History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. - Abba Eban
My history probably shows that this is true. More often than not, I think I know better…or at the very least my heart overwhelms my senses with it’s own brand of logic and I succumb. Like most people, I want what I want when I want it. I want to be married…I want to be done with the weight loss…I want babies…I want a bigger savings account…I want deeper relationships with my friends…and I want them all now. I want to make a decision, pray a prayer and “poof” find myself “there”. But there is a bigger picture than all the “good things” I want…there is that which God is primarily concerned with: my holiness and his glory. And so I must wait. And while I wait, my heart is exposed (flayed more like) and He meets me there…and if I obey, I am changed…sanctified.
This morning, I read the following:
Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts (Proverbs 20:30).
Waiting often means dashed hopes, unfulfilled expectations and disappointments…these often feel like blows…real, physical blows. But in God’s economy these are not meant to hurt but to heal…to cleanse. They hurt just the same, but the end is not a gaping wound or throbbing bruise, it is wholeness and hope. To the natural mind, this doesn’t seem possible, but with God all things are possible…even peace and joy after suffering blows.
These past few days have left me feeling somewhat punch drunk at times. Disappointment after disappointment has left me raw and I have shed many a tear and for days lived with a perpetual lump in my throat. I have been tempted to both “take matters in my own hands” and “throw in the towel” sometimes mere seconds apart. I have prayed and cried and tried not to cry and talked sense to myself and reminded myself of the truth and at times I felt like even giving up on that, because the lump persisted which caused my chest to tighten. It was as if my whole body was responding to something and I couldn’t for the life of me put my finger on exactly what it was responding to.
But God sustained me and I pressed on…trusting Him…and He gave me peace…rest in Him. Where else can I rest? Now I only see in part. I don’t have all of the information and can only see this little square where I am. All that I see is uncertain and tainted by my own bias and expectations. But I can see Him in the midst of it all and have His promise that though I don’t understand His ways, He will work all things together for the good…for my good. All I can do is wait and trust in what is certain…and that is that He is good and kind and is always “plotting for my joy” as John Piper says. Some day, it will all be made plain why I have to walk this road, this way…in the meantime, His promises enough (or at least I am endeavoring to make them enough). What He is sowing in my life is being watered by my tears and it WILL bud and bloom and bring a harvest…perhaps “just” a harvest of righteousness (i.e., and not a husband or family or size 8 jeans). And I know, when all is plain, I will have no complaints, no reason to say anything but “Amen.” In the meantime…I will continue to wait and trust and obey in hope…in faith…that His
… purposes will ripen fast
Unfolding every hour
The bud may have a bitter taste
But sweet will be the flower
Blind unbelief is sure to
And scan His work in Vain
God is His own Interpreter
And He will make it Plain
So God…we trust in You
Oh God…we trust in You
When tears are great and comforts few
We hope in mercies ever new
We trust in You.
(Sovereign Grace Music - Worship God Live)