“But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today. . . . The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” –Exodus 14:13
“Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. . . Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. . .” –Psalm 37:4-5, 7a
“By the time I recognize this moment, this moment will be gone. But I will bend the light pretending that it somehow lingered on. . . And I will wait to find if this will last forever.” –John Mayer
Do you ever have a moment where you experience clarity? When the pieces begin to fit together and you begin to recognize the truth in a way you haven’t before?
I recently experienced such a moment during my traffic-filled commute home. It actually started with, of all things, an upset stomach and a few other frustrations that I had on my mind. Last Friday night, traffic was terrible for some reason on this particular evening, so I made my way to surface streets. As I was driving, I began to pray to the Lord for healing and confessed what I was feeling about those frustrations. The more I talked to Him about it and opened up, the more I realized just how frustrated I had become.
After a good 30 minutes of my “dashboard confessional,” there came a point when I decided to change gears from voicing my frustrations to decidedly declaring God’s praise. I let my Tommy Walker album take another spin around the CD changer, asked God to help me praise Him instead, and started singing along. Now while my stomach still hurt and my frustrations were still the same, something inside of me started changing. Somehow, it became easier to focus less on my situation and shift my vision onto the Lord.
Over the last several months, I’ve been really challenged at church to choose to be grateful for what God has given, so I’ve been purposeful about asking the Lord to help me see all that He’s given and be thankful. It’s so easy to forget that what I have in life is not status quo or owed to me, an attitude that encourages me to focus on what is wrong or what I do not have and blinds my sight to God’s many gifts. So I’ve been trying to practice an “attitude of gratitude” which sees the many blessings that God gives each day and leads me to thank Him.
In the days, weeks, and months I’ve focused on developing a thankful heart and mind, I’ve noticed God’s changing my perspective. It’s so much easier to see God’s hand of blessing and to be content with my life than it used to be. More and more, I’m realizing that everything I have – my place in life, my health, my safety, my church, where I live, where I work, the people in my life – is an intentional gift of God’s abundant grace and perfect timing.
My conversation with the Lord continued even after I had pulled into my garage that night. As I reflected upon my life and the Lord’s blessings, I just thanked Him for His generous nature and all He had done. As the words of thanksgiving poured forth, I found myself thinking of the desires in my heart that are not yet fulfilled, and I realized that although my desires can seem so far off, God was really going to bring those things to pass. It’s really and actually true and not some abstract theological concept. Really! This God, my God, really is orchestrating things on my behalf, and while I cannot see how or when they will come to be, He is actively working on my behalf and will faithfully bring things together in His amazing and perfect timing. Just like when God brought Israel out of Egypt, He is fighting for me and leading me to the incredible plans He has prepared for me.
I don’t know if I’m doing a great job of articulating this, but there’s such a difference in my heart and mind. I feel so incredibly certain of God’s movement. While I haven’t any idea of the particulars, I know He’s faithfully working it out. It’s not a “knowing” akin to wishful thinking or a mere intellectual assent to the truth of Christ; somehow God is stirring faith inside of me so that I am fully convinced. When I consider it, I feel such a sense of awe rise up in my heart.
Just think of it! God cares so much about us and the unique way He has made each of us that He intentionally brings about His good plan and incredible purpose. Crazy! God has already demonstrated this kind of love through the gift of His Son, He continues to give to us even now, and He promises us of the plans He has for our future. Amazing! Somehow, when I think about my life in this way, it seems so much easier to wait on Him, so much easier to trust what God is doing, so much easier to rest and let Him fight for me. Praise God for His blessed Spirit who gave me this clarity.