I talked a little about the discipline of praying without ceasing yesterday. What I didn't talk about was the hard part of it all... expecting an answer and then trusting Him with what He says. That is something I'm not very good at, at least not yet.
I'm a planner. It's engrained in my being to work towards making the next thing happen. I've been accused at times (whether right or wrong) at being discontent and driven. Those seem so very negative to me. I see myself (whether right or wrong) as more in the determined category. I know that hard work can get you there and sometimes you have to plow through and get it done, even if it's exhausting, even if it leaves you feeling powerless, and yes, even if you don't get the results you want. That's just me. And I think it has served me...and our family well as I've had to push through some hard stuff in my life... pastoring a congregation while going through the personal trial of infertility... the whole adoption process with how out of my hands it was... moving away from all the people who knew me well and making a new life in a new country with a new husband... those things and many more, are well, examples of my determination to make something happen, move forward, sometimes with costs, but always with good intent.
So that's me. I'm a planner. But this praying thing and sitting back and letting God work it out, and then accepting HIS answer and THE answer, in spite of wanting another way... well, that's a new thing... and new way of thinking, and takes a new style of determination to make it happen. Being hands off and letting Him have control is not natural for me (for anyone???) so this praying expectantly is tough work.
Seek the Lord while he may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near;
Let the wicked forsake their way,
And let the unrighteous their thoughts;
Let them return to the LORD, that He may have mercy upon them,
and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are my ways your ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are my ways higher than your ways
And my thoughts than your thoughts.
~ Isaiah 55: 6-9 (NRSV)
Wowzers. Here He says directly to me,
Tammy, I love you, and I made you a determined woman. And I am grateful, my dear child, that you work so hard, coming alongside me, never giving up when trials hit, always working through
But Tammy, remember this... You don't know it all. And you don't have to know it all. Tell me what you need. I'll deal with it. Pray. Relate to me. Let's get to know each other better by talking together.
And I promise, if you let me, I'll give you MORE than what you can even imagine in our beautifully created, but woefully human mind. You pray. I'll answer and Tammy, you can't imagine... you CANNOT imagine what I have in store for you. You don't think like I think. I see it all...hear it all...feel it all. I know your needs better than you do. And I will do even more than what you ask. You may not expect it, and you may not understand , but 'my ways are not your ways...my thoughts are not your thoughts'.
Tammy, put aside the ways you take over and do things your way. Let me answer in my own time, by my own way, and I promise that 'I will have mercy on you. I promise. All you have to do is pray. And expect the unexpected.
I love you, oh Child of Mine.
Your Heavenly Father
Oh, what a comforting way to live. But wow... it's hard. It's hard to let go and walk this way without pushing or prodding or trying to figure it all out. But hopefully, I'm savoring the process, knowing that God has it figured out so I don't have to. I just have to let him answer His way and expect the unexpected.