Two sessions ago, I talked about disappointment in God and how it affects us. The main reason it’s so difficult to overcome is because its existence is so hard to acknowledge.
Since we’ve been taught to trust God and that He’s good all the time, we tend to hide our disappointment in Him. We’ve learned not to be like Adam and Eve and hide from His presence. Still, that doesn’t mean we don’t hide from the disappointment we feel that He didn’t come through for us. We still have fig-leaves that we’ve patched together so we pretend everything’s ok and can keep our disillusionment hidden behind a litany of excuses.
Now, I don’t know about your fig-leaves but some of my excuses when God’s personal promises to me seemed to have crashed and burned were:
First: ‘I guess I didn’t hear God’s voice, after all.’
Second: ‘Maybe I didn’t have enough faith. Or maybe I wasn’t persistent enough.’
Third: ‘Maybe I didn’t pray the right prayer with the right words. Maybe I needed to be more specific.’
Fourth: ‘Maybe it’s my motivation that’s the problem.’
Fifth: ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have listened to the negative voices.’
Sixth: ‘Maybe it wasn’t God’s will, after all.’
And, seventh, my all-time go-to favourite: ‘It seems God is teaching me patience.’
Now I knew that nice trite little cliché about, how if God is making you wait, you’re in good company—David had waited about 15 years for the throne, Joseph had spent 13 years as a slave or in prison, and Moses had been sidelined for 40 years in the desert. Still and all, you know, my background is mathematics teaching and I did a bit of calculation and figured that, at the rate I was going, to get into my calling I’d have to live longer than David and Joseph, but not quite as long as Moses. Somewhere, therefore, between 110 and 120 years.
Now, let me say what I’ve learned about my fig-leaves.
First, Jesus said His sheep hear His voice.
Second, we only need a mustard seed’s worth of faith—just enough to cling to the prayer shawl of Jesus and let His faith do the heavy lifting for us.
Third, we can never pray perfectly but that doesn’t matter because we have the perfect mediator to translate our words to the Father.
Fourth, our motivation this side of heaven will always be mixed.
Fifth, positive thoughts do not produce a breakthrough—Jesus does.
Sixth, if God’s will is always done on earth as in heaven, we wouldn’t need to pray for it to happen.
Seventh, it wasn’t that I didn’t have enough patience, I had too much. It had become a reason for doing nothing.
Before God can help us achieve our calling, we have to exchange our fig-leaves for His covering.
This is Grace Drops and I’m Anne Hamilton. May Jesus of Nazareth strip away your excuses today.
Thank you to Lorna Skinner of www.riversofmusic.co.uk for the background music.