In the midst of doing laundry (the NEVER ending cycle!) a few minutes ago, I had an "aha" moment with God. It always seems as if I "hear" him the most whenever I'm in the middle of folding piles & piles of clothes. Maybe it's because if the baskets come out, everyone disperses and it's actually as quiet as you can ever expect my house to be! Maybe it's the "mundaneness" of the task that actually allows God to get through to my thoughts.
In the middle of the task I heard the words "I owe you nothing" pop in my head. Not once, but twice. I've been praying for God to let me hear him and to drown out all of the noise. Well, to be honest, those aren't quite the words I was expecting to hear. At first I'll admit it somewhat stung my pride and even hurt my feelings. But then.........my heart immediately began to change and some of the burdens I've been carrying started to feel a little lighter.
"I owe you nothing." How can those be healing words? I finally understood part of what I think he's been wanting me to learn. He does NOT owe me anything. Being a Christian does not guarantee an easy, perfect life. I've let walls build up between the "two of us" for a long time because HE hasn't answered my prayers in MY time or always in the way I needed Him to. In my selfishness, I think I've let part of my heart harden and my faith falter because of the despair that comes with unanswered prayers (or answers of NO, wait, or NOT now). There has been much discussion in our home of does God REALLY care and does he REALLY answer prayers. Some days it's been hard to answer YES to those questions. We've answered yes by faith, but not always because that was what our heart were feeling.
"I owe you nothing". I think the key word is "OWE". He really does not owe me anything. Instead, I OWE him everything. My life belongs to him----every single part of it. Every ounce of my being should be about praising HIM.
However that does NOT mean that I should never ask for anything from Him. It also doesn't mean that I shouldn't have faith that he's going to answer my prayers. Prayer is powerful. I should never doubt that he has my best interest at heart. When he's telling me NO over and over, I shouldn't find myself broken and discouraged. That's the pit I've been living in. I think he told me to get up out of the pit and to stop having a pity party.
He KNOWS my heart is broken over some major issues. He KNOWS I'm overwhelmed & stressed. He KNOWS that financial blessings aren't knocking down our doors. He KNOWS the depth of how strong my feelings are about some issues. He KNOWS the burden I'm carrying for our preteen & teen girls. He KNOWS my hearts desires. He KNOWS the insecurity I feel over certain things. He KNOWS how earnestly I'm seeking to find my purpose. He KNOWS the hurt I feel over individuals devaluing the path I have chosen in life. He KNOWS how my heart hurts over those relationships that can't be made whole. He KNOWS my anxiety over family illnesses, loved ones that are turning their backs on their faith, and ............the list goes on and on. He KNOWS it ALL. He KNOWS the feelings I have that I struggle to put into words. He KNOWS me MORE than I know myself.
Yet, he OWES me nothing. However, because of his PURE, SACRIFICIAL love he has for us, he provides ANYWAY! Because he OWES me nothing......he FREELY gives. He is going to restore relationships, heal broken hearts, and provided JUST what I need in HIS time! Today may not be THAT day, but THAT day is coming. He's going to continue to direct my paths, open doors when others are closed, and place people in my life that help keep my focus on Him. He's going to continue to hear my cries for mercy and deliverance. He's not going to snap his fingers and let EACH and EVERY heartache or obstacle be gone. He could. But why would He? He knows me enough to know that the obstacles and heart break keep me fully connected to Him. He knows just how weak I am without him. Plus, the beauty of it all is that on the day He DOES restore, deliver, or "solve" an issue----he knows I will have no choice but to give Him praise for it. Because once we realize how incapable we are of doing anything in our OWN power....that is when he REALLY begins to reveal his power in our lives.