Recently, our family received what looked like a huge answer to prayer. Something we had been bringing before the Lord for months, years even, appeared to finally be coming to a head. Things were moving forward and a door which had been slightly ajar for some time looked like it might swing wide open for us.
And then it didn’t. It slammed right in our faces, like so many doors before it had.
I struggled with feelings of disappointment in situations and even in myself. I also felt indignant. It seemed like the Lord had given us a desire and then just dangled carrots in front of us, teasing us and whetting our appetites right before snatching them away. It seemed kind of….mean.
Have you ever found yourself in that position? Where you feel like the answer to prayer is “YES! Just kidding…haha!”? Have you ever felt like God is saying no to a desire that you know He placed in your heart? I want to offer you some insights, things to hang onto when the answer is “no.”
- God is SO pleased with you.
A long time ago, a little boy freely offered his loaves and fishes to the Son of Man, a paltry gift when compared to the 5,000 hungry people gathered about. But do you know what Jesus did with those loaves and fishes?
He gave thanks for them. He broke them. He used them to perform a miracle.
He holds the offering of your heart, so desiring to do His will, in His hands. He lifts it up. He gives thanks for it. And don’t think it will be wasted.
- The Miracle is in the Breaking
Okay. This has been said, eloquently, by people wiser and more knowledgeable than me. But can we hang out here and rejoice? Are you feeling like Abraham, climbing up Moriah? Confused, angry, disappointed? Are you broken up in grieving a dream that has gone unfulfilled? Are you feeling like five small barley loaves, insufficient and small? Do you feel like your disappointment in life is because you are disappointing to God? (see number 1!) If that is you, then your heart is in the exact position that it needs to be for God to move.
Dig in during this time. Come to God with your heartache and your questions. Trust the goodness of Him – that in the breaking, you will see rivers of life flowing out from a heart broken to the point where only God can be glorified by your life. Let God make your heartbreak miraculous.
- Planted, Not Buried
During a time of disappointment, it is easy to feel buried. We were hoping to move forward. We were hoping to move on. We were hoping to be in a different, better situation. But no. We are still here, in the same town, same house, same lives. And it can feel stifling. It is tempting to say to ourselves “We would be happy/useful/etc somewhere else.” But the reality is, God is a perfect Father. Good parents always want to say “yes” to their children. So bear in mind that His “no” in this season isn’t really a no.
It is a bigger “yes!”
Yes to digging in roots and being where we are planted.
- The Key to Your Heart
I don’t think I’m the only one who found the story of Abraham going up Moriah to sacrifice Isaac a little bit confusing. Why would God promise this child only to ask Abraham to kill him? Why would God ask Abraham to kill him only to relent at the last second? Why would God even make that request as we know from other parts of scripture that human sacrifice is abhorrent to God? A lot of people say that God was testing Abraham’s heart. Just to see if he would be obedient at any cost. Maybe that’s true. But something that I have found is that during these times when I wonder what the heck God is doing, He is not testing my heart in the sense that I have to prove something to God. He already knows my heart, better than I do. No, during these times God is revealing my heart to me.
When I dig deep into God and His spirit digs deep into me, I find that those things that didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to, really maybe some of them did turn out the way I wanted them to. I just didn’t know at the time that that’s what I truly wanted. He used that disappointment to reveal my heart to me. We are not drones. Our hearts are not set to follow by autopilot the perfect course He has set out for us. But He is good to show us in retrospect that His will and the desires of our heart go together pretty well.
“Beth Biggers has been following Jesus for 11 years, married to Brandon for 7, and a mom for 5. Her sons Luke and Liam provide her with adventure, laughs, and content for her blog at http://www.bethbiggers.comwhere she writes about family, faith, and urban homesteading.”
Beth will be writing with us on Fridays about Faith. She would like to connect with you!