While packing to come to Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference, I was in my mom’s bathroom discussing what we should bring. She has a drawer full of pill cases, or daily pill planners. I said, “May I use one of your pill cases?” and she said, “No. Those are my good ones.” Hmmm, she has 20 “good” pill cases? But… Okay? Suddenly she said, “Wait! Did you say PILL CASE or PILLOW CASE?”
And I was glad we cleared that up because I thought she’d lost her marbles.
Our two and four-year-old sons, whom we loving refer to as “the Vandals,” say, “Wook at me mommy!” to make sure I am giving my full attention. The older four kids will say, “Are you listening?” And our little foster sweetie will scream her lungs out, real tears, if her needs are not quickly tended to. She makes sure she is heard.
I am currently at a writers conference in the woods. The majestic grounds are covered in massive trees, lush green ivy, and pops of fragrant flowers. The Father’s creative touch is all around me.
But, in the midst of His creation is real life. The quiet calm of nature is rudely interrupted by the harsh realities of life.
And He never promised us a rose garden. “In this life, you will have tribulation…”
We don’t want to hear this.
Tribulation sounds exactly like: This is not going to be cool, at all.
And in our society, the quiet calm can be interrupted, but no worries… we have a solution for everything.
We will fix it.
Until we can’t.
And then we are at a loss.
Why wasn’t my prayer answered? Why would I be denied? What have I done wrong?
Did He not hear me?
In spite of frantic cries, desperate pleas, and fervent prayers… Why would God not answer me?
And if only… If only we could cry louder, ask, “Are you listening?” or be clearer, “LOOK AT ME!”
Alas, we are way down here, in the realities of nature. Among the massive trees, lush green ivy, and pops of fragrant flowers, there are wasps, treacherous falls, snakes, and things that go bump in the night.
Today, I watched from my balcony as a young author wept alone.
Where does my help come from when I feel one million miles from my God? Whether it is rejection, criticism, or just a harsh word – and of all the troubles on the planet, my troubles seem least of all.
Much like the vandals and our sweet little visitor – I want to be answered now. And I consider throwing a wall-eyed fit, it works so well for the 4 and under crowd at my house.
And crying, that is only natural when you have worked hard, dreamed big… asked nicely.
I hate to ask…
I don’t want to bother…
He probably isn’t listening…
But I beg anyway…. Look at me!
Are you listening?
The mighty pines whisper, “Take heart, He has overcome the World.”
So why did He not answer my request specifically?
And I don’t believe it is He didn’t want to. I think it is all just a part of something bigger…
A fierce embracing of His sovereignty. And He will move how He moves and save how He saves. He is not out to get me. He isn’t trying to destroy me… Or my dreams. He is a good, good Father. In the progression of what seems like He didn’t hear, and in the silence of wait, He is good.
He does hear.
He does give.
He does take away.
I will walk by faith and not by sight. I will continue to pray and believe. I will try and might cry. And He will move how He moves and save how He saves. It is well.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
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