I’ve had some pretty intense conversations with God… more than once.
I’ve been angry with, disappointed in, yelled at, and demanded my way because (quite honestly) He didn’t show up like I wanted… more than once.
I’ve experienced moments of discomfort and years of struggle… times of fear and seasons of uncertainty… heart-wrenching news and gut-wrenching pain… flashes of betrayal and extreme loss… and every time I asked God to remove it… more than once…
…because I knew He could… but, more than once... He didn’t.
So, I yelled… pleaded… begged… and expected the miracle… twice… three times… a dozen… a hundred?… and for minutes… hours… weeks… and years, I told the mountain to “move!” and yet, despite my faith, the pain wasn’t removed… the storm kept raging… the lightning struck… and the rainbow never came… more than once.
I didn’t choose to go through hardship, disappointment, struggle, or loss… no one does really. If we had a choice, we avoid any physical or emotional pain and instead, pick OUR timing… OUR plan… OUR desire… and OUR comfort… every time because we don’t stand in the life-threatening, heart-breaking, mind-bending, emotionally-damaging storm on purpose, and we SURE as hell don’t do it… more than once.
Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that (this problem) might leave me; but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you. My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation; for My power is being perfected and is completed and shows itself most effectively in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-8
No matter what struggle you are facing… no matter how broken your heart is… no matter how many times you’ve wanted to give up…. God’s grace, mercy, love, and kindness are forever available, always ready, REGARDLESS of the situation… despite your attitude… AND in spite of your inadequacies.
Just because God’s not answering your prayer, doesn’t mean He’s not answering.
When you’re at your weakest, angriest, most uncertain, most fearful, undone, or imperfect… THAT is the moment… the VERY moment when GOD can be found at His strongest, most loving, most steadfast, most powerful, complete, and perfect in you, because when you are less… IN THAT MOMENT… God can be more, and THEN… so can you.
…Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may completely enfold me and may dwell in me. So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak in human strength, then I am strong truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
When you focus on the clutter in you life (the things taking up space in your mind, body, heart, soul, and surroundings that don’t belong there), your attention will be only on yourself… and your pain will more forcing God to become less. When that happens, the clutter you see (and don’t see) will overwhelm you to a place of hopelessness and despair.
Know that whatever you’re struggling with… no matter how many times you’ve asked God to remove it… your requests haven’t gone unheard. Don’t confuse you not getting your way with God’s abilities. Don’t allow the devil to make you doubt God’s love. And don’t you dare forget how able you are to overcome whatever you face with patience when you decide to make it less about you and more about Him… more than once.
What clutter have you been asking God to remove from your surroundings, heart, soul, or mind? Write it down… all of it; the pain… the anguish… the regrets… the turmoil… the fear… the struggle… the ugly… the doubt… the uncertainty… the unanswered questions… bring it ALL to Him and then instead of telling Him to fix it… allow God to be BIGGER… bigger than your pain, anguish, regrets, turmoil, fear, struggle, ugliness, doubt, uncertainty, or impossible task.
THEN, celebrate… more than once. Celebrate because you know that God is gonna turn it around… somehow… some way… and until THAT moment, you will CHOOSE JOY because everything else is too dark… too hopeless… and too dead to live through… more than once.