Impatient and struggling we want to see change happen immediately. When something is wrong we want it fixed. We wrestle and wrangle with the struggles we face thinking that we can make it better.
That’s been my situation for the past two years. I wanted change and I wanted it right then and there. And I truly thought I had the power to change my circumstances.
Here’s the thing…we live in a world where we’re told that we “have the power within ourselves” to rectify the wrong to get what we want, or fix what is broken. And there might be some truth in that. We probably do have the ability to do those things. However on our own, without all the information, we don’t have the ability to properly put together a solution.
The greatest life lesson that I have learned is that God is ultimately in control. No matter how much I try to maneuver or piece together a solution for my weary circumstances, I’m incapable of doing it correctly. And the simple reason why I cannot do it is that the only information I have is the information that sits in front of me. I know what led me to the situation and I know where I am in that moment but I can’t see ahead into my future. I have no idea what’s coming next.
What does that mean? It means I can’t create the perfect plan that will heal my broken situation. This means that in those moments when I’m struggling, scared and alone my reaction to the things happening around me is typically based on those listed emotions. For me, I need a quick fix. I need something to make the pain go away. For some that might be drugs or alcohol. For some that might be sex. For some that might be vegging out in front of the TV or a good book. Whatever that might look like, none of those things ultimately fix what’s really going on.
No matter how hard we try, without all the information, the solution that we create will probably end up causing us more harm than good.
Over a year and a half ago I posted the picture on this page truly believing what it said. I believed that at the right time, the Lord, would make it happen (Isaiah 60:22). What was the “it” in that statement for me? It was my pleading with God to make my husband better. To make our marriage what it had once been. But at the same time I wanted to believe that the Lord wanted it to happen right now just like I did. But He didn’t. He wanted some change to happen first. So instead, His plan for me included a desert, some wandering, some soul-searching, some loneliness and some severe heartache, because His timing is perfect. He knows just what we need and when we need it. He knows that in order for us to be the best version of ourselves, that we have to find our way back to Him because we have strayed away. And what’s interesting is that sometimes we don’t even realize that we have strayed until it’s too late. And because we don’t realize how far we have strayed we don’t realize the amount of work it’s gonna take to get us back to where we need to be. And for me, that was my biggest problem and it took quite a bit of work for me to realize that’s where I was.
So as my struggle grew bigger and my heart ache deeper, I finally realized that I needed to invite Him in. I had to open the door and ask Him to clean house. And He did.
He started with my closet. He started going through the clothes in my closet that had been there for way too long and He began removing those things that no longer “fit.” Relationships that were unhealthy and activities that were a distraction. Before I knew it, half of my closet was gone but I could see what I had that still fit. From there He moved into the bathroom. The messiness of the bathroom reminds me much of the messiness of my sin. The grime and the mold that can build leaving our bathroom feeling icky and gross just like sin does to our hearts. He began to expose those places that I had missed. Those corners that I had overlooked or ignored because I just couldn’t be bothered with trying to get it clean. But He wiped it all clean. And by the time He finished that bathroom sparkled like it never had before. And then He moved on into the kitchen. The disheveled and unorganized kitchen. The room where chaos often lives. He started by arranging things. He put things in order making things easier to find. He sorted things out by their priority, putting those things that are most important where they could be accessed easily.
Once He finished cleaning house, there was a peace that wasn’t there before. This peace didn’t come easily because I had to say goodbye to some things I didn’t want to see go but I am so thankful for the work that has been done. I am thankful because it caused me to rely on and trust Him to make the moves that were best for me.
God knows everything about us. He knows what our future has in store for us. This means He alone is the perfect solution to whatever circumstance we face. And once we have handed over our circumstances, and His timing and plan unfolds before us, we’re able to look back on everything that we’ve been through and find joy in the pain. Suddenly we realize it was all for our benefit because it drew us closer to Jesus. He alone became our Saviour, our strength and our comfort as we trusted Him to “clean house.”
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.