"How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings." Psalm 36 : 7
Have you ever been in the midst of some great trial or tribulation, been experiencing a devastating loss, or felt like your troubles were increasing with flood like speed and thought, "why is this happening God? Why? What possible good can come from this?"
I cannot tell you the number of times I have shouted at God and told Him, "I have had enough...I can't take it anymore!" I've wept copious tears and as you know, pulled myself as far from God as I could, all because of my inability to let God work in His own time.......like I've said, I cannot see the big picture of my life, but God can and does.
This morning as I had my 'quiet time' before the day begins.....my time to be in God's presence, to lift my face to Him and say I love You Lord and I am yours......fill me up with the desire to do what You would have me do today....................He showed me moments from my past, moments when I felt there could be no possible reason for Him to let things happen the way they did! And He showed me why I needed it to happen.
I want to share a few with you if I may.
When my first son was born the labor was long and difficult for me and for him. Within a few hours of his birth, the pediatrician came to me and said my precious baby was a very sick little boy. Because of the long labor, Michael had aspiration pneumonia and would need to be transported to a larger hospital in Montgomery where there was a neonatal intensive care unit. Can you imagine the fear and anguish racing through me? And then to be told I could not be released for another 3-4 days? Why God? Why? I could not see any purpose in God allowing me to endure this......until later.
Five years later, a dear friend gave birth to a sweet baby girl that they had prayed for and longed for. The day after her birth my friend called with the news that her baby girl was so very sick and could I please come be with her as she sat by her baby's bed in the hospital? Of course I could and I did.....and because I had been through much the same experience with my own baby, I knew the kind of comfort that new mother needed, knew the prayers to pray, knew what to do. God's timing my friends....He knew what my friend needed before anyone else and He prepared someone, me, to provide it.
A few years before my youngest son was born, I suffered a devastating miscarriage. It plunged me into a depression so deep I doubted I would recover. Why God? Why do this to me? You know how much my babies mean to me? What lesson are you trying to teach me? And of course there was a purpose, His plan in action.
Within a year, a young couple we knew went through the same thing....and yes, God gave me the words to say to provide the comfort she needed....and we grieved together for the loss of our children. God's timing although I didn't see it then.
Most recently, I have been trying desperately to find a 'real' teaching job which is difficult for a woman of my age in this economy and in the area of expertise in which I wanted to teach-English/Speech. However, for some reason, there were three openings in our city school system AND I was able to secure interviews for all three! I felt that God was answering my prayer....and He was....just not in the way I had anticipated.
I had three wonderful interviews and was so excited at the opportunity to be able to teach a subject I enjoyed. In my head, I began making plans for my classroom and for the students I would teach!! Then I received one very encouraging letter and two very polite phone calls....."you have so much to offer BUT we've decided to go in another direction." Just like that my world came crashing down....and continued to fall in around me until that fateful night God stepped in and said, ENOUGH!
Now looking back I can see that God answered my prayers perfectly. Had I gotten any one of those jobs it would have been too much especially given the fact I had to have major surgery with a fairly long recovery period. I would have killed myself trying to have everything ready for school to start and probably would have lengthened my recovery time as a result. Yes, God's timing is perfect even if we don't see it at the time.
So what am I going to work on? Well, first and foremost, understanding that even when things seem to be going so badly.....God has a reason, a lesson for me to learn and I have to be willing to be patient about finding out what it might be......not easy for me I confess. Secondly, I have to remember to take comfort in His steadfast love, and when the pain is great I can take "refuge in the shadow of His wings." And lastly, I have to remember not to pray 'answers' to my prayers.....I just need to pray my heart and let God's answers come....His timing is perfect.