When God gives me the opportunity to share the same message with more than one dear friend in a short period of time, I consider it a nudge from above and I share it with the masses. And this message seems to be quite timely given the brokenness of our world right now.
To the friend who trusted God and now feels ignored, unheard, abandoned, forsaken, alone, disappointed, or let down…
I’ve been there.
I had clung to God’s promises for five years. I knew He was going to answer my prayers. I knew He was going to restore what had been broken. I knew He would come through for me. I trusted Him explicitly. I never once doubted His ability, His willingness, or His timing. It was hard to wait but I trusted my Savior to come riding in on His white horse to save the day.
But He didn’t come.
My heart shattered. My life shattered. And my faith was tested. Would I still trust God even when He didn’t rescue me?
I’ll never forget the way I felt the first time I heard Natalie Grant’s song, Held. These words touched a part of my heart that hurt so deeply and soothed my soul with the reminder of this simple truth: He was holding me.
Who told us we’d be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
This is what it means to be held
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held
Oh, how I could relate! The sacred had been torn from my life and yet, I survived. I wanted to be rescued. I wanted to be saved from the nightmare of my reality, but I wasn’t and I didn’t understand why.
But God never promised that if we cling to Him, He’ll make our wishes come true. No, He never promised to give us what we’ve wanted or even to give us what we’ve earned. He just promised to hold us through this very difficult journey we’re on called life.
When things don’t go our way, God has not disappeared. He has not forsaken us. He has not abandoned us. He has not failed us in any way. He is there. And He is holding us.
My sweet, hurting, broken friends…
It’s not your fault. It’s not your lack of faith. It’s nothing you did wrong or failed to do.
We live in a broken, fallen world. And somehow, despite our own brokenness, despite our own sin, we think we deserve to live a life exempt of the consequences of the sin all around us.
Do we really dare to think that we deserve to be rescued? To be saved?
Maybe we consider ourselves better than other people in our world. Maybe our sins aren’t as destructive, or heinous, or costly. But when we compare ourselves to the standard of perfection which is the life of Christ, can we really be so bold as to think we deserve deliverance??
Another song that speaks volumes to my heart on this very subject is a song that has brought many of us to tears over the past year. Hillary Scott & the Scott Family sing Thy Will Be Done and it brings me to my knees every time. Why? Because we love to focus our minds on the goodness of God and when He allows the pain of this world to encroach upon our lives, we don’t accept it. We reject it. We think it must be a mistake. It goes against everything we want to believe about a good and loving God.
I’m so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I got is hurt and these four words
Thy will be done
But it’s not our view of God that is clouded. I’m beginning to realize that it’s my evaluation of my own self that is skewed. It’s my assessment of my own place in this massive universe that is inaccurate.
You see, I’m not the center of the world and neither are you. Yes, God loves me (and you) enough to die on a cross for our sins, but we are not the only two people He did that for. There are some events and situations and circumstances in our lives that actually have nothing to do with us and everything to do about the people around us.
What if God’s sole purpose in creating me was to use me to help someone else?
Wow. That changes the way I look at my life.
What if God allowed me to suffer through the greatest pain in my life so that He could bring me alongside of someone else going through a similar and use me to bring that person to a saving knowledge of Him??
What if the whole purpose of my life, my pain, and my entire life was just to point others to Him and to bring Him glory??
Isn’t that supposed to be the purpose of my life???
At what point in my journey through life did I begin to think that my life was about my happiness? When, as a Christian, was I ever taught that my feelings are more important than the will of God? Where, in the Bible, have I ever read that God’s purpose is to please me?
When I stop focusing on what I think God owes me and I start focusing on what I owe God, then my perspective of my problems (as painful and traumatic as they might be) becomes much more clear and I’m just grateful that God can use my messed up life to help someone else and I’m not quite as upset anymore when things aren’t going my way.
I truly believe that I will never know on this side of heaven what purpose God has for many of the obstacles that I’ve hurdled (or crashed into) in my life. But I know that the Savior of the world loves me. I know that I don’t deserve His salvation. I know that I fall short of His glory and grace every single day. And I know that His Word says that He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me.
His plans don’t always feel good.
But He’s a good, good Father.
This is what it means to be held.
Thy will be done.