Now that I have victoriously survived Valentine’s Day (aka Singles Awareness Day), I felt like it was good timing to re-run this post that I originally ran last Spring. Happy belated Valentine’s Day!
I’ve got a quote from Liz Curtis Higgs running through my mind today and I can’t get my mind off of it. It goes like this: “Jesus wants us to grow in faith, and we grow only when we come to the end of ourselves.”
The first thing that comes to my mind is how hard it always is to trust God to provide the money to put together a mission team. This is my eighth time doing it. God does it differently each time, but He always does provide and usually in the most unexpected ways so that at the end of the journey, I have to look back and say, “That was TOTALLY God! I couldn’t have done that myself!”
The ploy of the devil from the beginning has been to make us believe that God was holding out on us and that He didn’t have our best interest at heart. Looking back at Eve, it’s easy for me to say, “Silly Woman! Of course God isn’t holding out on you! Of course He has your best interest at heart!” But if we had been in her position, would we feel/do much differently? In fact, when we’re in similar positions in our own lives, don’t we feel/do pretty much the same?
I can think of lots of examples from my own life, but one of them is particularly clear to me. For years, I thought that God was holding out on me and that He didn’t have my best interest at heart because I wanted a husband and He hadn’t given me one. I was one of those girls that thought my life wasn’t complete unless I had a man. Since God was “holding out” and not giving me what I wanted, I decided to go “apple-picking” and find my own. What I got was a basketful of rotten apples—a string of dysfunctional relationships, including an emotionally abusive one, a physically abusive one, and one that led to date rape.
When I was a twenty-five year old college senior, God told me that His plan for me includes a ministry, a mission, and a marriage. Through no effort of my own, He has put me in full time ministry and part time missions. But God still hasn’t given me a marriage. Why? Is He still holding out on me? Of course not! It turns out that God isn’t holding out on me. In fact, He’s trying to protect me.
Several months ago, I was puttering around my house, doing some random chores and just having a lighthearted chat with God. That old promise came to my mind: a ministry, a mission, and a marriage. And before I realized what I was saying, I said, “LORD, if I heard You wrong or if You changed Your mind, or something goes wrong and the marriage part doesn’t happen, I want You to know that I’ll be okay with that. I’ll still love You and I won’t be mad about it.” Realizing what I’d said, I was so shocked that I dropped my towel on the kitchen counter. I laughed and said, “LORD, can You believe what I just said?” I felt Him smiling.
You may not feel like you can identify with the area that I was weak, but where is your faith weak? Where are you not trusting God? Where do you feel like He’s holding out on you? You certainly don’t owe me an answer, but I challenge you to give God your answer. I’m in the process of searching God for the other areas where my faith is weak and the reason is this:
“At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” – Hebrews 12:26-27 NIV (emphasis mine)
We are at a place in history where no Christian can really deny that there is shaking going on. Murders and violent crimes are on the rise. Abortions and suicides are up. We have war raging around the world and threats of war being made against our country and its holdings. We have record numbers of tornadoes occurring. And earthquakes are happening—even in places where they’ve never happened before. If there has ever been a day that we need someone to trust, it’s today. And God is that ONE that we can trust.
The LORD has His hand on my life. I know that while the shaking is going on, He’s using it to take away my mess—my rubble—so that what remains will be the bride of Christ—pure and holy and unshakeable.