I really didn’t think it would go like this. I really thought God would show up and everyone would see how good and faithful He is and there would be this grand celebration of His goodness and faithfulness.
I guess I thought wrong.
There was a Great Big Prayer I was certain God would answer. Other people were skeptical, but I knew, just knew God would answer it in an amazing God-sized way and people would shake their heads in wonder and be awed at His provision. I really had no doubt He would come through in the way I planned.
Maybe that’s the problem.
I kind of feel like I was betting on a horse. A long-shot for sure, but I put all my money on him and cheered as hard as I could from the stands and I envisioned myself hooting and hollering as he rounded the stretch. I’d be shouting, “You can do it! I know you can do it! GO!” He’d burst away from the pack and people would be on their feet and they wouldn’t believe what they were seeing! It was sketchy for a moment, but he’d show everyone what he’s got! The crowd would roar with excitement! I told you he would win!
It seems God doesn’t work that way. Maybe God isn’t a trained monkey who performs on my command to the amazement of onlookers. (Mixing metaphors, I know.) Maybe the answered prayers He delivers aren’t necessarily a way for me to prove something to other people.
I’m sad. I’m so disappointed. The Great Big Prayer was a good thing and it was important to people I love. I don’t understand the outcome. But even as I write this, I wonder if maybe He’s saying something different to me. Maybe He doesn’t need me to direct the way He shows up for other people. (Really, God? Because my plan was brilliant.) Maybe He is answering the Great Big Prayer not in the way I suggested, but in a way I need to understand. Maybe there’s more to this than I realize.
Here’s what I know: By His very nature, God is good. His love is unfailing. He wants great things for us. He sees. And He is involved.
When I look at the circumstances, it’s easy for me to doubt those things. And then I try to control or bargain or just plain give up hope and get angry. But I have seen Him do the miraculous in the past and I know He is a God who keeps His promises. I know this because I have experienced it.
That tug-of-war between faith and doubt is real. I move toward what I know to be true, then I’m yanked back across the mud pit and doubt seems to be winning. I’m knee deep in the muck and can’t get the traction to climb out. I so long for that daring rescue that pulls me out of the pit and onto soft green grass. Stable. Firm. Unmoving.
There is no bow on this. I don’t know if there will be in the way I envisioned. What I know is that without a doubt, God is working. I’m trying to remember to trust Him not based on what I see, but on His unchanging character and His unfailing love. I have no idea how things will work out, but He reminds me that His plans are not my plans; they’re better.
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13