He will provide for Himself, in every work that He has planned, all that is needed. All things, without a single exception, are in the hands of our Jehoval-Jireh. Nothing can hinder His purpose. Sooner or later we shall see what we now by fath believe. We shall see the end intended by the Lord, who is very pitiful and of tender mercy (James 5:11). We shall see and we shall sing. Let us sing now! (Amy Carmichael in Whispers of His Power)
Sometimes the spark of faith is slight And does not make the darkness bright. But keep it lit and you will find: Far better this than being blind. One little flame when all is night, Proves there is such a thing as Light. Remember now the place and price Where Jesus promised paradise. One answered prayer when all is gone, Will give you hope to wait for dawn. (John Piper)
In the movie, Luther, Cardinal Cajetan is asked “What is it you want most?” When he answers, his superior replies “Then that is how you shall be tested.”
I know this to be true, as I am being tested right now!
Among the things I want most are:
To be married and have a family
To see the successful end of my weight loss.
From my current vantage point, these desires becoming reality seem about as impossible as turning back time and starting all over again. Yet, as my mind speaks these things to my heart, there is another voice, saying “For man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible…I will restore the years the locusts have eaten…He who began a good work in you will see it to completion.”
And then there are the tangible proofs…
I’ve always struggled with thoughts that my singleness is my fault. That, were I not a big, fat, ugly thing, I would be married with children by now. And in less whiney moments, I think…I sinned. I remained in sin too long and these are the consequences. I am reaping what I have sown.
But, more and more lately, the Lord has reminded me that this line of reasoning, while it may contain truth, doesn’t take into account another more important and over-arching truth…God is sovereign and good.
Over the past few days, I’ve been bombarded with things that dispute the whole “I’m single because I’m fat” notion. Just this week, I’ve met 1 newly engaged woman and 2 married women…all were wooed and/or wed while they were overweight. Which leaves me with one and only one conclusion…my singleness has nothing whatever to do with me. I am single because God has deemed it better for me to be single now. If He then decides at some point that I should marry, it won’t be because of me either…or because of the weight I’ve lost…or the changes He’s made in me. It will be because He believes it to be good for me and will bring Him the most glory at that time.
The same is true of my weight loss.
This has been at a virtual stand-still for quiet some time. Over the past two weeks, I’ve attempted to re-institute my routines and habits, hoping to jump-start the weight loss again. So far…no such luck. And, this evening I found myself very frustrated.
I began to pray as I washed dishes, asking the Lord for faith to believe though I felt like a failure and saw no way to change things. As I prayed, the Lord brought these verses to mind:
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).”
“Indeed, none who waits for you shall be put to shame; (Psalm 25:3)”
He reminded me of how this all began. It wasn’t about losing a certain amount of weight within a certain time-frame and it wasn’t about snagging myself a man with a new body…it was about repentance and obedience. He reminded me that when I first stepped out into this, it looked about as impossible as turning back time and starting all over again. It was overwhelming and I felt the weight of each previous failed attempt. But God…but God... set hope in my heart that if I obeyed I would not fail…if I hoped in Him I would not be put to shame.
I am no philosopher or theologian or great mind. I can’t understand all the whys and wherefores and I can’t totally make sense of where I am right now. To my mind, smooth sailing, consistent weight loss, and the deliverance of long-held hearts desires would seem to be what would most glorify the Lord. But, apparently, I am wrong. What will bring Him the most glory right now is this struggle…and this waiting…and the hope that remains. And in the end, I do not need to understand – yet, I believe one day I will. But, until that time, mine is not to question “why?”, but to obey and hope.
And even now, though I can’t see or understand it all, I can say with the Psalmist “It [is] good for me that I [am] afflicted, that I may learn thy statutes . . . I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness Thou hast afflicted me (Psalm 119:71,75)."
It is through this affliction, and the resulting prayer and meditation on His word, that He is making me more like His Son…and if nothing else comes of it, I trust He will help me to be content and submit my desires fully to Him.
Oh, that I would be satisfied with more of Him and long for that gift more than I do any other. Help me, Lord Jesus!