This is not a new feeling for me; it is the same "heaviness" that I have felt in the past during a time when the Lord was calling on me to follow Him, to rely solely on Him, and to trust Him fully; to let go of my plan and adhere to His. Thus I find myself in prayer, seeking His face, seeking His peace and seeking His will. Tears come easily, few understand. Simple reassurances that "it will be here before you know it" do little to remove the elephant from my chest. I long to know His timing, yet I am easily reminded that His word is but a lamp, not a spotlight upon our future.
I received a daily devotion today from a friend who could not have known how desperately I needed its message, a prayer for Faith to surpass my emotions. Its words (paraphrased), by Tracie Miles, are here:
"For you are my God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5b
I spent months working on it, with big expectations and high hopes. The disappointment was becoming so great; it was difficult to process my feelings. Why didn't God answer my prayers? Why had He placed this dream in my heart only to allow it to crumble? I knew I needed to have a good attitude and not give up, but I did not FEEL like doing that at all!
You see, I allowed my feelings to overtake my mind, and let my faith take a backseat. All I could think was how this disappointment made me feel, instead of what God may be doing that my faith could not see. I felt things weren't fair, without remembering God's ways are always best. I felt a longing for immediate results, instead of trusting God's timing as perfect. I soon realized my feelings were getting in the way of my faith. Psalm 25 washed over my spirit.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. (v 1)
I felt discouraged, unworthy, hopeless, rejected. So I poured my feelings and my soul out to God. And He listened.
"...in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me." (v 2)
God reminded me to trust Him, not a desire or a dream. Not the world's view of things. Not my abilities, not my time frame, not my ideas. Just Him. I prayed about my enemies- intangible, feelings like self-doubt, insecurities, frustration and discouragement.
"No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse." (v 3)
Regardless of whether my desires become reality, I will not be put to shame because God is my God. If His plans coincide with my dreams, I know He will keep His eternal promises.
"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me." (v 4-5a)
These words stop me in my tracks and I begin to think more rationally. Why have I been beating my head against a wall? Why have I been consumed with anxiety and frustration? Am I allowing God to direct my paths? God gently reminded me that He is the teacher; we are the students.
"...for you are God, my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long." (v 5b)
If I put my hope in my own desires and abilities, I simply set myself up for failure. My only hope for joy and fulfillment comes from Christ alone. Hope can only be found in Him.
Disappointments will always happen. With God, however, we can turn those disappointments into God's appointments to trust Him. The first step is to exercise our faith over our feelings.
"Dear Lord, You know the hurt in my heart and the sting of disappointments I have experienced. Please help me trust You, instead of being consumed by feelings. Empower me with a faith that is stronger than my emotions. In Jesus' Name, AMEN."
Little one(s)- you are so loved. Daddy and I are consumed and we lift up your little life for sanctuary in our Lord.