Then, I received this entry from Joy...
He's saying something to me. Please pray that I will understand Him and the message He wants me to hear.
Monday, March 28, 2011
This part of our journey has been difficult because I have had a hard time dealing with God's answer of "no". I think back to when I was a child, and how difficult it was sometimes when my parents said "no" to me. Even then, those answers seemed crushing and disappointing to me. I had a hard time dealing with that "no". I look at my five year old Mason and see how he responds to me when I answer his questions with a "no". It is often followed by denial, a tantrum, or tears. Many times he will say "Then, you don't love me if you won't let me do that. You're not taking good care of me." I laugh to myself when he says those words to me; but in reality, his thoughts are not so far off from mine with my Heavenly Father. I just shared last week how I felt unloved because of God's chosen path with Connor.
So, where do we go when God says no? That's where I stand today. Learning to move past this struggle is my defining moment, I believe. I guess the one thing that I have been focusing on lately is the fact that Jesus had to deal with God's answer of "no" also. "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." Matthew 26:39
Jesus prayed these words when his death on the cross was eminently near. Jesus was also asking to see if there was another way. We all ask God if you are powerful enough to do things differently, why don't you? How can I accept your comfort and believe you want to heal my broken heart when you could have kept me from experiencing this sorrow in the first place? This is where we have inner conflict - what we want and believe is best seems to be at odds with God's plans. Listening to Jesus' struggle with this helps me to move through this conflict.
"While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God's Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. Hebrews 5:7-9
Well, I can certainly relate to the prayers and pleadings with loud cries and tears. When God answered "no" to me, I felt as if God did not hear my prayers. This verse assures me that He did. I'm certain that He heard His son's prayers, yet He still answered no. It gives me comfort to be reassured that God is always listening to our heartfelt cries, even when He seems to be ignoring them.
Jesus' reaction to God's answer of "no" gives me an example to follow in my own life. Like Jesus, I'm trying to learn obedience through suffering. It helps me to know that Jesus wrestled with God's plan for his life and death, even as he submitted to it, because I have wrestled with God's plan for my life even as I have tried to submit to it. Jesus responded to God's answer with "Not my will, but yours be done." This is the attitude I'm praying for in myself. I'm standing on a precipice, looking out into my future. I'm holding my plans, my dreams, my pain, my doubt, my loss and my faith in my hands. The question is will I surrender all of these before my Heavenly Father? Right now, I'm doing it through gritted teeth, but I hope someday it will be with open, willing hands.