"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
As I commit to living a transparent life in Christ, I will share a story with you. Yesterday, I cried. I was discouraged and I allowed myself to lose sight of the greatness of God. I forgot for a moment how He has brought me through so many trials of life. So many, that I cannot count. He is always faithful, always available, and always cares for even the little things.
I like to call this episode
Fast Food Faith...
And yes, I was guilty of that yesterday. Sad, but true.
It is like this, when you pull up to the drive through window at the fast food joint, you get asked by a nameless voice, "What would you like to order?" You are in control.
You stare at the menu and can pick anything you want. When you finally get the idea of what seems like would be the tastiest entree, you tell the voice, "I would like a cheese burger and fries."
Not only does that the voice take your order, he also asks, "Would you like something to drink." Wow, he knew what you were thinking—you were thirsty and, wow, he cares!
Back to skimming the menu. You are in control again. You get to pick your favorite drink. That voice, that mysterious voice, cares for your every need. "I'll take a vanilla shake...and a cup of water (that's free)."
The voice goes the extra mile and asks, "Is that everything, or would you like something else?" You think about it for awhile, and you say, "Sure, I would like some ketchup with my order....Oh, oh, oh, and, and, (as you are looking over the menu, just in case you might like something else), and a fried pie!" You did not want to forget about the dessert if you are going to fully enjoy your fast food experience.
The voice tells you what you need to do now, giving you sound instruction. "Okay, that will be twelve dollars and forty-five cents. You can pull up to the next window." That is easy. You put the car into drive and coast along slowly knowing that your food is on it's way. You know it will be fresh, hot, and fast!!!
The person holds our their hand and you know the rule. You hand him a $20 bill. He gives you change and then hands you a bag of food. As he is making your shake, you are already snatching a few fries out of that bag while you wait. In a matter of seconds, you have your shake and water, your pie and burger, ready to indulge in. You pull your car into the parking stall and eat. There. All done.
Sometimes we want God to be the voice at the fast food joint. We want Him to take our order and make it snappy! We want to be in control and have God just waiting for us to make up our minds so He can get to work on our needs. And when we ask for something, we want it to be like a fast food joint, all ready to be handed to us after we do our part. We think by handing the money, or in the case of Christianity, hand God our devotion or obedience, we expect that He will hand us what we think we need.
We do not ask His will, we want our will. When we are in control, trying to make things happen, God is on His own time. It is like this...God creates the calf in it's mother's womb and He allows that calf to grow into a mighty beast. It takes 2 years for a grass fed beef cattle to be ready for processing. People a hundred years ago, did not have fast food. To get that Hamburger, they had to raise the cattle, butcher it and smoke the meat. They had to be patient because food just didn't appear. It was hard work to put food on the table.
And most people a hundred years ago, knew more about God's timing than what we know today. They understood because things were not just a click away. We now live in a culture that is high on instant gratification. We want something, we click a button and it is shipped to our door 2 days later. We pray and we want results instantly, but God doesn't work that way most times. He has a plan and it is perfect. But it is in His perfect timing—not ours!
I allowed myself to become weary when I did not get my request when I needed it. I believed for it. I prayed for it. I did what I was told to do. I was obedient. I tried to be in control instead of allowing God to have complete control in His perfect timing. And I cried because I figured that God is not going to make it happen. I see the mountain and I doubt that God can figure out a way to help us climb it. I am ashamed at how I lost sight of the greatness of God.
Thankfully, because I have His glorious spirit reigning in me, I do not stay long at my struggle. I get back up and I brush myself off, I dry off my tears, and I keep plugging away. I tell you this because I want you to know that I sometimes struggle, too. I am not anywhere near perfect. I never want any of you to think for a second that I have it all figured out, or that I somehow never struggle with emotions or lack of trust.
The important part is that we get back up and we brush ourselves off again. We need to reflect on all the many many things that God has so graciously bestowed upon us. I sat there, just reflecting on life, knowing that God has done more than one person could ever earn or deserve in a lifetime, for me. He has brought me through some of my hardest points, and with all that, He also died for me. If there is nothing but just the fact He died for me, that is EVERYTHING! Anything else is just the icing on the cake!
I encourage you, if you are struggling, to bring to your remembrance all that the Good Lord has given you today. If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, thank God for that. Trust God with all your heart. Do not put any faith into your own understanding. Look to Him in each and every situation, and He will show you the way. It may not be in your timing or the just the way you wanted it, but He is a real God, a living God who cares for us and is preparing a way. We just need to trust and follow.