Why are we creatures of doubt?
Why can't we just rest in the arms of the Almighty and know that He is in control and that He loves us and He longs for the best things for us.
Please tell me I am not the only one who frets.
I am part of a group of ladies who meet regularly to go through the book Fearless, by Max Lucado. We met on Friday last week. It was already an emotional day for me and then the book gave me a strong left hook to the jaw.
My last post was about an armload of "junk" I've been holding and wishing God would take it away. Friday was the day all the junk would hit the fan. It did, but it was amazing how God filled me with peace and He carried me through the event. He turned my nightmare into a dream.
If I could I would like to get specific with you. I hope I don't scare you away.
A few months ago I posted about my past.
I told you about the child I carried to term during my high school year and then surrendered for adoption. He had his 21st birthday this August. I called him that morning to wish a great day and he told me that he is not well. In fact, he is not able to work or drive due to a heart problem. It crushed me. How could a young man of 21 be struggling with his heart? Where does God fit into that picture?
It was a Sunday. I called him five minutes before I had to leave for church. It was so numbing and bewildering to walk into my church and greet friends and family all the while thinking nothing but my son mattered. Then we began to sing.
I am not skilled to understand. What God has willed, what God has planned. I only know at his right hand, stands One who is my Saviour.
God reminded me right there that He is in control. That He has not been caught sleeping. 'Trust me Jodi, He whispers in my ear. I love you and I love him.'
Not one week later, I receive a facebook message. From the biological father. I haven't seen him since I was six months pregnant. I spoke once on the phone with him over sixteen years ago. Suddenly, now he wanted to talk to me. He wanted to clear the air. He had finally met his son and now he needed to see me.
I felt like Jericho. My walls were tumbling around me and I had no control. I longed for the precious whisper of my Saviour again. Where were my 'trust me' reassurances. This time there was no song to lighten my load. I started to sink in doubt and fear. Soon depression joined the ranks and I was overwhelmed. Why would God want this for me? For my family? It was a several weeks of walking on shaky ground and longing for the voice of God.
It was not like God was silent, He just didn't wrap me up and cradle me. He asked me to follow Him down a road I had no idea if I could control the outcome. (Post here). Of course, my head knows that is silly to expect the ability to control an outcome. If God is leading me I should trust Him and know he has my best interests at heart. However, in the moment that is a terribly scary place to stand. I feared my relationship with my husband and with my son could forever be changed.
Well Friday was the day of the "call". I jumped every time the phone rang and practised my breathing more than should be allowed in one morning. When finally it was him. We tried small talk for a minute then he insisted on getting into the heart of the matter. He wanted my forgiveness.
Then he needed my blessing to continue on with building a relationship with his son.
Then he desperately needed to lift me up and encourage me.
I had played out every scenario in my mind I could imagine but somehow I hadn't even considered those would be his requests. The man I knew wouldn't have said those things. I had not given the Lord enough trust to believe He could change a life. I had prayed for it but I had never imagined it would ever come true.
See, I had asked God for good to come of giving away my son. I figured I might never see the answer to that prayer but I prayed it anyway. Twenty-one years later I was humbled and I was blessed by someone I never thought would be capable of doing that.
What did I learn from this? Something I got from Lucado's book. Remember the left hook? My group of ladies discovered that fear is a sin. My doubt is a sin. All I wanted was to fix my son and make the past go away. I wanted to gloss over the pain of the phone call and just get to the other side of it to say I did it. I was afraid and I doubted any good could come of it.
Instead of the feelings of fear and depression that I nursed all last week I could have felt free to trust God. If I had confessed my sin of doubt I could have been set free from its bondages.
Max Lucado writes this:
Jesus loves us too much to leave us in doubt about his grace. His "perfect love expels all fear" (1John 4:18). If God loved with an imperfect love, we would have high cause to worry. ... His love casts out fear because he casts out our sin.
Tether your heart to this promise and tighten the knot. Remember the words of John's epistle: "If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things" (1John 3:20). ... Emotions don't get a vote. Go back to Scripture. God's word holds rank over self-criticism and self-doubt.
Do you know God's grace? Then you can love boldly, live robustly. You can swing from trapeze to trapeze; his safety net will break your fall.
Nothing fosters courage like a clear grasp of grace.
God revealed himself to me, from the words of a man I never thought I'd hear again. God reminded me that I am not alone and that I should not fear the path He leads me down. He lit up my sky in such a special way that I could wipe away all my doubt. I know I am not alone.
Here is one last item to encourage your day with. It is a quote from Evan Almighty. When you pray for God to move, be prepared for Him to teach you how to see him moving.
Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?
Be careful what you ask for. I prayed that I would trust Him more.