So, you had something good working, and it stopped working. Things were coming together for you, then it all fell apart. You thought it was all going this way, then it took a drastic, seemingly undesirable turn that way. And honestly, you don’t want what you’re left with. You want what you wanted, and now you can’t have it … so what are you going to do?
Are you currently disappointed over the way something turned out? Let down over that door that slammed in your face? And if you prayed over this and it still fell apart, you’re questioning if God heard your prayers. Lord, didn’t you see me seeking you in this? Didn’t you hear my prayers over this? Why didn’t you make that door open? Why wouldn’t you turn this thing around for me?
Anyone else there right now? I say is anyone ELSE there, because I’m there. I’m standing in front of a slammed door and everything within me wants to pick the dang lock. I want to find a way in that door because that’s the door I wanted, the door I thought had been opened for me, the door I got my hopes up over, the door I put all my plans in. And now that it slammed on me, I find myself fixated on what can’t be and asking why.
Are you asking why? Why couldn’t that be yours? Why couldn’t the answer be yes? Why couldn’t they choose you? Why couldn’t it just work out?
I heard my answer loud and clear this morning. God’s spirit spoke to me and said, “Why? Because I know things you don’t know.” There was no further explanation or reasoning from there, and truly, none is needed. God knows why that way is not the best way. God knows how the thing I wanted is not the thing I needed. God knows the timing I prefer is not the timing he has aligned.
And plain and simple, I need to not be a brat about it.
If we ask God to guide us, how can we be upset when he puts up a road block? Don’t road blocks guide us?
If we ask God to protect us, isn’t the biggest act of protection we need from our own selves? It’s our own bright ideas and our own ways that cause the biggest messes in our lives. So yes, protection sometimes comes in the form of cancelling our plans and rerouting our way.
If we ask God to be in the details of our lives, then we must recognize sometimes that means we probably won’t like the details because we simply won’t understand the details. I don’t like some of the ingredients in cake, but y’all, I like cake. I would choke on a tablespoon of baking powder, but I’ll enjoy a big ol’ slice of cake. Details. I don’t like them all, but all are necessary for the overall good God is doing in my life.
One of my life verses is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But right now, as I stare down a slammed door I really want to beat my way through, what I’m noticing most in this sweet promise from God is two words. “I KNOW.”
He knows better. He knows more. He knows all. He knows now and he knows later. He knows big picture and he knows details.
And me? Well, I just know what I think I wanted, and I know I’m not getting what I wanted. But really, I am … because don’t I want God’s guidance more than I want my way? Don’t I want God’s protection more than I want my plans? And don’t I trust him enough to surrender this closed door and stop beating on it?
To my disappointed sister, to my friend wishing it could have been different, to my girl who doesn’t understand why you’re left standing in the hallway of life again, hear God this morning with me. He is saying, “I know.” I know what you couldn’t possibly know. I know what you think you wanted. I know what is coming next. I know what I have aligned for you is better than what you were asking for. I know how this would have worked out and it wasn’t going to be what you thought it was. I know what is so much better for you. I know what you would have asked me for if you could only see what I see. But you don’t see, so I’m saying no to what you asked me for in your limited view, so I can say yes to all I see for you, because what I see is undeniably good.
Hear God now as he says, “I know you’re disappointed. I know you don’t understand. I know this hurts. But I promise this isn’t to harm you. I promise this is to prosper you. This is for your good. This is for your future. Just trust me here.”
I needed to hear that from God today, did you? I needed to be reminded he is in every detail, and when the details don’t work out the way I had hoped, it’s because God’s hopes for me are bigger than my own. Gosh, how I would have settled for less. Gosh, how I would have settled for what I could see. Thank God he is big enough to handle our disappointment now, while he carries us through to so much more beyond this.
Think about this, if you would have been at the cross where Jesus was hanging, wouldn’t you have asked God to save him? Wouldn’t you have tried to stop the nails from being hammered into his hands? Wouldn’t you have begged God to make it all stop? God, change this. Don’t let him suffer. Don’t let him die. Don’t let these bad people do this to him.
But God knew what we didn’t know and didn’t have the capacity to receive. We needed this. What was so bad that day was for our eternal good. So it happened, and it happened for us.
In our human state, we simply don’t have the capacity to receive all God has for us. But, he is molding us to have a greater capacity. As we stay close to him on this journey, he is changing us and increasing our capacity to receive. In the beginning, we take every closed door so personal. We’re crushed by the no. We’re disappointed in all that doesn’t happen for us. But then God starts doing his work in us. And his work in us increases our capacity to receive what only God can give.
With an increased capacity, we can receive a no with hope. Why? Because a no means there’s a better yes aligned by God almighty for us.
With an increased capacity, we can looked at messed up plans with gratitude. Why? Because our messed up plans mean there was a divine intervention by a God who personally loves us and is intimately involved in the details of our lives.
We’re just over here growing in the capacity to see God’s involvement. In the beginning of our journey, we just see a series of closed doors and lost opportunities. As we continue to walk the hallway of life with God, we begin to see what God knew all along. There was more. There was better. There was bigger.
One day, with full capacity to receive all God has for us, we receive those disappointing no’s with excitement knowing we were just protected, we were just guided, and ultimately, we were just blessed! And isn’t that what we prayed for?
Today, don’t be a brat. Your capacity to receive all God has for you is currently being increased.