Please forgive my absence for the last few weeks. Packing and moving an entire house, and trying to figure out what’s going into storage, what’s being taken with us, and what’s being donated is a little time consuming. Now I’m still unpacking, but fortunately I can take my time with that some.
But now, I’ve got a new post for you.
I was having a particularly rough week emotionally last week. So, I knew going into church, I was going to be weepy. Our Pastor also started a new sermon series, bound to last 11-12 weeks or so, based solely on Hebrews 11. He has entitled the series “Fearless Faith.” Seriously, I’ve begun to wonder if he’s been crawling around inside my head. My husband’s been gone a month and it seems like everything this man has preached, in whole or in part, has been aimed straight at me. Sometimes, I can’t even look him in the face when he looks my direction, I’m so convicted.
That being said, it’s a humbling thing to be made to see that I’ve been a Christian for nearly 30 years and have NEVER really relied on God. Or had to.
I’ve tried to be a good girl.
And even though a part of me believes that Christians are more effective witnesses when they’ve not been rescued from every hardship, I’ve lived most of my last 38 years being spared a lot of trials. In fact, the only hardship I’ve ever been through in which I was not directly involved was my parents’ divorce. At the time, it was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. As for who I relied on then…well…I was in 8th grade, so my momma met all my needs. She, and food stamps. And we only used those for the summer, until she remarried.
Most of my other issues have been somewhat self-induced, or I knew they were coming. As a result, painful as the consequences were, I knew I had coming to me what I received. So, I just grit my teeth and ride it out. No need to consult God on those matters because, in my view, (1) the consequences of my actions were the answers to my prayer, and (2) isn’t asking God to deliver you from circumstances you placed yourself into a bit like cheating?
Rabbit and I have also been through some stuff: deployments, unaccompanied tours, relationship struggles. But again, I didn’t have to really trust God. Rabbit and I communicate well, so (1) we always worked out our issues, or else (2) I had Rabbit and/or his paycheck/benefits, etc.
All of our marriage, Rabbit has been a FANTASTIC provider. ALWAYS! Maybe too good. He’s been a great friend, a counselor, my voice of reason, my balance, and a defender of the weak (and this would include his accuser).
And at the very beginning of this whole mess – even knowing the case was a 50/50, he said/she said thing I told Rabbit:
“Don’t you dare take a plea. I do not want you to say you did something you didn’t do. Especially this.”
I said this fully aware of what it would mean for me and the kids if things did not go the way I hoped. But even so, I never believed it would come to THIS. I never believed God would allow something so unspeakable when the accusation was a lie.
I mean, God is just and merciful. Right? God is love and love rejoices in the truth. Right? And where could the justice be in allowing a 9-year-old to grow up without his father on the basis of a LIE? There is no way God would do that to…ME.
YET, HERE WE ARE.
You might think the first thing God would show a woman in my position would be just how much He loves me and wants to provide for me. You might think that scriptures about His providing for the widowed and orphaned would be comforting me. While those are nice, that is not where God chose to start.
So, what was the first thing God chose to reveal to me?
The other day I was reading in Philippians about not worrying about anything, about bringing my requests to God, with thanksgiving. He revealed to me that I was not being very grateful.
You wanna know what my response was?
THANKFUL FOR WHAT?
Yeah, You’ve been providing. No, I’ve not needed anything since Rabbit went to jail that You have not provided. But really, if You hadn’t let my husband go to jail, I wouldn’t need any of this stuff. I wouldn’t have to be thanking You for all of this stuff because I’d have had my husband. All of this stuff You are providing, Rabbit was providing quite nicely. Yes, you are providing. The kids and I have a place to stay. We have food to eat and a roof over our heads, and I don’t have to worry about a job right now, but I had all that stuff with Rabbit too. And the kids had their father. And there was one less person in the world who would have been allowed to get away with a lie. I had everything I needed, and You let him be convicted BASED ON A LIE!
THAT was my response.
And you know what that showed me?
Not only have I never been in the position of needing God’s provision for anything – other than entrance into Heaven – (Yes, I know how ludicrous that sounds to any Christian reading this) I really just don’t want to need His Provision. For anything. Other than Heaven, that is.
I did not want Rabbit to go to jail for many reasons but one that I would’ve never had to see or admit UNLESS HE WENT was :
I didn’t want to have to trust God to provide for me.
Rabbit was doing a fine enough job.
Thank you very much.
I’ve walked a long way on this Christian path I’m on saying one of two things: (1) I want Your Will to be done in my life, or (2) I want to want that.
I can’t really say I was lying when I said those things, but I know I had NO IDEA the lengths to which God would go in answering those prayers.
I also know that, two years ago, you could not have convinced me I had that much pride and self-sufficiency built up inside me.
You know that scripture in Proverbs about God knowing the motives of your heart (Proverbs 16:2)?
How about that scripture about God resisting the proud (James 4:6)?
YEAH, THAT ONE’S TRUE TOO!
I have known for a long time that God will bring into the light those things that are done in the dark and in secret. It just never occurred to me that some of those things that needed to be exposed were hiding in my heart.
One last thing and then I will close. Remember the Psalm in which David prays: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24). Be aware that if and/or when you pray that, God takes it seriously. Be aware, too, that you may well be shown things that surprise or shock you because you were unaware that they were there. You are likely to find the truth of Jeremiah 17:9:
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (New Living Translation)