What do you do when you feel so close to finally getting what you’ve wanted and prayed for, then for no reason at all, it feels like it got ripped away from you like a schoolyard prank? I can’t tell you the number of times this has happened to me…within the last couple weeks!
In communication with different friends over the past few days, I’ve been made aware that there are quite a few of us going through similar frustrations. I’m not surprised so much that others feel it. I’m surprised that so many of us are, simultaneously.
I don’t know about you, but after awhile, I’m tempted to say “fuggetaboutit”, and run away with my heart wrapped up in a little nap sack on the end of a stick. But like every story I hear about kids telling their parents they’re running away, I make it about as far as the end of the driveway, think about it for a bit, then return to the house, none the worse for wear.
Thankfully, God is patient. Me…not so much. Well, I guess that depends. I can be patient about many things, but when you are talking about stuff that is exciting and good, I’m like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa. You’re in bed, all the lights are off. You’re trying to sleep, but every little noise, every little shadow that dances in your bedroom from the tree outside…”that must be Santa!“
I’m relieved that God is every bit as real as Santa is not. That being said, sometimes my excitement at things appearing to be what I want can be as deceptive as those shadows.
In those times, I put too much pressure on myself to have to be perfect. If I make even the slightest mistake, I’m doomed to disappointment. Sometimes that same pressure is heaped on us by people in our lives. Maybe we’re guilty of giving people more power and influence over our lives by letting them taunt us with something tantalizing, only to have them snatch it away from us at the last moment.
I’m doing my very best in remembering what I know. I’m doing my best not to rely on what I see, or what I think I see. I know who God is, and I know He is not one to taunt me. I know that the gifts I really want in my life can only come from Him, not from people. People will let me down, and I will let them down. We’re human. But God will not, and has not let me down.
I’m reminded of a familiar verse in Philippians. I was reminded of it a couple of weeks ago from a dear friend, and I received it Sunday night as my verse of the day. I am not one to believe in coincidence. God is trying to tell me something, and quite possibly, you too.
As I wrap this up with this simple, yet profound verse, I pray for each of you who read this. Don’t give up. Don’t be fooled by the shadows. Don’t look for God in the deceptive subtleties. God is very obvious. When something looks good and promising, but it doesn’t work out…I know it’s frustrating. But God is building in us perseverance. God is building our faith. God is building our trust. God is driving us to our knees.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.