The other day, I woke up with a song in my head.
Do you ever do that?
Like- a portion of a song is already playing in your head before you’re even fully awake. It’s like your own personal alarm, calling you into consciousness; whispering something you didn’t know you needed to hear.
My favorite times when this happens are when the song speaks to my soul. In those times, it feels like the song is a gift from the Divine. Perhaps if I paid closer attention, I would find that they’re all gifts.
But I digress…
Today’s “gift” was a portion of a song called Way Maker.
Do you know it? I’ll add it to the bottom of this post, but here’s the part of the song that greeted me to the day…
You’re a Way Maker
Light in the darkness
That is Who You are
As my coherence caught up with the lyrics already swirling in my mind, I found myself quickly slipping into gratitude.
But then, I found another emotion mixing in with my gratitude.
Notice I didn’t say “replacing” my gratitude- nor did I say it “stole” my gratitude.
It mixed in.
Now, I’ve struggled with the idea of writing about this, because I feel like there is plenty of information out there that threatens to test our faith and resolve these days. I would never want to share a challenge that I’m facing only to create a challenge for you that wasn’t there before!
But I can’t shake the idea that if I’m feeling this way, perhaps many of you are too. So, I’m going to risk vulnerability here and share why I found myself sitting smack dab in the middle of gratitude and sorrow.
Admittedly, the sorrow caught me a little “off guard." Which in and of itself was curious to me. It’s not like I’m unaccustomed to experiencing seemingly opposite emotions at the same time. In fact, we talked about that very thing last week. No, it was more that I couldn’t imagine how a song such as this could ignite sorrow within me.
Then, I saw it. Or rather, heard it. As I sang through the words, I realized one of the lines was pointing me to a challenging truth.
Not all promises from God are ours in every circumstance.
Yep- I know. Believe me, my first reaction was to push back on that thought as soon as it occurred to me. Initially I felt like I was breaking some sort of rule by even thinking that. Immediately I began to hear voices telling me I was thinking this because my faith wasn’t big enough.
But then I got to thinking, “perhaps not accepting the truth that not every promise of God is promised to us in every circumstance of our lives, and still holding onto my faith in the midst, is a better way to grow my faith.”
As I mulled this thought over, it occurred to me that rejecting this truth could be the demise of one’s faith and walk with God. It can even be a stumbling block for those who might be “kicking the tires” on this whole Jesus thing too.
What I mean is this: if we claim a promise from God that He hasn’t clearly said is ours for a particular moment or circumstance- or encourage someone else to do the same, we can unintentionally call God’s trustworthiness and character into question.
To be clear, some of His promises are absolutely ours every moment of every day. Like His love and mercy. His forgiveness. His presence with us. The gift of salvation through Jesus. His promises to never leave us or forsake us; those are the always and forever promises that we can count on to always be available for us.
But some of His promises, even though we want them when we want them, simply aren’t ours to claim at our own discretion. Like physical healing, rescue, relief from pain, and yes, even relief from sorrow. And not always getting to claim those promises when we want them or need them most can be the biggest test of our faith.
I’m guilty of it too. Especially in this current season of life. I’ve so desperately wanted some of those promises to be for me and for those I love, right here. Right now. And when they turn out not to be, I have questions too.
The hope that the promises I want to be true for me when I want them to, will most likely be something I wrestle with for the rest of my life. But one thing I do know to be true- and that is the next lines of the song…
Even when I don’t see it, You’re working.
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working.
You never stop, You never stop working.
Regardless of my season or situation, regardless of the promises I can or cannot claim in this moment, God is good. He is always a Way Maker. I would even go so far as to say He’s always a miracle worker. Even when the miracle doesn’t look like I think it should.
When I can remind myself that nothing in my life surprises Him, and that there’s not a single place that I’ll go where He hasn’t already stood, then I can trust that whatever promises He chooses to be true for me in those moments are the ones that will be for my good and for His glory.
Before I made the final decision to write this, I spoke with one of my closest sister-friends and shared my conflicted state. “To post or not to post” I said. We talked it over for a while, and she helped me make the decision to go for it. But not before she shared something with me that I must share with you.
“I’m with you on this one,” she said. My wise friend went on to share, “I have to admit, when I read through some of those ‘Promises of God’ books, I’m conflicted too because the truth is I don’t get to pick which ones are true for me when. And sometimes, I find myself doubting if any of them will be true for me when I need them most. Then I wonder if my doubt is what’s getting in the way. But then I think about that verse in Mark where the man is seeking healing from Jesus and He tells the man 'all things are possible to him who believes.' BUT! When the man replies 'Lord, I believe! Help me with my unbelief!', it helps me remember that God’s actions aren’t really dependent on me after all. This guy admits his unbelief, the duality of holding onto belief while struggling with unbelief, and Jesus heals him anyway! That helps me remember I can trust God to be good. All. The. Time.”
What about you? Have you found yourself confused, disappointed or doubting because a promise of God did not come to fruition when you needed it most? Maybe in this challenging time of uncertainty, you’ve found yourself using your “irritated voice” to ask God “Hey! Where you at?” I promise, (see what I did there?) you are not alone.
Yes, because many of us have been there too. But also, because God is standing right there with you. SO, remember to question your doubting as much as you may be questioning your belief. And hang on to those promises from God that are yours every single second of every single day.
Promises like this one. Straight from Jesus himself. “...And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:28 NKJV)
He sees you. He is for you. He hasn’t forgotten you. He is with you. And He loves you with an unfailing, unshakeable love.
As promised, here is our song, Way Maker.
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