Thursday, June 1, 2006

Strange Answers

But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. (Psalm 38:15)

Often times, I find God’s answers are not exactly what I thought they would be. In the end, it is always easy to see that His answer was the best answer…but sometimes right when the answer is given, it doesn’t quite look like an answer or feel very good. I think that is because, in most instances His answer involves us dying a bit more. Often we need to be humbled first, sometimes our question or issue is not the real question or issue. Whatever the case, however it looks or feels, His answer is always sure and always the right one.

For years I sought the Lord about my weight. I asked Him to change me, to take my desire for food away, to give me will-power, to help me stick to a diet, to make me want to exercise, I even asked to just be “healed” and wake up a normal size. Needless to say…His mode and method and timetable in answering these requests wasn’t what I envisioned when I got up from prayer. I was focused on my size because that was the biggest thing in my mind. It was the most detrimental and obvious and painful and it caused a lot of problems for me and my life plan. But God…but God looks on the heart and He chose to deal with that before He dealt with what goes into my mouth. To paraphrase Matthew 15:11…it is not what goes in that defiles a person, it is what comes out.

Before I was given a plan of action for dealing with my weight, the Lord dealt with the idol I’d made of marriage and the sin of lust in my heart and life. Neither of these were Number 1 on my list. At times, the lust issue grieved me. When I would think on what it meant to God, I would often feel repulsed and unworthy and withdraw from Him. But, still, the weight was my main focus. In my mind, it was the solution to all of my problems. In truth, the solution to all my problems was obedience to the Living God.

After these other two areas of sin had been effectively dealt with, the Lord gave me one glorious year of near effortless weight loss. My intimacy with Him was unprecedented. The quietness of my heart almost audible, if that makes sense. And then Hurricane Katrina hit and threw everything in the air. Some things remained steady others have been off-kilter ever since.

But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. (Psalm 38:15)

Lately, I’ve found myself praying that the Lord would help me to be equally grieved by all of my sin…that even the “smallest” offence would seem as reprehensible as the worst thing I could think of doing. My intention in praying that prayer was that this state of mind would prevent me from sinning. God’s answer…I had to fall into one of my “lesser” sins to be grieved appropriately over it. The depth and magnitude of grief did come, only it didn’t come before the sin…it came after.

I’ve also been praying about a certain situation involving a man I met a few months ago. I’ve been praying that the Lord would help me to know and trust that His plan is His plan, regardless of what things look like or what my emotions may be doing at the moment. I asked that I would be thankful for whatever does or does not happen…knowing that I can trust God in this man and trust the Lord to do better for each of us than I can think or imagine. God’s answer…a phone call from a friend telling me she thinks he may be going on a date with another woman.

Strange answers, indeed.

But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. (Psalm 38:15)

Were I waiting for an instantly sin-free life…if my joy depended on ease…if I were insisting that my life’s happiness depended on this one man I might be pretty depressed right now. Though I desperately desire holiness and would like things to be less of a struggle than they currently are, and though my feelings for this particular man are stronger than a passing interest…I am not waiting on or living for those things. I wait for the Lord who is faithful and always near and has been my comfort and my shield. His nearness has been my good and on Him I do wait all the day long. He will sustain me and His way will prosper…no matter how often I fail or how many disappointing phone calls come my way. He is my God. He hears me. He answers me. And none of His good promises and purposes for my life will fail…not one! Our Lord says, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! (Luke 1:45)” Though I am not certain what He has said regarding His plans for my life…I know He has said that they will be good…perfect…splendid. I am believing that…that this big black unknown called “my future” is good…perfect…splendid, and that God is not slack in fulfilling His promises. He will not tarry long. He has not forgotten me. Nothing portioned out for me has been given to anyone else. It is being kept, as I am being kept. Thank you Lord, as tears begin to sting my eyes…thank you!

No comments:

Post a Comment