Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
I do not, and will not, claim to know why God chooses to act in certain ways. I do not understand why, at times, he chooses to bless those who could care less about him. I do not know why, at times, his faithful children groan in despair and frustration when things just don’t seem to come together.
I also do not begin to understand why God takes an interest in my life…why he chooses to love me. I am not a power player. We certainly do not have any money. We have little to no influence on the world at large. Yet… according to the Bible, He loves me, cares about me, will not give up on me, and he died for me.
It is no secret that I have struggled in the past two years. I have barely read the Bible or prayed apart from nightly devotions with the kids and cries of desperation and frustration when everything around me has fallen apart. I have rarely sought the Lord and told him that I love him… that I am sorry… that I am thankful. I have not been a “good” Christian. But… apparently… it’s not all about me. Amazingly, the Lord is not shaken by my emotion… my anger… my frustration. In fact… in the depths of my lonliness and resentment toward everything around me last year, the Lord reached out to me in loving kindness and reminded me that He wasn’t going anywhere.
I don’t know why he chose to continually bless our family despite my rotten attitude. I suppose that again, it is because it is not all about me… it is, in fact, for his glory. I suppose that it is because, when I finally get out of the stupor I have been sitting in, I will be able to look back on our time in seminary and trace his faithful hand and say… wow… He really was there… even when I doubted.
I could write page upon page about the random blessings that came to our family during our time in seminary… countless gift cards to random restaurants, clothes for our kids, friendships, financial support… the list goes on and I am still realizing quite a bit of it… but two that stand out to me more than anything are two things that I didn’t even ask for… I didn’t really think to pray about them… I didn’t really know that I could or should. They were desires of my heart that really didn’t make a difference in light of eternity… but because they mattered to me… they mattered to God…
The first happened shortly after we arrived in Florida. Our third child was born and we had a small car. It suited our needs. It was cramped, but we really didn’t have the resources to look for anything bigger. After the baby was born and I was getting into life with three kids at home and a husband consumed by seminary… the little car began to seem more like a prison to me. I was glad to have it… really I was, but every time we got in the car, my blood pressure would rise. The older kids couldn’t keep their hands off the newborn. They poked her eyes, stuck things in her mouth, coughed and sneezed on her, fought with each other. In my heart I would weep and cry and whine about how I wanted a mini van… if I just had a mini van, everything would be alright. I didn’t feel like I had a right to pray about God providing a mini van… He had already given us so much… and really.. .the car was fine. Well… a couple of months of this went on and then, on the way home from church, we were rear ended. I didn’t think much damage had really been done, but when the insurance adjuster came out, they declared the car totaled and gave us a check for way more than what the car was worth. Our church then came alongside us and basically matched the check. With that money, we were able to buy… A MINI VAN! My life changed. Car rides were so much more peaceful. God blessed me. He knew the desire of my heart… frivolous though it may have been. He knew… and he blessed me.
The other thing that stands out is the fact that we are moving in two weeks… to the mountains in North Carolina. I have whined about the heat in Florida for two years. It is so blasted hot. And… it is hot all the time. The “winter” here is maybe a week of highs in the 60s. People kept asking where we wanted to live when my husband graduated. I kept saying, I don’t know… I just want to be somewhere that has seasons. Again… I didn’t pray about this. I didn’t think to let the Lord know my desire. I felt selfish in having a desire… I mean… shouldn’t I be open to whatever the Lord has for us… no matter how hot it is? Well… the place where we are moving has a main thoroughfare called Four Seasons Blvd. The town is known for being a place where you can experience all four seasons. Again… He blessed me. He knew the desire of my heart… and he blessed me.
When it comes down to it, God is Sovereign. He will do what he will do… and it is for his glory. He cannot be manipulated by our prayers or actions. He cannot be tricked into blessing us in certain ways. There is no formula when it comes to God… He is living and active in our lives. He will act in accordance to his will and his glory. He is not heartless and he is not uncaring about the nitty gritty details of every day life. From the evangelist to the preacher to the missionary to the banker to the lawyer to the worker in the cubicle to the stay at home mom and everywhere in between, he is extremely interested in the details… I don’t understand it, but I’ll take it!