Lately, trying to take control of God’s timing has been the culprit of much anxiety for me. Both in my own life and in many friends’ lives right now, stressful, ugly, sad and lonely situations abound. Being a female, I tend to take these worries upon myself, agonize over them, feel for the person and stress myself out about it.
I tend to come up with a plan in my tiny little head to solve everyone’s problems. Then I become fixated on that plan, and pray for God to make it happen because it is, quite obviously, better than what he is doing about it which seems to be nothing.
Reminds me of when I was little. My mom said I would need something; a toy, an item of clothing, a craft supply… we could go to store after store, and I would not buy anything because it would not be the exact thing I had pictured in my mind. And even if that that exact thing I had pictured in my mind did not actually exist, I was still not interested in any substitute. I would just be crabby and buy nothing.
That is how I am treating life’s situations, and my hair brained solutions. How sinful I am! God is GOD, who am I to even bring him a plan I cooked up? God is gracious and merciful, though, and he does tell us to make our requests known to Him. He knows us, he knows our emotions and our hearts and our minds, and he desires us to seek and know Him and His Son.
This week something disheartening happened. Amongst all that stress I brought upon myself on behalf of me and others, a little portable at my church that hadn’t been loved since the 70’s, which I had begun fixing up was broken into and vandalized. I started fixing it up probably over a year ago. I had the youth group kids help me strip wallpaper, make curtains, paint the walls, doors and trim and decorate one room. We use the room for My AWANA girls and they loved it. The vandals broke in through a window that didn’t lock, tipped over my book shelf full of supplies, dumped my leftover paint all over the walls, doors, trim, floors, bulletin board, tables and chairs, and used my leftover spray paint to draw giant male anatomy on my schoolhouse chalkboard, in the hallway and in another classroom.
Are you kidding me God? This? Now?
Standing in that room, even after the youth group had cleaned up what they could and put things back in place… looking down, I took note of the floor. The FLOOR. The floor is what started the redecorating process in the first place. It was heinous harvest green and gold, with highlights of 40 year old scum. After I fixed up that first room, the board of trustees wanted me to go ahead and finish the whole thing, and said we could even get new flooring. We tore out the nasty old carpet, but it has taken forever moving forward with getting the new carpet installed… Between getting quotes, picking stuff out, finding out we can’t do that kind, picking out another kind, getting another quote and on and on. I would get really frustrated at myself when I thought about it, that I hadn’t gotten it done, so I could proceed with all the other improvements.
But standing in that room, looking down at the bare floors with paint splattered all around the room in thick puddles… I got a tiny glimpse into God’s timing. It might be tiny, but it is a true glimpse of God’s wisdom and grace. I can’t imagine the stress I would have felt if this had happened to our brand new carpet that I had just encouraged the church to buy.
In this, I was reminded that whatever ideas I may have, and however long He seems to take, God does have a plan, and I know that He “works all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28. I am going to REST on that. I need to bring my worry and stress to God and not try so hard to conjure up my own plans, but instead, soften my heart and be ready for God to use me to accomplish His plans.
If you, like me, feel that your heart is broken into a million little pieces… know that Jesus saves those broken pieces. He will put your heart back together again, if you trust in Him.