I like to joke that I have the spiritual gift of fluctuating emotions. Any other women out there blessed with this gift too? Tears of both sorrow, and joy, come fairly easily. If I’m not careful, my roller coaster feelings are capable of carrying me away into a dangerous place. A place where I am inward focused, looking to ‘self’ for encouragement, and have all but forgotten the gospel reality that I live in.
We’ve been in an adoption process for over two years, with nothing to show for it. We’ve heard “sorry, they have chosen a different family for these children” far too many times. If I were trusting in statistics, or our level of openness to adoption situations, our family should have grown a very long time ago. The fact that we are still childless, and there are over 100,000 waiting children in the US doesn’t make any sense to my feeble mind.
Each time we’re told ‘no,’ it stings, and I’m tempted to question God’s goodness, and wisdom, over this process. I’m tempted to believe that maybe we heard Him wrong as we sought His Word, and His commands to care for the fatherless.
I’ve realized recently that it’s only by God’s preserving grace that I don’t curse Him. As this process has lagged on I sometimes feel a small twinge of temptation to do so. As I sit here, waiting on one piece of paperwork that would allow us to be approved to adopt in Connecticut, I know that Satan wants to turn my heart away from the God who is operating on a timeframe that is for my good, and His glory.
I can’t curse Him.
I can’t curse Him because His preserving grace won’t allow me to do so, and He is upholding my faith. Many times, when I am tempted to turn away, I have felt an almost physical shift of my heart back to Him and His Word. I am reminded of what I know to be true about God, and by His grace, my feelings follow suit.
Sweet, sweet, preserving grace.
This doesn’t mean I don’t cry out to Him, and plead for the desires of my heart, or ask “How long O Lord?” That comes easily for me, and my bend towards expressing emotion. As modeled by the many lament Psalms in Scripture, we ought to be shaping our tear-filled prayers after these precious words given for our benefit.
Many conversations with my worship-pastor husband are surrounding the lyrics of various hymns, praises, and contemporary songs. Something I really appreciate about Adam is that he spends a lot of time choosing songs for congregational worship that have Biblically rich lyrics. During our weekly gathering of believers, we ought to be singing songs that grow our knowledge of God, His character, and will equip us to remember truths about Him throughout our week, and our lifetime.
When another door is shut in my face, and I’m tempted to turn away from God, I must remember what I know to be true. My feelings are all over the place and are a poor foundation to rest my trust. My head and my heart need to rely on the character of God.
Besides the Bible (which is where we must always go for truth), the songs we sing that are based on Scripture can aid to comfort us and grow our faith in an all-wise God.“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed, For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid; I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand, Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.”
-How Firm a Foundation – Attributed to John Keith“When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.”
-My Hope is Built – Edward Mote“You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger Your name is great, and Your heart is kind For all Your goodness I will keep on singing Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find”
-Ten Thousand Reasons – Matt Redman“Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace; Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face. His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flow’r.”
-God Moves in a Mysterious Way – William Cowper“But as I ran my hell-bound race Indifferent to the cost You looked upon my helpless state And led me to the cross And I beheld God’s love displayed You suffered in my place You bore the wrath reserved for me Now all I know is grace Hallelujah! All I have is Christ Hallelujah! Jesus is my life”
-All I Have is Christ – Jordan Kauflin“Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come; ’tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”
-Amazing Grace – John newton
My feelings may change from one moment to the next, but I can confidently rest in the truth that preserving grace will lead me home. What God has begun in me, He will finish (Philippians 1:6). Praise to the God who keeps His Word, and will keep me.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 1:24-25).