In my 32 years on this earth, I’ve come to an amazing realization just this year. It took me 32 years to realize that maybe the standard by which I determined whether or not persons, places, things and circumstances were or were not of God may be just a tad bit flawed.
I came up in the traditional school of thought that divided life into two main categories: if you lived right, your life was good, if you didn’t live right, your life was a mess.
That sounds really good rolling off the tongue until you’re the one faced with circumstances that you don’t understand. Then that leaves us to audit our actions, searching for that one word or deed that set off motions of vengeance in heaven against us. On the flip, it also leaves those of us who missed the mark and know it (definitely talking about myself here) bearing an unreasonably heavy burden of guilt, assuming that our actions brought us our just reward and therefore who are we to ask the Lord how long until help comes?
Guilt is the great divide.
I guess that’s why our Blessed Saviour purchased our redemption with His own blood, just so that guilt and shame would no longer have to be our garments.
This year, I’ve had to ask myself some hard questions and reexamine some conclusions that I’d made. “That aint God!” How quickly we declare something to be of God and yet, we spend so very little time in His presence or His Word. So I guess the next question would be…
How do you know it isn’t Him?
I’m crying. I’m hurting. This feels bad. This is uncomfortable. I never saw this coming. I never wanted this like this…
This CAN’T be God…right?
Sleeping with Bathsheba was a sin. The first child she bore for King David did not survive, as God in His righteous judgement required his life because of his father’s shedding of the innocent blood of Uriah. But Bathsheba’s second son, Solomon, God loved and he ascended to the throne of His father.
Sleeping with Hagar was not a sin in man’s eyes, but it was a moral slip due to a lack of patience in the manifestation of God’s promise of a natural born heir to Sarah and Abraham. Granted, well into their 90’s, no one would begrudge them a panic attack or two. But the birth of Ishmael also opened a new world of drama to Abraham’s household. But once again God, in His divine grace and wisdom, knew that as Abraham’s seed, Ishmael too would be blessed, thus fulfilling the promise that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through his seed.
I’ve come to understand that sometimes what God allows to happen is just as magnificent as what He directly does. Sin is only an option to a heart predisposed to sin. You need neither God nor devil to sin. The very nature of man outside of the presence of God contains enough wickedness to give all of hell a good paid vacation.
David’s decision to sleep with Uriah’s wife then orchestrate his murder to cover his sin was his own, and he admitted it. But Bathsheba was God’s divine plan. Without her, there would have been no Solomon.
All of creation will do the will of Almighty God. The “how” is the only variable in the equation.
Mankind may control his decisions, but God controls their consequences.
He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.
The mistake I was making was assuming that just because I broke the order of things, sinned or in some cases, just didn’t take the time to inquire of the Lord before I made a decision played into whether or not the will of the Lord was being done in my life. Surely my circumstances could serve as spiritual advisers, showing me which was was UP.
Sometimes life will contradict your assumptions..and so will God.
“Arise Peter, slay and eat!”
That can’t be God!
But it was.
I had declared some things “not God” in my life. As a matter of fact, I even had help doing so. Most people, given the details of anyone’s circumstances, particularly in the area of relationships would say “LEAVE”. A lot of people assume that I stayed in relationship with my childrens’ father for them. That is an incorrect assumption. We remained together as long as we did because I was honestly in love with him. But the pressure to quickly assess and determine whether or not a person was “of God” did us in. I couldn’t wait for an answer.
I let go.
I can remember the second to the last breakup we experienced this year. I was tired, frustrated and not sure how to even try to work on the relationship. I was frankly tired of working. I was also of the school of thought that if it’s of God, it most CERTAINLY doesn’t need all of this elbow grease and meet all of this resistance! It’s smooth sailing with God and when you’re with a man of God, he rubs your feet at night while praying in tongues. SERIOUSLY?! lol!
With our breakup barely a month old, I was still hurting and missing him. I second guessed my decision to quit trying but I was raised to make a decision and stick to it. I was sitting under the dryer next to a delightful sister in Christ whom I’d met at a previous salon visit. She asked how “we” were doing and I told her we had broken up and were no longer together. She looked so disappointed. Then she said the words that almost rocked me out of my chair, “Sis, did you pray about it first?”
No, I hadn’t.
I talked to my usual board of friends who were all about reacting and not “settling for less than God’s best”!
But none of the “best chasers” suggested once that I pray before making a decision to end a relationship with the father of my two children.
I don’t blame them. The final decision was mine to make and own. But bad counsel has broken up more homes than bad arguments.
We reconciled briefly and then I broke up again with him August of this year.
My reasons at the time sounded good in my own ears. Now they just sound selfish and cold. I want a closer relationship with God…I want God’s best for my life…I need to be around people who build me up in the faith… Sounds GREAT in the halls of religion!
But in the huts and caves of the real world, it just sounds heartless.
So your God tells you I’m not good enough for you, I don’t deserve you and that being with me tears you from Him. Wow, what a witness!
Now listen.. I’m no fool. I”m not telling anyone to stay in a relationship that puts them in any harm or danger. But how much Holy Ghost do you really have if you can’t be around someone without losing your grip on your relationship with God? My children’s father was not to blame for my lack of relationship with God. He never prevented me from praying or reading my bible or even attending church. He wasn’t into any of those things according to my standards, but truth be told, I wasn’t even living what I was expecting him to.
The funny thing about this whole experience is that the closer I got to God, the more I loved him. I feel more compassion and less judgemental. I celebrate the good in him instead of cataloging the negative.
I pray for him.
I don’t know where we’re going from here. We’re not together and so far, our interaction is limited to visits with the children. But I savor those now and just let them be. I”m thankful that he’s here for them and for me. My selfishness hurt him but it didn’t destroy him and for that, I’m thankful.
What’s different now than before is that I pray. I ask. I seek God.
No matter what, His will be done. And before I ever utter, “This can’t be God” again…
I’ll ask first.
Prayer Point: Lord, give those that may read this prayer a heart of compassion. With this compassion, they will be able to see past words and actions and see needs within their fellow men. I pray that we would get in the habit of seeking your will before declaring something is or isn’t your will. I pray that You’d cause us to be sensitive and willing to adjust as you download answers into our hearts. May we recognize that in your Kingdom and Your divine will, there are no mistakes, only opportunities for the glory of Your grace to be revealed. These things we ask in the Name of Him who is called Faithful and True. Amen.