I untied the knots and begin pulling the yarn which caused my crochet project to unravel.
The navy yarn piled up in my lap and looked like a messy bowl of yarn spaghetti, as I kept undoing what I had once put together.
I thought to myself, yup, life feels a bit like this right now. All unraveled and twisted up in a messy, you can’t make sense of it, kind of pile. This happens when our world is not looking like our expectations.
Or . . . maybe it’s an unsure place where God is setting us up to learn some things for sure!
I don’t have all the answers, but I know I keep looking for that reprieve. That space in time where all the loose ends in my life come together, so I can finally relax and completely rest.
Why do I do this to myself? I know, I know that there will always be issues -right?
Each turn around a new corner of life, I learn so much more – I think, and then I can take two steps backward in moments of frustration and feel like I have learned nothing at all.
Will we ever fully grasp His love, His ways, and His character? Probably not now and here with our souls wrapped in this human clay. I am thankful for the glimpses that God does reveal to us, as his sons and daughters, along the journey.
So many of us are looking for what we call rest yet, we envision rest to be more like an escape route in the opposite direction of our limiting circumstances, imperfect relationships, troubles, and fears.
If we are honest, the rest that comes from complete dependence on God during a long storm, is usually not what we are jumping up and down to sign up for.
Yes, we’d rather have rest as opposed to no rest. More importantly, we’d rather have rest and skip the storm altogether or at least speed it up – in Jesus Name, Amen!
Maybe true rest is not a dot on our timeline as much as a peace in our hearts that comes in the midst of it all – the good and bad. I know this deep down, as I have lived this until I find myself getting restless all over again. My emotions get the best of me and it all gets too hard because I just want the storm to be OVER with.
Just because we know God will eventually turn our pain into good news, this does not mean we want to experience the pain to get to the good news. Give me another way we ask!
Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 7:7 that we are to come to him and keep asking, looking, and keep knocking until we receive what we are asking for. We are to have faith and dream big and be persistent. This is all good!
Yet, it’s in that process that we can innocently begin to shift our gaze, ever so slightly, to the miracle we are praying for as THE ANSWER.
Our lips convey we are trusting in God. Our thoughts often convey true rest will come when the miracle arrives or as long as the miracle keeps happening or as long as we SEE some tiny bit of evidence of God working things out.
We want assurance now! We want security, yet faith is the step between promise and assurance. These steps are not easy, but oh so necessary for you and I to grow strong.
When it gets quiet and dark and cloudy and confusing and NOTHING is working out or NOTHING is happening that remotely looks like God is still working on our behalf, the uneasiness settles in our hearts.
The widow thought she was making her last meal before her and her son would lay down and die. The prophet Elijah came with a promise from God, but first, the widow had to believe the promise, step out in faith before she saw the promise, and give the last of what she had first.
Elisha told her, the flour and oil will not run out until the famine passes. Phew, all was good. God was providing. Then sometime later there was this: Her son gets sick and dies! What???
Have you seen God work a miracle after you gathered yourself enough to hear God, step over your fears and step out in faith?
Often just as we begin to think we get the hang of depending on God and having faith and seeing God work – the next problem comes big, hard and strong slamming into our delicate world even while another miracle is alive in our hearts. How can this be?
God, I am trusting in you so why this? Why now?
Her response, “Elisha, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to punish my sins by killing my son?”
The miracle is never THE ANSWER, the answer is always depending on the God who works miracles. The miracle is rarely the answer we are truly longing for, but we convince ourselves that if “this happens” then all will be good.
God has set eternity in our hearts so we long for a place where there are no more tears, pain, and loss and yet we find ourselves stuck here in the middle of the dirt.
We try to dig ourselves out of situations and we are shocked that in our digging we find more dirt. Are you in the dirt right now? Are you disappointed? Frustrated? Stuck? Overwhelmed with what’s next?
God’s provision is never given in order to let us rest upon it. There may be rest during the miracle, but we should not rest ON the miracle. This truth is a struggle for me even now.
Elijah took the widow’s son upstairs where he stayed and the scripture says, “The Lord heard Elijah’s Prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he came back to life!” 1 Kings 17:22
But before this miracle happened the scriptures say that Elisha cried out to the Lord, asking him why he allowed this tragedy to happen. It goes on to say that he called out to the Lord three times, not once, but THREE times asking God to please let the child live. Even Elijah did not understand. Even the prophet was in an unsure place.
This was the widow’s response to Elijah once her son was brought back to life, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God and that the Lord truly speaks through you.” 1 Kings 17:24
She didn’t know for sure that her problems were over, but she knew for sure that there was a God and that he was working through the prophet Elijah.
God wants desperately to give you and I life tools; things we know FOR SURE! Often before we can KNOW the “for sure things” we have to walk in the unsure places.
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Like the messy pile of yarn I created from unraveling a project, you and I will not stay in the same messy pile forever. God’s purpose is to take the unraveled version of you and I and build us back stronger with new “for sure things” that he’s planted in our hearts, in those unsure places.
So I will take the unraveled yarn and begin making something new, just like God is renewing and restoring you and I. He always has more for us and that I know FOR SURE!
I would be honored if you would comment below and share a “for sure” thing that God has planted in your heart in some unsure places.
“My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
In this with you,