Why won't I get it through my head? I learn, and then it's like I never learned it before, and God patiently re-teaches me the same simple lesson: not my will but Thine be done. Yesterday, God opened my eyes anew to this simple but foundational concept of the Christian faith. In the weeks previous, I had been in spiritual and emotional agony over my ongoing physical weakness and my inability to carry out my "dreams for God" (which were really my dreams wrapped up in fancy language), such as starting a Christian school or even having my own children. I felt like I had some wisdom or talents to bring to the table. That's where I went completely wrong. God started showing me just how much I had to bring to the table by removing just a little of that restraining grace against sin and lengthening just a little the leash that holds Satan back from carrying out his efforts to deceive and temp and discourage. By yesterday, I was utterly worthless in my own eyes and realized I had absolutely nothing to offer of my own. God had brought me low, destroyed my wretched pride, and made me feel my own evils and Satan's lies and accusations, which I had been prone to believe (i.e., the godless neighbors have it better), for which I hated myself all the more, knowing that wasn't really true but seeming helpless to not embrace the idea of it. God's hand was heavy upon me. I begged Him to deliver me, while wondering if He even heard my prayers anymore--the thought of which gave even further cause for grief and despair over my state, for I knew in my mind that God did hear me and loved me through Christ. However, in my experience, it seemed the contrary. So I waited. With heavy, broken heart I waited, sighing for heaven.
Then last night, God sent me on a mission to do what I didn't think I had talents to do, where I had no personal knowledge or wisdom, where I knew I needed to act but where I was helpless. And God acted. In the middle of the moment, when I needed it, He gave His wisdom. He showed me worldly wisdom is futile. He showed me self-confidence is futile. He showed me personal talents mean nothing if He has not called me and sent me. And if He has called me and commissioned me, He will do it, and glory to His redeeming grace, He often does use the pieces of our broken human experiences and talents to do it! Why did it seem before that God did not hear my prayers? Because I was praying for my will, not His, and I was thinking I could do it; He could just help. Oh devilish mutiny!
Oh gracious Father--that He did not leave me in my wretched, selfish state but disciplined me and still used me--this chief of sinners! Oh how magnificent is His love and grace! How patient and faithful a Father! How marvelous the power of Christ's redemption!