“God doesn’t care about what I want…I wanted to go to Colorado. I wanted to go South. He sent me to New York City. I wanted to get a job. He shut every door..”
“God is going to do what He wants to do whether I like it or not, without any regard for my well-being or my wants and hopes and dreams or my desires as a single woman, as a young person, as a writer, as a country girl, as anything.”
Yeah….this morning and last night, even the past few days or so have been reeling with questions and accusations like this, all floating around in my head and in my heart. Imagine a parent holding out an ice-cream cone that never melts and never grows smaller when it’s licked, and the child to whom this is being offered is stomping around and screaming and yelling and all sorts of nonsense saying “I didn’t CHOOSE to have ice-cream right now! I didn’t CHOOSE it to be my favorite flavor! I didn’t CHOOSE to get it from you!”
Guess who the child is.
“God,” I began, “Where in the Bible does it say that You care at all about what I want, about what I desire? I’ve heard and believed all sorts of accounts where it’s like ‘oh, God takes into account what you want,’ ‘God cares about the little things,’ and I’ve even advocated this. So what is my belief in this based off of? Where does it say in Your word this is true?”
All morning and into the evening, all I could think about was this. I was tired, exhausted, emotional. It was really bad; I was trying to connect to the Internet in the cafeteria and almost started crying because it was taking too long. It was absolutely embarrassing.
World Literature passed. Lunch passed. Critical Thinking & Writing passed. Dinner passed. Prattler came.
I sat in my Prattler class, the fear of the editing of my tangling itself up in the anxiety of God supposedly not caring about my life, about what I want for it, about my dreams. The editing of the article itself was fine…it wasn’t subjective or strange in any way. But while we were discussing imagery (the picture that goes along with the article) they asked me what kind of imagery I was thinking. But before I could voice what I thought would be a good idea, the adviser and one other student suggested something that made evolution look serious and legitimate but made creationism look like a joke. Before I could object, everyone laughed and thought it was a great idea and moved on. My mental state was so off and my brain so weighed down by discomfort that I couldn’t even focus.
I left the class feeling defeated, just plain bummin’, and tired. When I returned to my dorm I skyped my Mom and told her what I was thinking. I cried and cried until my chest hurt and asked her (in the most dramatic way possible, of course) to tell me where it said in the Bible that God cared about my desires.
After a while of talking, my Mom said, “Oh my goodness.”
“What?” I asked.
“‘Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.'”
Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Wow. And I had forgotten it. Sometimes I get so caught up in my own everything that I forget how much God cares about me. It’s like, “Hunter, God gives you LIFE. God gives you FREEDOM. God made you BEAUTIFUL. God made you HIS.” How could I have missed that?
Some of you reading this might think, “Well, for someone who talks about how great God is and how He’s so wonderful she certainly doesn’t have very much faith in Him.” And you would be justified in thinking so. But the thing is, even though I have my stages of doubt like this one, God always brings me back into focus. There are moments in time when all you can see is your emotions, your exhaustion, your frustrations, your discomfort, and you let them cloud your vision without any desire to see them blown away. You keep yourself there like a stubborn child. But I want to bring you back to 1 John 3:19, 20, which says, “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him (God); for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” Oh I’m so glad He knows everything! Oh I’m so glad He’s so infinitely bigger than my emotions! Oh I’m so ecstatic that He never gives up on me…
He DOES concern Himself with my well-being. Matthew 6:25-34 says this:
“Therefore I (Jesus) tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yes I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Little faith…sound familiar?)
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all (KNOWS THAT YOU NEED THEM ALL….say it out loud: YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWS THAT YOU NEED THEM ALL). But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (emphasis added)
I know this passage in its entirety can sound like a broken record, but I can’t help but laugh at myself every time I read it. Jesus is just like “HEEELLLLLLLLOOOOOOO!!! The creation around you screams that God cares for you, that He’s totally aware of what you need and is willing to give it to you if you would just FOCUS on Him.” We’re so fickle, ya know? We doubt what’s best for us and put our trust in what damages us. I’m so glad God is patient.
He DOES care about me. 1 Peter 5:6,7 says “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, BECAUSE HE CARES FOR YOU.”
I just read blog about a Christian girl discussing how a lot of Christians feel like after they have an experience with Jesus they can’t mess up after that. I’m quickly realizing that I think that way sometimes. I forget that I’m human and that I doubt and mess up and fall over myself. This is why I know God is still here, that He’s still going to use me, that He’s still going to love me, that He’s still going to stay with me no matter what. I NEED Him…it’s one of those things, where, if He wasn’t real, if His word wasn’t true, then I don’t know what I’d do…I might just stop existing. I mean, I know that sounds dramatic, but I’m really not kidding.
I think most of this crisis has to do the fact that my sleeping schedule or lack there of has been thrown all out of whack and I’ve been getting only four to five hours of sleep every night. Also, I drank coffee last night and two nights before, so THAT probably has something to do with it, along with a few other things.
God has the future in His hands, and the future is made to give me hope and to prosper me (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s ideas and plans for my life are far better for me than I can ever comprehend, and His thoughts are much higher and more stable and wiser than mine (Isaiah 55:8,9). God’s love for me is unfailing (Psalm 36:7). Though my emotions and fears are big, God is bigger.