This is the second post in a 4-part series. Read part 2: Frustrated Desire and Faith.
A few minutes into my heart-to-heart with the Father about those pesky missing lace curtains, I remembered God’s specific word that morning:
“Make room…for Me to move.”
I reflected some more on this instruction from Him. Then, I found myself telling my weakness to God, declaring His truth, and expressing my gratitude regardless of how I felt at the time. I confessed my inability to imagine a better circumstance than what I had originally planned. I declared by faith that I believed what He said. I thanked Him for even telling me ahead of the disappointment!
Then, I looked up at my semi-clad window with my unfinished vision of what could be, sighed, and decided to release it to Him. God knows better than I do and has better in store; otherwise, He would not have said so. I thanked Him for allowing this chain of events and using silly lace curtains to draw me to Himself.
And slowly along the way, I found comfort in Him.
The “missing lace curtain” scenario took place before I read His Word for the day, so I turned my attention to the Scriptures so I could receive comfort and encouragement from Him. I expected His Holy Spirit to show me something and work through me. And while I read His Word, clarity came. Even though my reading wasn’t directly connected to the situation, by opening myself up to God through reading His Word, the Spirit did His work. As I recalled the other promises God makes in the Scriptures, His Word gave me the courage to look away from the very real disappointment of even a small desire and focus on Him instead.
FACING THE “WHAT NOW?”
Desire and expectation, frustrated desire, and then flood of emotion – this chain of events can happen with any of our desires, big (like healing from a life-threatening illness or restored marriage) and small (like a broken lunch appointment or lace curtains). The Spirit reminded me of the disciples and their immense disappointment when Jesus died (Matthew 24:13-26). Sure, Jesus had told them many times that He had come with the express purpose to suffer at the hands of men, to die, and to be raised again on the third day. He even told them before it happened!
But, when Jesus was taken away, crucified, and died, the disciples lost it. In the wake of such crushing disappointment (much greater than that of missing lace curtains!), the disciples’ pain dulled them to the words that Jesus had spoke earlier, His declaration of what would be. Their disappointment even seemingly blinded their hearts from recalling the miraculous resurrections of other people (Lazarus, the widow’s son, the synagogue leader’s daughter, etc.) and His declaration that Jesus is “the Resurrection and the Life.”
Perhaps, all the disciples could think of in the hours and days that followed Jesus’ death was, “That was not what we expected… What now?”
I could so relate to that. Can’t you?
OF SURRENDERING HOPES AND DREAMS
Reflecting on the more serious hopes and let downs I have experienced in life too, the same “What now?” experience of the disciples is true of me. I often get so stuck in my experience and limited perspective that I forget God’s promises and stop at “That was not what I expected. What now?” Or worse, at times I call it and declare, “It’s over!” But with Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life, that is not how life works. As a pastor once said, disappointment is an opportunity for God to move in your life in the way that He desires.
Will we let Him have His way with us?
Will we turn away from our feelings and the circumstances in view, and look to Him?
Will we look with eyes of faith based on God’s Word and expect Him to move?
Not just for the disciples…
Not just for other people…
For us? And the specific desires on our hearts?
Because it’s our choice to believe Him…
Are you ready?
Stay tuned for the final post in this 4-part series.