When It Is Not Well.

Tuesday was an important day. Tuesday was the response to a year-long prayer.
Tuesday could have been a major turning point.

Just two days before, we sang Bethel’s ‘It Is Well’ at church. With Tuesday still ahead of me, the lyrics calmed my spirit and reminded me I should accept God’s will, whatever it may be:

“Far be it for me to not believe, even when my eyes cannot see.
And this mountain that’s in front of me, will be thrown into the midst of the sea.

Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You.
And through it all, through it all, it is well.
Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You.
And it is well with me.”

“So let go my soul and trust in Him, the waves and wind still know his name.”

“It is well with my soul.”

When I awoke that morning, I sang this song, preparing for the day.
But Tuesday came, and Tuesday let me down. And it let me down big time.

 

How do you train your heart to say the beautiful words of this song when you feel disappointed by life?

When your expectations were high and they came crashing down around you.

When God does something differently from the way you would do it.

When there are barriers and road blocks in the way of getting where you want to be.

When you work hard and it doesn’t seem to matter.

How do you continue to trust God over and over again when every time you get your hopes up for Him to come through, nothing even happens?

How do you just “let go” and “trust in Him” when steps towards prosperity looked like they were coming to pass but were suddenly washed away and destroyed and you’re back where you started?

How do you carry on, even when life is not well with your soul?

To be honest, as of late I have been very disappointed. I have been discouraged by what I see around me and by what I don’t see that I wish I did. My expectations of how I want my life to be and what I think the world should be like have left me with a disheartening view of reality.

This is an awful place to be, and I’m getting tired of it. I’m growing weary. And most days, it does not all feel “well with my soul.”

When things happen that we don’t understand, Christian’s most common advice to others is to “Just press in,” or remember “God is outside of our timing.” All that has it’s place, but they’re not always the most helpful statements when you’re hurting. I want to know that my disappointment is okay. I want to know how to move on and leave the hurt behind. Where can I put my sorrow and crushed expectations? Is there somewhere I can deposit them and leave them for good?

In this place there’s nothing I can do but calm my spirit and ask God to teach me something. Bring my expectations and my hopes into alignment with whatever it is You plan to do with me.

 

Maybe you’re like me and you can’t stay in this place very long. I refuse because I know what it will do to my spirit. I recognize that I need the Holy Spirit to help me crawl out.

The only thing I’ve found so far that seems to help is trying to find what God is doing through these situations. What is He building? What is He teaching? What is He developing in me that I will need to become a better person and disciple?

What I’ve come to see so far is, when You keep me waiting, and You keep me trusting, You are building in me:

Perseverance that leads to strength of character.

“Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:3-4

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

 

Diligence to work hard; Diligence to guard my heart from all evils including false expectations.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows form it.” Proverbs 4:23

 

Reliance fully on the God who is all powerful, rather than myself.

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their distress, and He delivered them from their troubles.” Psalm 107:6

 

Patience even though I cannot see the future. The ability to remain hopeful, faithful and joyful that God will come through.

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:11-12

 

Peace in any stressing situation that may present itself in my future.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

 

Now I am by no means an optimist by nature. It has taken me a while to get to the point where I am, where I can begin to imagine what God could be doing behind the scenes. It’s just so much less exhausting than staying down in the dark hole where tough times so often bring you.
Maybe these things are no condolence to you if you’re going through a hard time, but I’ve started to think, if these lessons are truly what He’s up to, then I thank You Father for knowing better than I do, and seeing more than I see. I thank You for loving me better than the parent who spoils their child by giving them whatever they want, the moment they ask. You keep me waiting, and guessing and trusting because You are creating me to be someone of strength and perseverance, peace and diligence. Someone fully equipped for the journey you have set in front of me, that I have yet to see.

“Far be it for me to not believe, even when my eyes cannot see.
And this mountain that’s in front of me, will be thrown into the midst of the sea.”

“It is well with me.”IMG_4446

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