Sunday, September 25, 2011

He is Able.

Do you ever have things happen where you think, "Oh my gosh, this is the Lord blessing me in just the way I've asked!" or "Wow, God has so specifically answered that prayer request"... only have that circumstance "fall through"...and you're left wondering,

"God, what was that? That was were answering me...what happened?"

It's that "rug being pulled out from under you" feeling. (Though that is not the heart of God.)

I am sadly tempted to think subconsciously in those moments, that God is weak. Or that I somehow messed up. (ew. so NOT the Gospel.)

Sometimes its disappointing news back to back; other times the seeming rug-pull is so devastating it takes months to recover. Regardless, as these seasons and circumstances have come my way over the years, I have wondered what a God-centered and hope-filled response to "answered-prayer-request-followed-by-disappointment" would be or look like.

One perspective has helped and encouraged me: "He is reminding me that He is able."

A week ago I was told unexpectedly that my car needed almost $1,000 of repair. Disappointed, I decided to sell it. Only to be told I wouldn't get anything for it. UGH. I've been saving money for a while...but "new car fund" was certainly not the title of my savings.

Really? I mean. I have an on location business. I've been working so hard to save as much as I can. And this is pretty bad timing to be spending thousands of dollars I don't have. God, what are you doing?

...and in the midst of wrestling these thoughts, I continued to be comforted by the truths of Scripture.

"He who promised is faithful" would come to mind...and then I'd go read Matthew 6 to be reminded of the sparrows and lilies. My favourite verse this week became, "Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"

I kept being amazed at how much JOY I was experiencing through God's Word even when I had no idea what was happening with my car or where in the world money was going to come from. I was marveling at the peace God was giving me; convinced others were praying. Sweetly refreshed by my tangible need for Him to provide.

After talking about it...Josh and I decided...I'd try to honestly sell it on Craigslist warts and all and see what I could get for it.

I got a phone call yesterday a few hours after our post went up...ok, JOSH got a phone call (he's handled everything car-related for me. He is so wonderful.) We heard from someone who wanted it for what I was hoping to get for it, and my heart soared with worship. I texted a bunch of friends to pray it went through smoothly, and was just elated. Worshipping, praising God, thanking Him; so excited. Marveling at how quickly it was all working out.

Got home and found my title, cleaned out the car this morning, arrived early at the "meeting place" with Josh...and as I pulled into the parking lot (knowing nothing was a "done deal" yet) I prayed, "Lord, please let me not be the one who drives this car out of this parking lot."

...and the guy was a no-show.

UGH. "But God, wasn't this you answering my prayers?" "What was the point of that? He could have just said he didn't want it."

In my disappointment, I sought to talk to myself and not listen to myself. "Be encouraged: God is just reminding you and demonstrating that HE CAN DO WHATEVER He wants and WHENEVER He wants to. He is showing me His power and strength. He doesn't need lots of time. He CAN do something quickly and soon with my car...if its best for me. But unless it's best, He won't. Trust His wisdom."

Josh drove us to church and we prayed in the car. And as we drove, his phone rang...

...and at 1:00 this afternoon, my car was sold for more than the first buyer was willing to pay. I did not drive my car out of the parking lot.

Surely such a quick "turn around" isn't the norm when it comes to the Lord's ways being higher than ours. And quite frankly, sometimes his ways don't look higher until years and years later.
But. We can trust that they ARE.

Whether your disappointment has come after years of waiting and hoping, or its something you just prayed about for the first time 5 minutes ago, you can take heart: He is able. Let His power and strength encourage you and build your faith. He CAN. He has the power. He is not weak. He is all-wise. He wants to remind you He knows best...will you trust Him?

Would our hearts be steadfastly assured of His love for us...and would we trust His wisdom.

God is faithful; REJOICE!