This past week I’ve found myself being a bit of a brat in prayer. I generally don’t like asking for help, and I really don’t like asking for things I don’t feel I deserve. I have been reading some old testament and realizing that there were cases of people asking God for things because they could, because he can do anything, because he wants to give us things. So I decided that I would ask him for what I want, and I did, but I don’t always hear him answer. In fact, I’m sort of awful at subtleties, so usually I don’t have any idea if he’s listening. So this week I told him I need an answer to something, a sign or a verse or whatever it is he wants to give me, just so I know if I’m heading in the right direction or not.
During church I did a little bible reading and came across a verse I had underlined before, Isaiah 55:8, then promptly forgot it. Later, when we got back to ME my mom and I were chatting about the future and the weekend and all kinds of things, and at some point I told her (again) that I don’t think I’m in a position to be any good to a guy at this time. She sort of looked, then told me that it’s not good to decide for myself what I do and don’t deserve, because God knows better than I do. Then she whipped out her king james version and read all of Isaiah 55 to me. Oh, snap! Wasn’t that what I had just looked at earlier? I guess in my distraction at church I forgot about reading more than one verse, and I missed a good amount of context.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.” – Isaiah 55:8-13
My spiritual head hurt from being smacked really hard by God’s word. Again. Who am I to know what I do and don’t deserve? What I can and cannot do?
This theme has been going on for at least a week, and of course it regards specifically the one area of my life that I want nothing to do with: the love life. Whether its friends that ask me repeatedly why I don’t want to date/am not looking for someone or conversations with like-hearted people about the longing to be married and part of a kick-ass team, or just talking about what I pray I’ll find in “the one”, the topic has been popping up all over the place. And then there is this excerpt from Isaiah, where God has chosen to rebuke me (gently, which is funny because I don’t seem to rebuke others gently at all) by telling me that he loves me, I don’t know what he has planned and never will but I shouldn’t worry about it. But the biggest point he made is that he has never invested himself in something that didn’t accomplish what he wanted it to. If he decides to give someone something they want it yields fruit for him, whether or not the person thinks they deserve it or can handle what they’ve been given. He can change us through his living word and holy spirit to become the right vessels for what he wants to enrich us with (“instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow”).
It could be that I’m still not quite getting it or I’m using my fear as an excuse to play dumb, but it sounds like he’s trying to tell me to quit closing myself off from what he might just want to give me at some point. And I’ll tell you what, I don’t know if I like that idea! I feel like I’m not ready for that kind of thing, like I have to go into a boot camp to make sure I’m going to be fully prepared or something. It would be comforting if I weren’t so very sure that I will end up messing up someone else and myself and have a slut-spiral that takes me to the pits I’ve just been climbing out of. And of course, this just proves HIS point: I’m an idiot because I think I know better than he does about what I can and can’t be good for.
Also, I’m pretty sure I got my prayers answered this week, pertaining to whether or not I’m trying in the right direction. One of the women at church came up to me after service and told me that she has an extra room in her house that she regularly rents out, and if I found a job and stuff she’d love to discuss having me stay there.
So, in conclusion, ladies and jellyspoons, I think that God’s really been helping me out since I made a point of going to him instead of folding in on myself about last week. Please, like me, be encouraged and excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. But unlike me, don’t pee your pants when you think about them.