In previous posts, I have mentioned that we are struggling. I haven't gone into open details here, but I've offered some explanation to a few people. I'm not ready to put every detail on this site. One because I am not ready to resign myself, yet, that this is the way things are and will remain. Two because I am still unsure of how to truly communicate the struggle, and three because my hope is that God will miraculously fix our current situation and allow me to share all the details and outcomes for His glory.
Even if there is not a miracle, He will be glorified. Even if we continue to struggle, there will be a reason. I remind myself of these things constantly. I know, in my heart, how true these statements are, but I struggle with understanding of His ways. Of course, that is why it is His way and not mine.
We attend Frontline Church on Sunday mornings, and for the past three Sundays, the discussion and sermon was been on prayer. Previously, there was a several month long series on the story of David. So much of David's story resonates with our story in the fact that he knew what he was being called to, and yet he was led on a path that led him further and further away from his destiny until God decided it was time. Once God decided it was time, David stepped into his role as king and began one of the most important lineages in history.
Stopping the series to discuss prayer was what I needed. I know the decision was not made solely to meet my needs, but still, it did. I've struggled recently with how to pray. I've struggled recently with knowing if it is even worthwhile to pray. I have also struggled recently with seeing the point in prayer. I felt so desperate and trapped in our situation that I was ready to give up and allow the situation to dictate my life.
But my eyes have been opened recently. Both by the current series on prayer as well as Eat Pray Love and a friend of mine who sent me words of wisdom. Whether I have been listening or not, God has recently been speaking to me. I just have to take the time to pray and understand His lessons.
A friend of mine sent me an email this morning the book of Habakkuk. She pointed me in the direction of the first chapter and said she'd recently heard a lesson preached on this chapter. Her words were: "When Habakkuk is crying out to the Father, God responds that He is already doing something behind the scenes that if He told Habakkuk he wouldnt believe Him. Also He said in these times, we must cling to what we know about God: He is eternal, He keeps His covenant, He is sovereign, He is powerful and reliable, righteous and just, and He is our rock. When He says no or wait, He has a greater Yes."
I've heard "wait" recently. I have also heard "something will happen" and "it will work out" along with "God has a plan." The words are true enough, but it's quite frustrating to hear the same phrase repeatedly and to wonder if the words carry any real weight or if they are just words.
Habakkuk 1 shows they are not just words. Habakkuk cries out "How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but You do not listen?" God's response is "Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." God doesn't give a timeline. He does not tell Habakkuk that the suffering will end, but He responds and lets Habakkuk know his prayers, his frustrations, his cries are heard.
I believe He has been doing the same thing for me and for us. But I haven't been willing to listen. I have brushed aside many words of wisdom. I have focused on how terrible our situation is. I have focused on how I feel it will never improve. I have allowed the anxiety and consuming thoughts to terrorize me.
But I am putting my foot down, now. I am listening to His words. I am listening to the words others say. I am falling back on His promises that He will make a way. Many doors have been opened for us, and even more doors have been shut in our face. But there is always a dusty, barely cracked window when we need it most.
So I am leaning into Him. I am doing my best to pray in such a way that reminds myself that He is ultimately in control. I am asking for peace and for direction. I am asking to hear from Him. I am praying still for certain things, knowing He will provide, and I am keeping my eyes open. As was said on Sunday at church, God will always provide the things you need and ask for, but sometimes, His provisions do not look the way we expect. But they are still His provisions.
(title from "the house you're building" by audrey assad)