When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.
That which is essential
Sometimes, the greatest blessings are those the eyes cannot see. And more often, they are overlooked. Just like the air. Ever sufficient for every living creature, every single day.
Had there been a day in your life when you wake up and you found out that oxygen is getting scarce? None, right? That amazes me, how God continues to supply the earth with oxygen. Gift.
Often times, we need to be wounded in order to be beautified. As we run our hands along our scars, may we echo the words of Eustace in the The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,
"It sort of hurts, but it was good pain."
Contentment in the Discontentment
Disappointments. Shattered dreams. Heard of them? Experienced them? What will you do when God does not fulfill your desire, your dream? What will you do when your carefully constructed plans are interrupted by God because it is not His plan but all along you thought it was? What will you do when he hurts you? He breaks you? He ruins you?
Excuse me, what!? God won’t fulfill my desire? He will interrupt my plans? He will break me? You’re kidding, right? I thought God loves me. Of course, He does! And that is one of the things that is just hard to reconcile—a loving, merciful God will hurt you, will let you down. Well, I have had my fair share of shattered dreams. In fact, I just came out from such a season in my life. It was such a chaotic season, I felt so weak almost wanting to let go but God grab ahold of my hand. By God’s grace, I came out alive and kicking though I am well aware that disappointment will still cross my road some time. But at least, I now know how I will endure it next time.
During my chaotic moments, I found myself hanging out with King David a lot. (And Hosea and Jonah, too!) Journey with me along 1 Chronicles 28.
King David is old and his death is drawing near. He assembled at Jerusalem his sons, all the officials of Israel—“everyone who held responsible positions in the kingdom.” (v. 1, MSG) The king might have a very important announcement he has to make before he travels back Home.
"I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord for the footstool of our God and I made plans to build it.” (v. 2, NIV)
David desired to build a temple for the Lord. It’s a very noble desire, right? To be doing something for the Lord. To be of service for God’s greater glory. And, well, he had made preparations. Architects, engineers have been selected. Blueprints and drawings made. Resources assembled. Everything had been set but where is the temple David intends to build?
“But God said to me, “You are not to build a house for My Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’…He said to me: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts…” (v. 3,6, NIV)
Whoah. Notice the but? Why would God not allow David to build the temple? But was it not a very good plan David intends? He has been faithful waging wars with God’s enemies. He desires to glorify Him with it. Why would God interrupt David’s plan? Simple. It wasn’t God’s plan because His plan is David’s son, Solomon, will be the one building it. I presume David was disappointed at the time. And hurt and say, angry. So let’s assume, bitterness is knocking upon the threshold of David’s soul. Did he let it in? No, he shut the door!
Yet the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the tribe of Judah he chose my family, and from my father’s sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel. (v. 4, NIV)
David shut the door by thanking the Lord. He remembered God’s faithfulness. He understood God’s faithfulness to him. See, from a shepherd boy, God made him king. From leading sheep, God brought him to a place where he led armies. And they won battle upon battle. David countered darkness with light. He countered disappointment with gratitude.
I held on to a desire I thought was God’s. I constructed blueprints. Visualize my future with the people who were in the blueprint. Everything was sailing smoothly. Then one day, I discovered it’s not God’s blueprint for us. It hurts to know that all along, I was holding onto something that isn’t exactly his plan. And it hurts even more that God used someone I so looked up to and loved dearly, to break me.
I had it in my heart…
and i made plans…
Shattered my dreams went. I was caught off guard, was so upset. Why would God allow me to meet this people when in the end, they will be the cause of my pain? Initially, i regretted investing my time with them. I even doubted God’s goodness. Whenever I remember the people, I’d get mad—mad at them, then to myself. I thought of forgetting them as if they never existed. I thought of giving up on God. He’s a God who disappoints after all! I told myself. There was bitterness upon bitterness. However, as I’ve said, grace pulled me through. And found my "Yet the Lord." God gradually healed me through hanging out with David. Right now, whenever I remember these people, I do what David did. Yet the Lord. Gratitude. I thanked God I met them. I initially have to drag myself thanking God for them, then it became a default response. Cause you see brief time is better than no time. And know what the best thing is, we remained friends. In fact, we are, in it’s literal sense, co-laborers for the Kingdom!
God hurt me, to heal me.
God broke me to bind me.
God ruined me, to restore me.
Quite difficult riddles to decode, but I assure you, they are decode-able :)
During the process, I learned how to pursue joy in Christ alone. I learned how to be content in the discontentment. I learned to counter darkness with the light. And yes, I am still learning.
Friends, if God is ruining your plans right now, surrender to Him. Let his blueprint be your blueprint. Don’t let yourself be soured by disappointments. When darkness lures you, counter it with the light. When the monster of bitterness tries to threaten you, slay it with the sword called gratitude! The moment you understand that God has been good to you and is committed doing you good, the right to air complaint, the right to be angry, will die down. And you know what, joy will ensue! You will begin to experience contentment in the discontentment—discontentment that your dreams, your desires weren’t met. Remember His faithfulness, celebrate His goodness. Find your “yet the Lord.” Your plans may seem noble but His plans are always better than yours. And He will do whatever it takes to accomplish those plans—plans that are for your good—sometimes the process will hurt you, break you and ruin you, but know what, it will be altogether beautiful.
So why not slow down right at this point, remember the goodness of the Lord and with a grateful heart, offer Him your thanks.
Note: Indebted to Max Lucado for some of the insights =))
- Me: *melan mode* lamo yung feeling na you want to move forward BUT you're thinking you still need to prove something.
- Barb: Hmm, naalala ko yung preaching ni Pastor Bong. Lahat ng body parts, pa-forward ang direksiyon coz God wants us keep moving forward. Pwera ang pwet kasi dun lumalabas ang dumi.
- Me: HAHAHAH. So funneh girl.
- Pero may point. : )