"Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth."
My husband Caleb and I spent the last week in Minnesota with our family from his side. They have a tradition, one they have kept since Caleb's dad was a little boy. Everyone, including aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, in laws, etc, meets at a place called Cragun's.
Cragun's is a resort right by Gull lake. Each family gets there own cabin and spends a week together, boating, tubing, skiing, fishing, EATING, playing games, watching movies and just having fun together.
Well this year was a little different. This year Minnesota had record low temperatures. Which means, we didn't get in the water much.
We had a huge thunderstorm where it rained 6 inches and every other day was way too cold to even think about skiing or tubing.
Everyone was saddened by this. And even though I thoroughly enjoyed the rainstorm and the weather, I could understand why everyone was disappointed.
Its because an expectation wasn't met.
Everyone packed their shorts and tank tops and swim suits and coolers, and tubes, and skis, and hauled their boats all the way to the lake expecting to use them.
But that didn't happen.
Everyday we woke up and looked out the window expecting to see that the weather had changed.
But that isn't what God had in mind for that week.
For some reason God wanted us indoors. Maybe He wanted us to slow down, maybe He wanted us all to bond as a family. Maybe He was saving us from an injury that could have happened out on the lake. I don't know. He didn't personally reveal His reasoning to me, but I know He had one.
And I am convinced that if we had packed up early and ventured off to another lake who's forecast promised sunshine, we would have arrived to find it was gloomy there as well.
Why? Because God doesn't confine Himself to meet our expectations.
Our God is a good God. He is a God of love and He loves to see us smile. But that doesn't mean He is going to change His mind on something just because we don't understand it.
Far too often we try to convince ourselves that what WE want is what God wants for us.
Not only do we try to convince ourselves, we try to convince God as well.
If we want something bad enough, whether it is a certain career, a relationship, a sunny day, etc, we will stop at nothing to justify it in our minds and before God.
And if we don't get it right away, we act as if God is not listening.
We question Him on His integrity without even thinking about the fact that maybe, just maybe, we are asking for something that isn't good for us and our God has a better plan.
I myself am SO guilty of this. I am always questioning my standing with God. I think that if He doesn't respond right away with a YES, then He probably doesn't hear me. But that couldn't be more false.
God hears every prayer offered up by His children. He doesn't always answer with a yes, but He always answers for our good.
Our efforts shouldn't be put into selling God on our brilliant ideas.
Our efforts should be put into understanding God's brilliant ideas for us.
The longer we keep running in the wrong direction towards our plans, the longer it will take for us to fulfill the purposes God created us to fulfill.
Just ask Jonah. He had a whole night in a whale's belly to think about his decision of heading to Tarshish instead of Nineveh.
God will do what it takes to get us back on the right track, but we can skip the whole getting swallowed by a fish thing if we just choose to look at what God wants before looking at what we want.
"The Holy Spirit speaks to neutral hearts. By that I don't mean passive or indifferent hearts.... I mean being consumed with discovering what pleases the Holy Spirit rather than working to convince Him of the wisdom and brilliance of our plans. I am afraid many of us pray with the goal of talking God into things rather than trying to discover His will.
As a result, we never hear Him."
Charles F. Stanley