Who hasn’t been in gut-wrenching pain, certain your circumstances are proof enough that the God of the ages doesn’t know or doesn’t care who you are? I get that email a lot from people yearning for their pain to be resolved so that can rest assured in his love. But that assurance doesn’t come our circumstances being fixed the way we want them to be.
The reasons can vary, from tragedy to medical complications to physical need, or in this case disappointed hope. Pain, especially if we blame God or ourselves for it, can blind us to his presence in the midst of the our struggle. Finding of rest in his love is what we need most in the midst of hurt whether or not we ever get what we want. That’s why I love this recent exchange I had with a young woman from the UK. I hope by reading over my shoulder it can encourge you as well.
Thanks so much for your last few podcasts. I’ve found them so refreshing especially the one on the unfolding reality of Fathers family. I sometimes feel that religion catches up on me so quickly. It’s like a sly cat that you don’t even consciously see or feel but you know it’s there because you feel the effects of it—Condemnation, guilt, and (trying harder).
That’s something I seem to struggle with in phases. I was trying to figure out why I was avoiding God. And I realised it’s because I feel like I’m not doing enough. He promised my husband biological children and me two and a half years ago and we are still waiting for the physical fulfillment of that promise. But during that time, I find myself continuously asking what am I not doing? Or what do I need to do more of? It’s a continuously tireless cycle and then Father reminds me of what He has been saying for the past year, “Do nothing. Rest in me. Rrelax.” I sometimes wonder if that’s really what He could be saying. I always thought the fulfillment of a promise that God had given me was to do with my faith. I always felt I had a lot to do with why I was ‘blessed’ by Him. Now I’m not so sure it’s anything to do with me, but how do I stop interfering? I guess I struggle sometimes to accept He could just be blessing me because I’m His child and He wants to love on His kids. Why is it so hard?
This is how I responded to her: Because it runs counter to everything our flesh wants to do—to earn God’s grace by some means—works, faith, repentance. The joy of living in his love can’t be beat, and yes, it is a reality we relax into. We can ask, seek, knock, but it is God who builds a relationship with us, not ours to build it with him. I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to view any of the Engage videos at Lifestream.org, but I am doing them to help people like you who are learning to relax into his way of doing things, instead of trying to get him to do what they want.
It can be a scary journey for awhile, but eventually you’ll find your stability in his love and his working. My heart goes out to you in your desire for pregnancy. That’s a disappointment that can recur every month. We’ve known many who’ve been down that same road, some with the answer they wanted, and some finding other ways to live even if they didn’t have a child. If God has made you such a promise, it is his to fulfill not yours. The joy of this journey is finding our rest and joy in HIM, however he chooses to care for us and find his life in the midst of chaos instead of thinking he’s only in times of blessing.
It’s a journey. Keep leaning into him and watching what he does. You’ll never regret it.
I didn’t hear anything back for two months, and then I found this in my inbox last week from the same woman:
I was just reading through my message to you from a couple of months ago and was so overwhelmed and overjoyed by how much God has done in me without me doing anything! I don’t know when it happened or how but I just don’t have ANY of those concerns that I referred to in my prior email! And I actually don’t care about when I fall pregnant!! The weight and expectation has just dropped off. I DON’T CARE!! I NEVER thought I would be able to say that. Relaxing in His love really works!!!!!
It is so freeing and so amazing to just live loved in the circumstances I find myself in now. I haven’t asked why, what, when, what do I need to do or any of those questions for at least a month and it only dawned on me the other day that I am becoming so much secure in Fathers love nowadays and that I truly am the apple of His eye and from that place many of my insecurities and questions just fade away. I am just happy to be resting in His arms knowing that He has got my back and will work everything out in His perfect timing.
After two and a half years of fighting and struggling and at least 15 years of trying to DO something, ANYTHING before that, I can finally say I am learning to relax in my Fathers love and it is beautiful, breathtaking and addictive!!!!
I know it is hard to let go when it seems like you can’t make it without your circumstance being changed, but that was never what you needed most.