I have been working on this post for about a week, which is quite uncharacteristic of me. Typically, I write each post in one sitting, but I have struggled to get my thoughts together. I am going to do my best to articulate what the Lord has been teaching me lately, so please pardon me if it feels like I am just stumbling around the dark, reaching for a coherent thought. In times like these I am reminded about how much higher God's thoughts and ways are than mine. So please bear with me.
For the last week or so, the Lord has made my heart very uncomfortable; He usually does this when He is trying to get my attention to teach me something new. I have often felt through this adoption season (in combination with a lot of other things going on in our life), that the Lord is really stretching me. It hurts. It is uncomfortable. And through it all, I am having to come face to face with my own sin. Not a fun process. What I have realized is that I have been placing far too much importance and value on my plans, what I want. In reality, I should be focusing on is what God has planned for me, for us.
God put words to what I had been feeling through our pastor's sermon this past Sunday. We have been studying the Book of Revelation, and on Sunday we looked at how we worship God in His wrath (the judgment that will come one day). Revelation paints a pretty terrifying picture of what God's judgment will be like. And I think our initial reaction is often something like, "That is awful! No one deserves that!" But we have to remember who we have sinned against. A holy and righteous God. The Lord and Creator of the whole universe. His point was that when we think we don't "deserve" God's holy judgment, then we are living with a high view of man and low view of God. This is a big problem. In reality, we should always, every single day, be living with a low view of man and high view of God. We have to esteem God and His holiness above ourselves.
And if we are completely honest, sometimes that is difficult to do. If you are anything like me, you might find it easy to live with a high view of yourself. All too often I catch myself comparing my life, my actions to the people around me when I should really be holding myself to the standard set by Christ and trusting in what He has planned for my life rather than I what I think is best. I fall into the trap of putting myself above God, and in doing so, I deprive Him of His glory. So our pastor was saying that we can worship God in His wrath by recognizing that He is supremely holy and so His wrath is completely justified.
After hearing this message, the Lord started pressing on my heart that the same is true of worshiping God in the midst of trials. There are so many days when I get angry with God for the way He is ordering my life, mainly because I feel like I have been waiting forever and a day to be a mother. I lash out and think that my way would be so much easier, so much better. I somehow think that my feeble, human plans will be better than the plans of my all-knowing, always-loving Heavenly Father. Pretty ridiculous, right? Still, there are days when I feel like that, and when I do, I am choosing to have a high view of myself and low view of God. So the Lord really used this message to reveal to me that I need to maintain a high view of Him. He is the One who is holy; He is the One who knows the end from the beginning. And He is the only One whose plans are perfect. He is worthy of my worship, my praise, and He is also worthy of my trust.
We have to stop fighting God over what we think is best and trust and believe that He knows what is best. He does, and that is what He wants for your life and for mine. I know it is hard to let go. Believe me, I struggle with it every single day of my life. I have wanted to be a mom for years, and we are still waiting. That is so hard, and it is hard every day. But I have to remember that the Lord knows who our children are, and if I try to forge ahead on my own timeline, then I will miss the precious little lives that God desires to entrust to me. And so I would encourage you to trust in the Lord with everything you have. If you are anything like me, then you will have to pray unceasingly about this. So much of my prayer life looks like this: "I trust you, Lord. I trust you, Jesus." I am stating the truth, but I am also reminding myself what I believe and Who I believe. So do that if you have to. Say it over and over again. Remind yourself that you can trust in the Lord. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son so that you and me and everyone else could be adopted into His family as His own children. A God who would make that kind of loving sacrifice certainly loves you and me enough to plan out the very best for our lives, even (and especially) when it doesn't feel like it.
So a question remains. Do you know Him? Have you trusted Him? He loves you, and longs to bring you into His family. He never promised that life as His child would be easy, but He promised to stay with you always, wherever you go and to give you life to the fullest.
"For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day."
2 Timothy 1:12