Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fearing God Will Say "No"


The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but deliverance from fear. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have lived in fear most of my life. I feared for myself when I was young because I had an unstable, abusive, controlling parent. When the situation changed, I feared what everyone knew about it, or thought they knew, or what I thought they knew. My grandfather, who was supporting us at the time, died and I feared what would happen to us then. Two years I lived with my aunt's family and I feared, even though this threat was never made, that I would be kicked out to go back to my mother, who did not want me.

I could go on and on and on with my list of fears....

I talked with a friend this week, too late into the night, but it was a good talk. I heard my friend say something that I have heard voiced in my own thoughts, my fears: What if God says "no"? What if I really want this certain thing and God just says "no"?

I cannot say that has never happened in my life, God saying "no", but I can say that if it did, I have no lasting memory of it. I have had God take away things from me, even things that He gave me, and sometimes it was quite painful, but in retrospect I could see how giving up those things gave room in my life for something else, something He wanted me to do then that served His purpose but also something that gave me as great or greater enjoyment in doing. He has helped me see that some things are meant only for a season, but that I should not fear the ending of one because it allows the beginning of another. And sometimes...all the time, really...God's plan is far better than my own.

I have often pondered if my Lord puts the desire to do what He has for us to do in us or if we have the desire and so He uses that or even grants us our desire. What made my husband desire to go to Israel? About a year before he began working for a worldwide company with his division headquartered in Israel, he seemed to have this sudden, strong desire and was talking to me about his ideal vacation would be to go to Israel, something outside of our means. I did not really have that desire, but I would have gone if we had the finances to do so. My husband has been there several times for training in the last three years. He did not really do God's work in Israel, at least nothing that stood out. He learned much about the culture as it is today and visited historical places with profound religious associations, but why? What was God's purpose? Was it because it did expose him to something he will need to use for God later or was it just giving a gift that he desired? No matter which, once done, it would have a lasting effect on him.

I have had many desires in my life and I can say that most of my desires, my Lord has provided. Perhaps they were His desires for His purpose or perhaps they were just a gift for me just because He loves me. Perhaps both. I mean, if I am living in His Kingdom and becoming more Christlike as I should, my desires would be His desires for me, would they not?

So...why fear? Why fear that if we needed a second vehicle and we desired that vehicle to be another used mini-van that had low miles within a certain price range AND in good working order, and we asked our Lord to make it absolutely clear which one He has chosen for us (all of which my husband and I did recently), why would I fear He might say "no"? (Notice I did not ask for a Jaguar or a Hummer, which are not only outside of our price range but would be completely unsuitable for our needs and rather irresponsible requests, but...what a really cool vehicles!)

I have a friend who has this same need and desire. She would like a mini-van and the size of their family makes this a reasonable request, but she told me that she is afraid to really talk to God about it because He might say "no". She knows that if she goes out to get one of her choosing without the Lord's blessing that it could be worse than being denied, but....well, I so understand this. I hear this same mind-talk. I know better and yet I am afraid to ask because I have not yet come to that point of surrender with that particular strong desire. I am afraid that if I surrender this thing I really, really want, give up that control, that God will completely disregard my desire...but that just does not make sense when I take it out from the dark place I have hidden it in my heart and look at it in the Loving Light.

That is why I am always wondering: Did God give me the desire or is He just giving the gift we desired? I believe that if God has placed the desire on one's heart, He is just waiting to provide it and all He wants is for us trust Him for it.

In a recent post, I admitted that I have faith in God that He can do all things, but I was struggling with trusting Him at that time. I am always afraid that God will one day ask me to do something that will be some unbearable great sacrifice...and He might. I honestly do fear that, but I when I look back on my life, I see some sacrifices, some were beyond what other people have made yet seem little to me now (although I also see others have made bigger ones than I), and I see amazing works, things fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle and the untangling of all the knots I created doing things my way without seeking my Lord first. I think I fear hoping but...no, I fear that what I want is not aligned with God's purpose and then the answer would definitely be "no" and should be (and I should be willing to accept that).

Please pray that my friend is able to surrender her desire to God willingly and that our Loving Lord provides what He desires for her.

~ My Lord, at times I think we all struggle with the fear that You will say "no." While that is an indication of our faith in You, it is also an indication of our lack of trusting You. Please help us all to trust You more and fear Your answers to our prayers less. ~

1 comment:

  1. I thought when we spoke the other day you seemed very tired ~ more than just usual tiredness. Am praying. I believe deep desires are put there by the Lord & He will grant us the desires of our hearts. ♥

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.