I felt my shoulders slump forward a little. Another “No.” Another setback. Another disappointment. Another dip on the rollercoaster ride that my emotions had been on for far too long. Why did God keep allowing these “No’s”? Why was God preventing forward progress for our family’s future? Was there a lesson for me in the midst of this that I was not grasping? So many questions, with so few answers. People had pretty much stopped inquiring into our situation, because they knew there was just no news to report. Our status remained the same… stagnant.
his “no” led me to ask “why”
I knew that there had to be an explanation for all of this. I mean, at the beginning of our most recent journey through this process, God had been giving us clear and smooth direction for each step on the path. It had not been our own doing; our own conniving to get what we wanted. We had waited, we had prayed, we had looked for the answer, we had seen a possible answer, we had pursued it calmly, we had accepted its potential for our family and moved forward in faith… we had done all of the steps properly and wisely according to God’s principles AND according to the system set up in our society. And beyond all of that, I had sensed the sweetest peace in my heart, unlike what I’ve felt in a while with regard to this area of our lives. So what happened??
I mean, it seems like a legitimate question, right? When you have worked your way around the established, honest system to try to get what you want, with a sense of unease, and it doesn’t work out… well, you can kind of figure that one out, right? But this, no, this was different. So I felt entitled (wrong attitude, I know, but stick with me) to an explanation from my Heavenly Father.
a two-part answer
It would take a few days, but eventually that still, small Voice began to reveal exactly why things had progressed (or not progressed) as they did. God began to remind me of our conversations during the week previous. And He began to show my heart just how directly He had answered those prayers. Turns out, my whining and complaining at His answers was not valid. It was childish. And as I began to accept what the voice of the Spirit was whispering over my heart, I felt that deep sense of peace returning to my worn-out, emotionally-ragged spirit.
After I had asked Him again and again to make His plans clear to my husband and I, He had given us just that. Clarity, which led to an obvious decision. It just wasn’t the one I had hoped for. As I accepted this answer, I began to ask the next one… the one that seriously bugged me because it was the side of this whole situation that had me questioning where His grace was.
“God, why lead us through a doorway just to show us a brick wall? Where is Your grace here?”
Are you ready for His answer? Because it’s a really good one! His Spirit, as clearly as I’ve ever understood it before, spoke into my spirit, “I’ve led you through this to show you what grace will look like when it IS the right time.” Whoa. What!? Ok, let’s walk through this thought a little bit and unpack it.
grace- for future reference
Have you ever been in the middle of one of life’s transitions, looking for direction from God, and you just don’t feel confident that if you saw it you would know? His answer to my “WHY?!” was just that – so that I will know what to look for when it comes. I have seen a glimpse of grace in action, working out my situation not of my own devices but of His perfect ways. And one of these days, it will come again and will not come to an end. Grace will see me through to completion.
So, does that mean that God gave me His grace for a little while, and then took it away? No, that’s not what I’m saying. My real-life example here is a very tangible expression of grace right in this moment. He has given me all of the spiritual blessing that I need to walk through this continued waiting period, and NOW I have a much better idea of what to keep my eyes open for when the waiting is about to come to an end.
But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ 2 Corinthians 12:9
Did you track with me through this? I know it was a bit different – not the most obvious of testimonies of grace for our everyday moments. But, this is God in action. And as we are sensitive to His Spirit, actively seeking Him through His word, and willing to step out with faith and confidence in His guidance, we truly will come to understand grace more and more. He who has called us is faithful. He wants you and I to “get it.” So let’s keep asking for it!
Do you have an example to share with me? Any moments come to your mind as you’ve read this today of a time when God taught your heart in this way?? Are you waiting on something (big OR small) that you’d like to ask God to give you clarity on when His answer comes? And continue walking in expectation of His perfect, grace-filled answer. It’s coming.