Last week I posted a picture I had painted and added the following caption: “Desertion – whether real or perceived…whether intentional or not…feels just the same.” That may sound like I’m about to start whining but I’m not. If you’ve read the “About Me” page, you know I am not wired like most of the people around me. My brain chemistry allows me to experience wonderful moments of great creativity and passion and gives me both the desire and ability to express what is contained in the depths of my soul. It also has the potential for dragging me into places from which it is very difficult to crawl out. I spent the past couple of weeks trying to walk uphill on a slippery slope until I finally gave in and tumbled down into the dark. It didn’t matter that I knew I had support from those who love me because my wiring, coupled with my circumstances, had overshadowed my knowledge with a feeling of loneliness I couldn’t seem to escape.
So often we get stuck in the midst of our difficulties. It is human nature for us to falter and stumble in spite of what we know to be true. For me, I know God is in control but when it comes down to it, I often don’t truly trust Him to take care of me. We don’t have the ability to see down the road so we scramble, plan and try to rely on our own strength to work things out. We can’t see ahead and know what God has in store for our lives but HE knows. He knows the blessings He has in store for us even though we can’t imagine them. He knows what exciting things He is going to bring to us down the road even though today our life may seem overshadowed with difficulty or depressive days.
As I reflected on these things, I was struck with the image of a father who has an incredible gift for his child and can’t wait for the child to unwrap it.
We can all relate to times when we can hardly wait to give something to someone because we know it is just the “perfect” gift. It’s hard for us to have it in our possession and not give it to them prematurely because we know how much it will mean to them. It’s hard to watch them have to wait and possibly even be sad as they think we have forgotten to get them something. Then I think of our Heavenly Father knowing the journey of our lives before we even take our first breath and knowing all He has in store for us. As He watches the ebb and flow of our lives as His children, He sees the struggles we face but He knows what’s coming. He feels our tears but He knows what’s coming. In spite of how hard it may be to watch us succeed and fail, or learn the lessons we must, He knows what’s coming and He knows it is GREAT! He has an incredible gift in store for us and can hardly wait for us to be able to unwrap it…when the time is right. I imagine Him looking at us and thinking, “I know it’s difficult right now but if you could just see what is about to come into your world, you would be SO excited. It is going to amaze you!” And yet we spend so many of our days trying to just get through the things in our lives. We struggle with our faith and often have difficulty believing God is even aware of how terrible we feel. We forget He is always with us, guiding us to a place where He can share incredible blessings with us. We think He has forgotten. We forget how much He truly loves us.
And then it happens.
We find ourselves with a blessing so great it seems almost miraculous. We are stunned. Our lives are changed. We are thankful beyond words. We are amazed. We realize the struggles we have been dealing with were nothing more than layers of paper we had to unwrap in order to have such an incredible gift revealed to us. What a wonderful moment for our Father when the time finally comes for us to receive what He had in store for us all along. He gets to experience our sincere excitement and amazement at what He has done. I can see Him sitting there, with love in His eyes asking “When are you going to understand that I am not only working everything together for your good, but to bring you to a place where I can give you amazing things?” These are the moments when most of us are brought to our knees in gratitude, which causes us to realize how weak our faith has become, which then brings us to a place of humility where we remember again that God really IS control and will stop at nothing to give us an abundant life…no matter what it takes.
Sometimes I think that is the greater gift.