He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.
I was recently reminded of something my pastor says, “Never doubt in the dark what GOD has promised in the light.” I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’d wager a guess that I am not entirely alone in feeling the urge to rush GOD’s promised end results after hearing from Him, especially when a difficult period of life seems to stretch on without end. After extended periods of recovery from the intolerable twists and turns of life that have taken us down roads I never would have chosen to go, I have grown in my ability to trust GOD through all kinds of instability and uncertainty, but I have not yet arrived at perfection. [cue the mock “surprise” — ha!]
There are certain things that I am certain beyond a shadow of a doubt with multiple confirmations from trusted sources that GOD has said to me about where He is taking me, the end result of enduring all the trial, rejection and struggle to climb out of the hole only partially of my own making.
“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame;
And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced;
But you will forget the shame of your youth,
And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
And in regards to my own fiery trial:
…the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.
He WILL vindicate me completely, utterly and entirely and give me a new start in every possible way. That’s the kind of GOD He is. I know this. I have seen this in many ways already in how He has walked with us and provided for every need at every turn. Yet I still leak, just like the Israelites in the desert. I don’t want to…but I do every time there seems to be a setback or a roadblock in moving forward in one area of recovery or another. I am weary of it all and I just want it to be over with and completely inhabit my Promised Land in peace with every specific promise He has spoken to me fulfilled and no more collateral damage from life’s implosion to bring the smell of fire or insecurity upon me. No more fear that life is flying in all directions out of control.
I want the financial and emotional recovery to be a done deal. Behind me. Nevermore to raise its threatening head and tempt my flesh to fear and despair. To raise lifelong demons of loneliness, desperation, rejection, failure that tempt me to try to take control and make things happen the way I want and to school everyone around me in the “right” way to create a false bubble of security and temporary fulfillment in order to stave off having to face the truth of alienation and rejection and all the accompanying negative feelings. To avoid facing the fact that I am, in fact, not the one in control; that I can’t whitewash the situation with my daydreams of idyllic perfection and fantasies of a stress-free, everything I want happily ever after. To deny the reality that my wishes and desires do not have the magical power to make everyone act, say and do exactly what I want and that artificially magnifying the illusion that I can or have achieved such a protective bubble only creates more heartache and disappointment when it all falls apart.
The Truth is the only glue that will hold the broken pieces of my life together and make something beautiful out of it is GOD. He knows the end before the beginning and declares it to be so, so it is. (Isaiah 46) Nothing can thwart His design because He knows just how to take all the shattered dreams, rejections, failures, bad choices (mine and others), every bad judgment and evil perpetrated by me or against me and put them all together to bring about His plan and His will. What He puts together, He holds together and no one can take it apart or destroy it. That is quality beyond anything I can create or put together on my own!
If I try to rush to the end result of His promises because of my own broken insecurities, desperation, loneliness, fear or doubt, I will get an imperfect result that comes apart because it is my own doing and a temporary fix, not GOD’s perfect plan. It won’t stop Him from bringing about His will, but it will be a detour, like the 40 years in the desert–an unnecessary delay brought on by failure to remember and trust GOD’s faithfulness.
I need to cultivate His patience and peace in my heart and mind and let Him put things together — relationally and financially– in His own time and way so that I get the added blessing of Him holding it all together. I want the unbreakable protection of being in His will and under His covering. No more rushing results to temporarily satisfy the flesh with the imperfect fruits of impatience. I only want what He has declared over my life and is holding together. I already know how disaster and heartbreak lie when I take my own shortcuts. It’s so NOT worth it!
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. Colossians 2:8
When I do that, I am settling for a knock off, second best, an “easier” alternative, lesser than what He calls me to, promises me or decrees. Expedient shortcuts that satisfy fleshly impatience don’t help. Trying to “outsmart” GOD and get what I want NOW doesn’t help. Neither does trying to “out-wise” Him with the assumption that I can obtain His promises more quickly, effectively or efficiently on my own without His help; or that such a thing would even please Him or be as good as waiting for His way and time, even if I could. Which I can’t.
Note to self: Stop interfering in GOD’s plans and acting like it is OK because I am trying to bring about the same promised end anyway. The ends do NOT justify the means; nor will my co-opted road lead to the same place He wants to take me, no matter how close in appearance it appears to be. The substance and durability of the thing will not last as it is a sham, only similar in outer form, lacking in the glue of having GOD inserted at every point in its formation. As excruciating and maddening as it may be to take the long road, the best results come from waiting on GOD to be the glue that holds all the pieces of the dream He has placed in my heart together forever. The real deal is always worth the wait! (Rx: Repeat daily and hourly as necessary until this sinks in!!)
Thank you for hanging in there with me, holding me together while I struggle to let go of control of all those empty spaces of desperation, fear, panic, and loneliness that tempt me to rush in to “fix” it with temporary measures that imperfectly satisfy the flesh for a time, but do nothing to satisfy and sate the deep longings of my soul and heart. Help me to wait for what You are holding together for me, no shortcuts, impostors or knockoffs. Help me to stop seeking relief in way stations and byways–second best temporary fleshly indulgences, but rather to let You fill all those empty, desperate places with You — all the hidden places, the unconscious places, the places I am so accustomed to in the landscape that I don’t even see or know they are there. Shift my paradigm to reveal all the faulty basic assumptions that leave me vulnerable to the lies of the enemy; and fill all those places — seen and unseen — with Your Truth, Your Sufficiency, that You would be my enough for whatever comes. This is my heart and my desire even when my flesh fights against it. Help me to hold onto You and only You; and to remember Your faithfulness and trust You for every future provision–emotionally, spiritually and financially. Root out all that is not of You and works against Your perfect will and plan in my heart and mind, until only You are left to work Your perfect plan in Your perfect time. Let me be so filled with You that anything or anyone You add to my life is a bonus and a blessing and not a GOD-replacing idol. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous for the LORD your GOD will go with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I am not ashamed for I know in Whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12