Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What do you do when God says no?

What do you do with emotions that hold on, that refuse to let go, that keep hoping against hope for the impossible?

What do you do when the pain keeps resurfacing, and every time you think you've dealt with it, it comes back again?

How do you walk in obedience, fully confident that God will fulfill Hs promise, when His promises feel like dry crumbs because of the hardness of your soul?

What do you do when your brain agrees with your spirit, but your feelings pull in the opposite direction?

What if the warm, rose-colored dreams you loved and cherished turn out to be only a cheaply-tinted window that cracked and shattered, and now your vision is only comprised of cools and grays and questions?

What do you do with unanswered questions? What if there is no reason why, just the cold facts?

Deep down inside, I know that I want to know God more than I want my dreams, more than I want to love. But my brain keeps telling me that I want my dreams, and my feelings keep telling me that they want to love and to be loved, and my poor will is trying so hard to pull the other two along, but in truth, it's not even sure which way to pull. My soul is one twisted, confused mess. I don't want to be, to feel, to live this way. I cannot.

So, how do I work through this? How do I go from emotional pain to confident expectation?

Oh my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. Yet You are holy, dwelling in the praises of Your people. -- Ps. 22:2-3

My emotions do not change God's character. He is holy when He answers. He is equally holy when He is silent.

There are times in my walk with Christ when my response must be one of determined purpose, not emotion-driven exaltation; times when I remember the work of God in the past, and trust that He who was faithful, still is faithful, and ever will be faithful... regardless of how I feel.

In You our fathers trusted; they trusted, and You delivered them. To You they cried and were rescued; in You they trusted and were not put to shame. -- Ps. 22:4-5

Yes, He is always faithful, and always sufficient. Even when it hurts. Even when the tears won't stop. Even when the pain must remain in the corner crevices of my heart. Even when no one else understands.

My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. -- Ps. 73:26

But whatever gain I had I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. -- Phil. 3:7-8

I have tasted of God's grace and mercy, and I find it sufficient. I long for more of His goodness and His faithfulness, in whatever ways He desires to display that.

Things are not as they appear. His grace may feel like judgment, and sometimes His mercy feels like pain and broken hearts. But I do trust Him. I have no reason-- EVER-- to doubt Him.

Begone, unbelief, the Savior is near,
And for my relief, will surely appear.
By faith let me wrestle with God in the storm,
And help me, my Savior, the faith to adorn.

Though dark be my way, since He is my guide,
'Tis mine to obey and His to provide.
Though cisterns be broken and creatures all fail,
The Word He has spoken will surely prevail.
-- John Newton


AmberDenae said...

This blog brought tears to my eyes and a sense of relief to my spirit. I can relate now more so than ever. I feel like you just took my journal excerpts and combined them into a beautiful composition. Wow.

Thank you for posting that, it really spoke to me. I see such a pureness of heart in your writings, it's inevitable and it brings me back each day to see what you have written next! :)

Thank you for all the blog comment you gave me :) I read them all.

AmberDenae said...

Oh and I am going to find that book by John Piper! I will buy it, I love buying new books and revisiting them after having read them, especially ones that have spoken and/or made a significant impression upon my heart and spirit. Thanks for recommending! My parents have quite a collection of old and new books, my dad collects antique books and he has some orginals by some of the old great men and women of faith (such as John Wesley, Charles Finny, etc.) and I love to browse through our collection! So, I wouldn't be surprised if "Desiring God" is tucked somewhere in one of the many shelves in my house, I'll have to go and search! :)

AmberDenae said...

Haha...oh my! You know what's funny? That is actually how I found you!! I have read "A Tale of Three Kings" numerous times and it is one of my most favorite books! I searched people on blogger who had similar interests and clicked on that book and your blog was the first one to come up! So, I ventured to your page and literally read until my eyes hurt and came to the conclusion that it was in fact a divine thing that I found such a kindred spirit.

Crazy that you mentioned that!

Yes, I have facebook but it confuses me to no end...haha. Nonetheless I ahve one. You can find the link on my blogger under "Where else you can find me". I also have myspace, which I check more frequently! haha

Elizabeth said...

Hey dear. This is the Laundry Girl. :) I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your heart with us...

Adam said...

When God says “no” droop not down in woe;
with Him there are miles yet to go.
With your hand in His, away your worries will flow.

Every good and perfect gift is from above.
So succinctly do they float down like a dove

When our dreams fade like a flower steadfast He will keep us every hour.
In Him we are secure; hand in hand will we endure.
So when the path turns dim, close not your eyes, but look to HIM

Amber said...

Sarah. . . this made me almost cry, in light of some things that have been going on in the past few days for me. So. . . thanks, I'm going to reread it and seek to understand these promises of God that I have such a hard time believing.

~ ag