I am so aware that MANY people are praying for us. That alone is encouraging, and humbling. That all of you would deem me and the goings on in my life worth fretting before the Lord for. Yeah, humbling.
I used to think that if we had enough people praying that God would act. As if there were a magic number. 20 maybe.
Or if we prayed long enough. an hour. 3 hours. half the day, every day. Fast even. Bottom line to both of these, if we perform well enough, God will grant. We will earn our worthiness of a gift from the Holy One.
I know you are waiting for the “but” since I said “used to”. And you might be poised with the question ” what about the verse, wherever 2 or 3 are gathered?”. But what about when 200 or 300 are gathered asking for healing, asking for deliverance, asking for a miracle, asking for a child to live? And God does not give, what you want anyway?
It’s not a magic formula. Yeah, it’s a promise, but for EVERYTHING. More than two or tree were gathered praying for life for my baby. Not just one baby. Two. and still He took. It’s not a formula. It’s not a guarantee.
His plans are not my plans. His thoughts are not my thoughts.
This last week while sitting by and watching Josiah do everything he can possibly do to get T’s visa, my heart has grown still. I’m still not sure if it’s God’s peace that I can handle what he gives me, regardless of what it is. Or if I am just growing numb. You can only shake your fist in anger so long. It’s exhausting. You can only go down with a fight so many times. You burn out. You grow apathetic.
No wonder people in this country are fatalistic. It’s exhausting to be anything else.
I want to believe this verse. ” The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14) But will He? Or will he allow this time?
Will I have to learn contentment in what I consider plan B? Do I need to learn joy in whatever he hands me?
I have been thinking a lot about if I am a spoiled brat in need of learning some delayed gratification, or joy in all circumstances. Not just joy from getting what I want whenever I want.
I think I am. Not because that’s how my parents raised me. Even as an only child, though I did get what I needed always, and often what I wanted. They didn’t raise me to be a demanding child who felt entitled to all and received all.
But America did. “Do what feels good to you.” ” Whatever you want to believe is your truth.” ” You are entitled to get what you want.” ” If you get tired of it, leave, walk away.” ” If you want it, take it.” ” Don’t except no for an answer”. ” Just do it” ” Your way right away.”
What you want, fast, or go find it somewhere else. If you’re not “feelin it” do what you have to so that you are. It’s all about feelings.
This makes for a very immature believer in the area of patience, longsuffering, and endurance. I haven’t met too many people with these qualities actually. At least not in the US. People aren’t feeling it and they change, leave, move. We pray for God to take away all our unpleasant circumstances.
It’s been said that the American church doesn’t know Joy. I think it’s true. Myself included. C.S. Lewis said you can’t know joy until you’ve known pain. The two are inseparable.
But when all you do is pray for the removal of any form of pain, or keep yourself busy ” escaping” from it. Whether that’s in service to the church. Service to other’s. Feeding an addiction. Spending money you don’t have. Having an affair. Emotional or otherwise. Reading trashy romance novels. Eating, eating, and eating some more. Staying so busy you don’t allow solitude, reflection, or rest into your life. When you let these things let up, the pain comes back to the edges of your periphery and you don’t know how to handle it.
In America all kinds of ways are available to self medicate our pain. To get what we think we want exactly when we want it.
I am a child of this.
It’s been my sneaking suspicion as I grapple with this un-satisfaction in my life, that it’s time.
God is teaching me to joyfully except what He gives. To be open to “plan B” and choose gratitude.
I’m not there yet. It might be a long journey. Good thing God is patient.
UPDATE: J visited the FRO today and they hadn’t received the email from Delhi. So he will take a taxi to Delhi again tomorrow to “push” things along. He said ” I will stay in the office till they get the email sent. ” As I gave a weak, not very hopeful smile, he said ” I will fight for you!” Please pray with us that a miracle happens and they practice compassion and efficiency tomorrow.