When God Doesn’t Do Things My Way
“Nikki, do you trust me?” I heard God ask me this at 3am. That’s when I’m up and able to hear Him, because that’s when it’s quiet. He’s so patient to wait as I finish putting the kids to bed, talk to my husband, watch my shows, check Facebook, read for my class, prepare for school, and anything else I find to keep myself busy.
I knew immediately what He was referring to with that question. I’m mad. I’m mad at specific people, their injustice toward me, and their words towards my husband. I’m mad, and He was asking if I trusted Him to take care of it. This could have been one of those eye opening, emotional, “Speak to me, Lord,” moments. Instead, we laughed. Yes, that’s the type of relationship we have. He gets me! I smiled big and answered, “Yes, God, I trust you, but I know you won’t take care of it my way.” (You know, the way where “God will take revenge for you” means the other people pay for my pain and life is roses for me!)
I proceeded to give Him a big example where we were in a situation, completely lied to, even though we had come cross-country to serve the person. We were destroyed by the situation. It seemed like that person didn’t bat an eye or have any repercussions for what happened. They kept their great job, we chose to leave, and things I thought should have happened didn’t. He reminded me that through our obedience to be part of that situation, a marriage, a family was saved. Their lives and their course changed. “Yes, I remember, “ I tell Him. “But they didn’t feel our pain, they still have good things coming to them.”
“Do you know? Do you know my conversations, their hurt, their wrestling with the situation?” He asks of me.
I think, “Nope, I don’t. I just know I didn’t get to see them pay.” WHOA! WHAT? Jonah much? Remember Him? He ran (I didn’t). He obeyed, and God used Him (we did that). Then he sat, waited, and got mad that God didn’t get revenge the way he saw fit. I don’t know what happened to Jonah after that. I don’t know what the people of Nineveh felt or the ache they went through as they realized their sin. However, I know God takes care of things His ways, not mine. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
There are so many clichés of forgiveness. “Forgiveness frees you, not the one who hurt you.” “Forgive as you’ve been forgiven.” There’s many more, but clichés bother me, so I’m assuming you are thinking of a few on your own. J The fact is, none of those clichés change the way I feel now. Can you tell yet that I’m stubborn?
This is my daughter. She’s as stubborn as me. It takes us a bit to get things through our way, to His way. This is her “You getting tough with me?” face when her brothers aren’t quite up to par with what she thinks should be happening. The ones on the right are just so you know she is still sweet at heart!
The next day (because, yes, it takes me that long), He reminds me of my mama. He reminds me how my biological guy beat her. He reminds me how he beat my brother and set into motion years and years of pain that would take decades for multiple people to heal from. He reminds me how I used to pray for him and that some day, some how, he would come to know Christ. He reminds me of the night that I prayed and cried and wouldn’t quit until God gave me assurance that it would happen. Then he again reminds me of my mama.
He reminds me how I called her, because I didn’t have anyone else that would understand. I didn’t expect her to be excited, I just needed to say it to someone who understood. He reminds me how the phone went silent; how after a minute or so she said, “I know.”
She knew?! How could should know? When I questioned her on it, she said, “Part of forgiving someone is praying for them. It’s how I could come to the point of forgiveness. God told me the same thing.”
My mama is my hero for multiple different reasons. But, that conversation is one of the things that goes through my heart and head and reminds me of just how amazing she is.
Is this cliché? Is this a case of, “If she can forgive him, I should be able to forgive in this comparatively minute situation?” For me, it’s not cliché. It’s how He reminds me that there is more to me than hurt. There is more to me than just justice driven emotion. No matter the hurt, His ways are higher. And sometimes, that higher means me on the higher road. It means me not sulking in my anger. It means me admitting my pain and my inability to just make it go away. It means me acknowledging that His ways are higher, better, and healthier for me. It doesn’t mean it’s easy. But, it does mean that I don’t have to wait around for justice. I can trust that however God takes care of it, whatever I do see or don’t see, He’s got it. Also, He’s got me. Not once has He nor will He let me go. That doesn’t mean things will always go my way or that everything will be easy, but it does mean that I can trust that His way will get me through.
Whether you are reading this thinking of your pain, someone you are frustrated with, or an area you need to forgive in, or reading this thinking, “This stubborn girl has issues!” remember that His ways are higher. In all of your situations, His ways are higher, which means that even if you don’t see how it is all working out, He’s got it in control.
Dear God, thank you for who you are. Thank you for the way you speak to me. More than that thank you for your desire for communication and relationship with each of us. Thank you that you’ve got things under control and that we can trust you in all situations. I pray that you give guidance and favor to every person reading this. I pray that you remind them of your love, care, forgiveness, and peace. I pray that they know they can trust you. Please speak to them in a way they can hear you and understand and know that you are in control. Thank you for all you do for us and the way you love us. Amen.