-centered, and angry post about Day 1. I realize now that everything there can be summarized like so:
- I am disappointed, because I was in faith and expecting God to do great things in my life, and well, I’m still all blah..
- I am disillusioned, because I was in faith and expecting God to do great things with me, and well, nothing.
- I am tired with life in general, because like the Word said: a hope deferred makes the heart sick.
I thank God for my awesome spiritual family in Victory Pioneer, who has stood and prayed with/over me, and reminded me about God’s promises (how it’s sure, how it will come at His appointed time, etc) and how abiding in God produces much fruit (is the only way to bear fruit).
My problem: I was at the point where my questions ran along the line of “Lord, I’ve been digging and digging and digging, and where the heck are those pools of water that you promised will come? I’m tired and I’m hungry, and I can’t drink dirt.” I’m at the point where I KNOW my dream is dead. I know that I’m 30 and I’ve watched everyone else, even the people I trained, overtake me with their own dreams and become rich atheists. I’m at the point where my question is: “why am I bothering with all this again when You, God, so easily take everything away from me anyway?”
So I’ve been listening a lot to preachings about disappointment and what-if-God-did-not’s and how to deal with God taking things away.
There’s the heartbreaking, all-too-real story about the Shunammite woman and her son, and how Elisha blessed her by prophesying about her child… and she had the child. And then the child died. And she rushed away from her child’s dead body (without even telling her husband that the child had died, just an “it’s alright,” when her husband asked why she needed a donkey) to Elisha and all she told Elisha was “Did I ask you for a son? Didn’t I tell you not to raise my hopes up?” (2 Kings 4:28)
You see, that’s what I was asking God. “I told you not to raise my hopes up. I was FINE being mediocre and invisible. I was fine.”
But God had an answer for that (of course): you can’t really get a good resurrection without a very real death. In my case, how can Jesus ever make me new if some things never died? In Haggai 2, the prophet says that those who touch the dead are unclean, and yet God still longs to bless them. What a God.
Then again, God doesn’t always raise people (or dreams) up from the dead. Take John The Baptist. Totally upright man of God, kick-started Jesus’ career, and shooed Jesus in straight to a willing and ready flock. What happened to John? Got thrown into prison AND then beheaded. Jesus didn’t show up to take John’s head from the plate, reattach John’s head to his body, maybe spit in the gap and go “walk and be free, John!” No miracle there. John stayed dead. Did John ask for that, you think? Did John work his butt off so that his ministry will end up with his enemies gloating over his decapitated head? What was the point again, being the voice in the wilderness for the real Messiah when the Messiah Himself didn’t BOTHER?
But even here God had an answer for me: John didn’t look to anyone except GOD for his affirmation and/or his reward. I was so caught up in the whole “promise-of-good-things” and so used to being affirmed (because isn’t it such a “Christian” thing to “affirm,” *irony here*) that I’d totally forgotten that when I accepted Christ and His calling for me as His daughter, my prize was and is hidden in CHRIST. People can never give me what I’m looking for. The perfect salary will never give me the satisfaction that only He can give me. The husband I’m waiting for can never satisfy all my inner, deeper hunger. (Gosh, if I forget all these things I’m writing down some time in the future, please do remind me.)
I would like to have Abraham’s faith from now on. The same faith that had him bring his son Isaac up to Moria without even questioning God and going “Really? This kid was a miraculous fulfilment of your promise to me, and now you want me to kill him? Oh sure you say “‘sacrifice,’ but we know what that means!” Abraham didn’t say that. He just told Isaac, the one he was leading to the altar to be sacrificed, “The Lord will provide.” And unless the Bible was hiding something from us, we didn’t know if God whispered to Abraham “But really, just between the two of us, I’m just testin’ ya.” Abraham went and surrendered.
And now the parable of the workers in the field is so real to me right now. God does provide. Period. There is no qualification there that says He gives more to those who work more or less to those who started at 5PM. He doesn’t give according to what I strive for or what you strive for. He gives. Out of His abundance He gives, and it’s futile if I try to measure it with my own standards or against any human kind of measurement.
I remember that at the start of this year (which was really only just fifteen weeks or so ago), my faith goal was to be a servant to all. To pour myself out. But see, if I can’t even give up the potential of a dream, how much more can I give up the fulfilment of that dream? If I can’t give up this small, tiny hope… how much more can I give up the fulfilment of that hope? How can I pour myself out when I cling so tightly to the things inside me, that God gave to me in the first place?
God gives and He takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.