Believing God For What Seems Impossible
I was sitting around the table of my new "community" - what my new church calls our small group gatherings. The night was filled with laughter and stories and grilled chicken that was delicious.
This was probably my fourth meeting with them and I am slowly getting to know their hearts and their stories. I'm learning what they believe and where they work. I'm discovering their hopes and their dreams.
Our discussion turned serious as we discussed one member's new job. She's a nurse at some kind of home (I'm so new I have no idea what this exactly means). One of the guys in the group poured value and worth into her as he recommended praying each day to be aware of the needs of her patients and how God was working.
I sat there thinking we could all use that prayer. In fact, in recent days, I reflected that I hadn't prayed for much of anything. I spent time in God's Word - but to be honest I'm a doer. I like to get into the action of doing something. And I confess, I lack the patience for the praying part.
Maybe it's because I don't get instant answers. Or maybe because I'd given up on God answering in a tangible way. I know I need to work on my prayer life when it comes to my unmet expectations, my family relationships, the direction of my business, and well life in general. But over the years, it's been so much easier to plan and strategize and well, do.
As we entered into prayer it was a solemn moment. WIth our heads bowed, we prayed for our own prayer requests. For children and grandchildren. For jobs and provision. For seeing with God's eyes instead of our own.
And in the midst of our prayer time, I heard a whispered question. Do you trust me enough to pray about this?
Just so we're clear. I don't get a lot whispers. I don't typically hear voices in my head. But every once in a while, a nudge from the spirit. Today's nudge:
If it's important to you, than it's important to me.
I knew what my nudge was referring to instantly. You see, I'm preparing to attend a wedding. The daughter of a dear friend is getting married. As I prepared to attend her shower and wedding, I was both elated and dreading the occasion at the same time.
You see, I love this bride, but I don't love weddings. And there truly is nothing personal about weddings - except that all these wedding festivities remind me of a dream that seems lost. A dream where I too would find love and get married. A dream that one day when we're asked to give marriage advice to the future bride I can share from experience instead an awkward pain of what I don't have and wish I had.
My nudge was about my single life and my heart's desire for more. To be honest, I don't pray a lot about this issue in my life. I'm not exactly sure when it started or why I've remained silent when it comes to praying for love and a spouse and the relational life I want. Sometimes, I think I don't want to be disappointed. Some days, I think it's because I'm not altogether sure this is God's will for me after all these years. And most days, I'm afraid my life will become so focused on finding a spouse that the rest of my life - the life that I'm currently living - will be overshadowed and forgotten.
In that moment of my nudge, I knew God was asking why I didn't pray about it more. I knew God was asking why I didn't believe He would come through. And the answer in my heart was because I didn't believe He would.
Don't get me wrong. God has been good to me. So many of my dreams have come true. I've worked in ministry. I've launched a coaching company that helps women find faith and purpose in the life they are already living. I have the privilege of teaching and leading women in faith even without a position at a church. And I love my life and being my own boss.
But for some reason, I have trouble believing God in the love and marriage department. Somewhere along the way, I've declared finding love for the first time impossible.
As I write this, I know God's not done with me yet. And I wonder about your impossible? What are you having trouble believing God for? Like me, you may have been single for a lifetime and you wonder if it was never meant to be for you. Or you have a dream job that you always thought you would arrive at only to be working in a field that pays the bills but doesn't nourish your soul. Maybe it's a spouse that has a hardened heart toward God or even toward you. Or a child who has walked away from God.
I'll confess my problem has been a blessing and a curse in my life. You see, I've always wanted everything to make sense to me. When I step out, I've always wanted to know that we were at least halfway down the road and I could see the ending.
In all honesty, I didn't want faith I wanted a sure thing.
I like closure. It kills me when the movie or TV show ends in a cliffhanger. People I need some closure!
So it pains me to say that I don't have a solution to the impossible. I wish I did.
But I don't think I received the nudge just so I would enter the dating scene or sign up for e-harmony. I received that nudge so I would be obedient. Obedient to God's leading in the life I'm already living. Obedient to inviting God into one of my deepest hurts. Obedient to bring my heart, my feelings, and my fears before a God who catches every tear.
Here's some other things I know: God is bigger than His track record. Just because this is the way things have been in your job, your marriage, your life doesn't mean they will stay that way. God is the business of redeeming us. God is in the business of exchanging beauty for ashes. God is in the business of transforming our hearts.
I don't know how your story ends and I don't know how mine ends. I do know I want to be obedient to his nudgings. I do know that I want to trust Him for the impossible when it's hard, or the outcome seems unlikely, or even when I can't see how He's going to get this thing done. I want to walk in trust.
My plan is to pray. To bring my heart before Him. To follow Him when He nudges. And leave the results to God.