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Jul
26

God’s Perfect and Infinite Wisdom

sunflowersTrust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

 


At a women’s retreat several years ago, I was prayed over and my hands were anointed.  I was told that my hands, specifically, would be used in service to the Lord.  I held onto the words that were spoken to me. Tightly.  I imagined a thousand scenarios where God might use me.  In my mind, the possibilities were endless.  Where I might go and who I might serve hijacked the majority of my thoughts. Then one day, an opportunity was presented to me.  A team of missionaries, who travel to Honduras every four months, were planning their next trip.  Their primary ministry is to dig wells. During their ten day stint, they also provide a Vacation Bible School for the children in the community.  There was no hesitation. I signed up. It was decided that I would oversee the Vacation Bible School.  I planned for weeks.  I scoured the internet for ideas and studied a little Spanish so that I could communicate even though it might be limited.

 

Two months later, the trip was cancelled.  I was devastated. To me, it felt like a punishment of the highest sort.  I begged God for answer, but He was not cooperating. The words of encouragement around me to wait on God were lost on me.  I actually thought that if one more person quoted scripture to me concerning God’s timing or His ways that I could not understand, I would explode leaving nothing but a mushroom cloud where I had stood. I surrounded myself with projects and shut myself off from the world. As far as I was concerned, the presented opportunity had been a sign from God.  Had I really needed to spend a lot of time in prayer?  Why would God have allowed this being presented to me if it were not meant for me to go? Did He not know the secret desires of my heart?

I presented myself with a plethora of reasons about why God would have changed His mind. I was not obsessing, but I really did not understand. And I wanted desperately to understand. This decision God had made, this door He had closed, tripped me up.  Where else would He close doors and why would He close them? To me, I viewed it as a little thing God could have done for me.  I wanted to go on a mission trip.  I wanted to serve Him.  I wanted my heart’s desire, but I had been denied. Or so I thought.

 

For the last few months, a spiritual battle has raged around me.  Troubles attached themselves to me with superglue strength.  No matter what I did, no matter how much I prayed, they hung on determined to bring me low.  Each new day, I found myself crying out to God for peace, and each night I would cry because peace had not come.  Certain God had finally given up on me I began to obsess over the reasons why.  I had a long mental list of all the reasons why God would not want to use me for His Kingdom’s work. Every day, the list grew, and from this ever-growing list, a crushing doubt emerged ready to devour me. I almost convinced myself God did not really have a plan for my life. It left me with an icy emptiness in the middle of my gut. I could feel it as I would sit at my desk attempting to pour words onto pages and all those reasons would clang around in my head…until a month ago.

 

The most amazing thing happened.  I began to experience a warm pulsing in the palms of my hands.  Just the palms. My fingers felt cold, even the tops of my hands felt cold, but my palms felt as if they had been holding a hot cup of tea.  I sat there, eyes closed, remembering snippets of words spoken to me.  I remembered prayers I lifted up to God asking for direction, discernment, signs.  I remembered my hands being anointed, being told I would use my hands to serve other women. I remembered being told that if my palms grew hot, it was a prompting from God to pray for someone near me; if I was alone, then I was to place my hands on myself and pray. And that is exactly what I did.

 

I prayed for God to reveal to me what He was trying to teach me and because He is faithful, He gifted me in that moment an understanding of why He is God and I am not.  He made me understand why His ways are higher than my own.  In His perfect timing, this is what He showed me: visions of me praying for my real heart’s desire – to be a writer. He showed me sitting at a desk, in the bed, in the car – all holding a pencil in my hands. I had never, not once, prayed to go to Honduras to serve Him until the opportunity had presented itself.  My prayers to go to Honduras were not my heart’s desire, but I knew it would do one thing in my confused mind: it would validate me as being His and affirm it was a miracle, not a mistake, that I had survived the car accident no one thought it possible to survive.  It would prove to me, God wanted me to serve Him in a big way, in a way that would change lives. I wanted to know I was important enough, and not too messed up, to serve Him.  More than that, I wanted to prove to God, He could count on me, He could trust me. In the midst of the denial, I should have trusted God instead of trying so very hard to convince Him that He was wrong. It was one of the most humbling moments I have ever experienced. I felt no guilt, no shame.  I did not feel as if God were shaking His Holy finger at me.  He was helping me to understand that He has called me to write and that is where I will serve Him because that is my true calling.  Writing is my heart’s desire because it is the desire He intertwined with my DNA when He knit me together with all the uniqueness of what makes me who I am.

 

And this changes everything. It changes my prayers to Him.  It changes my attitude of acceptance when He answers a prayer differently than I expect.  It changes the why’s into requests for discernment in the midst of my lack of understanding.  It gives me patience to wait on the Lord for direction.  It changes my view of how God sees me.  It gives me pause to recognize my motives for service. It makes me understand that I do not ever have to prove myself to God.  He already knows it all, every second of my well-planned life that He created.  Most of all, He knows my heart even when I do not.  I sometimes wonder if it is in my plan to go on a mission trip to Honduras because there is this part of me that wants so much to accompany others in changing lives somewhere south of the border.  It is in the silence after this last thought, He so very sweetly and gently points out letters that need to be written to our sponsored children there.  And for now, I can best serve Him as I string together words into sentences of encouragement and hope about God’s goodness to those beautiful children I love.

bachelor buttons, blackeyed susans, single magenta cosmos

 

May you abound in His perfect peace and love,

Elizabeth

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2 Responses to “God’s Perfect and Infinite Wisdom”

  1. Helen says:

    Thanks be to God you are obedient and listening!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Helen I sometimes think God is up there, arms crossed and tapping His foot, wanting to yell down to me, “Hey you – we could do it the easy way this time.” Thanks be to God the word HOPELESS does not exist in His vocabulary.

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