Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8
Have you ever received a Divine vision, a Divine promise and be thoroughly excited about it? You begin doing the work toward making that Divinely inspired vision an earthly reality. You are faithful to the doing the work for a few weeks or months or even years, but nothing happens or the outer reality does not align with the inner knowing and you lose faith, hope, and the steam to keep going. You begin to wonder if what has been your motivating factor was really a Divine inspiration or a wacky tangent you’ve been on for days/weeks/months/years. You begin to doubt yourself and your path. You begin to question your choices. You being to reassess your direction. You wonder if your wandering was just one big waste of time.
Can I get a witness? Yes. me. I’ll witness.
If there is one thing that I have learned in the past fifteen or twenty years since I’ve began my journey of awareness and trying to live in Divine Alignment is that God’s time frame is very different from my human time frame. What I think should take three to six months, God may think that five years is the just the right amount of time to bring something into fruition. I may think I am ready for a new season in my life and look up to the Heavens and say “bring it on God”, “I’ve got my ducks in a row”, “I. AM. READY.”. But sometimes it seems like God is dilly dallying or off on vacation. Sometimes it seems like God may have changed His mind about our initial conversation and agreement. After all, Amazon or FedEx sometimes seem to do a better job of “delivering on time” than God does. Isn’t God the ultimate fulfillment center of them all? Doesn’t He have a magic wand that can make things appear and disappear? Doesn’t God have a multitude of Angels at His beck and call eagerly awaiting to get the nod from Him to come down here to earth and move obstacles out of the way for us, instantaneously?
So then why doesn’t He? Why does He make us wait? Why does He seem to change the longing in our Hearts and have us take a different direction?
There is an adage about how God answers prayers: God answers prayers in three ways. Yes. Not yet. I have a better plan for you.
Like everyone else, I’ve experienced both answered prayers and unanswered prayers. When I get a “yes”, when a prayer is answered I am elated, grateful, humbled, and feeling set apart and pretty good about myself, life, and God. It gives me fuel for the journey. It is an affirmation from God that I am on the “right path”. It emboldens me to keep going and keep trusting the whisperings of the Holy Spirit within my Heart. It helps me see and know just how powerful and amazing God is. It humbles me. Lastly, an answered prayer deepens my gratitude toward God and then it presents the question of how do I express my gratitude and be generous with my many blessings. Very often, God soon presents someone or a situation where the blessing that I just received could be put to service. It is in these moments that I pray for the eyes that see, ears that hear, and a willing, humble, and generous Heart to do what is asked of me. In times when I have been open and sharing, the blessings are multiplied for all. In times when I have been greedy and hoarding my blessings, I have withheld, from others, God, and myself. In contracting my Heart or generosity, the world around me contracted as well. Thus, in receiving we have a Divine responsibility in giving and sharing. In receiving, we are the channel for delivering Divine abundance to others. In receiving we complete the cycle by giving, as Divinely inspired to do so, and not as driven by our ego or external pressures.
However, when a long-standing prayer is unanswered I can get deflated, frustrated, humbled, dejected, feeling set aside, forgotten, and my faith, hope, and trust in God may even begin to wane. I also begin to doubt myself and my abilities. I begin to wonder if I am wandering aimlessly and if I discerned Divine Directives correctly. When I doubt or the path seems foggy, it seems like on the highway of life I get off at every exit and rest stop to check, double check, and sometimes even do a U turn and head back in the direction I came from. I am testing the path, feeling the path while doubting the path. Are the signs telling me to keep going forward or to go back or go sideways? Does it feel better this way or that way? Does it make more sense to make a change or stay put? These thoughts, feelings, and the array of actions can lead to confusion or even greater fogginess. They can stir up the dust around us even more thus taking it even longer for us to see The Way. In times like these it is VITAL that we stop and listen, that we pray, meditate, journal, or change our routine or scenery. Sometimes, the answer presents itself when we stop being frantic in looking for it. This is when God says “not yet”.
In the “not yet” answer, patience is our saving grace. In the “not yet” answer, we are asked to just relax into the journey and InJoy the journey: InJoy the waiting and the anticipation. It is like when a baby is conceived, it is not born immediately or the next day. The conception of the baby is the promise of a new child, but the birth and reality of a baby is a “not yet”. It takes nine months of gestation. It takes time for the baby to fully develop so that they will be fully equipped for their earthly journey. It also takes time for the parents, family, and friends to fully absorb and also grow into the idea of a newborn baby entering and becoming a part of their lives. It takes time for the parents to prepare, not just with setting up the nursery, buying clothes, toys and developmental items, but also thinking about how they will raise their chid. While the baby is growing physically in the womb, the parents are growing mentally, emotionally, and relationally into this new role, responsibility, and joy that Love has brought them. They too are in their own gestation period of the parenthood journey. Sometimes, an answered prayer is like this. The seed of the promise has been planted into our Hearts, but we are not yet ready or mature enough into receiving it immediately. In our wait time, in our gestation period, we need to be wise and do our due diligence in preparing for the upcoming blessing. When the blessing does arrive, we have matured and can handle the answered prayer. And, just like a newborn, an answered prayer is a blessing and a responsibility.
The hardest of them all is the “I have a better plan for you” response to a prayer. In this scenario there will most likely be much pruning, especially if we have an attitude of
‘this is what i want and only what i want and nothing else will do’.
This is a sure mentality for setting oneself up for a lot of frustration, heartache, wallowing, self-pity, and even anger toward God. There was a point in my life where “i wanted a baby”. It was the next logical step in my and our journey. It made sense. It was the normal course of married life. Others expected it and hinted at it by quoting Genesis 9:7 of “go forth and multiply”. I, we, did everything “right”. Years passed and nothing happened. This “wanting” of mine always hovered around me and my life like a dark cloud. The onset of each menstrual cycle was like getting onto a roller coaster ride of hope and anticipation. It was also a downward spiral of despair and desperation since it meant no conception this month. Medically, we were both fine. A few years into this journey, I even had a laparoscopy procedure through my belly so that the obgyn could get a better look at my uterus. I kept the op report for many years. It said that my uterus was “pristine” and “should” conceive. The doctor and others said you just need to “keep trying” at the “right time”.
By this time the “keep trying” had become a chore, a task, a duty, an obligation. Upon hearing the results of the laparoscopy my Heart both rose in elation and sunk in despair and questioning. I was relieved that all was well on the inside, and simultaneously, I was devastated because some part me understood that it was not meant to be. It was a deep knowing that we were not meant to conceive and bring a child into this world. Even though I “knew” this deep down inside, in my stubborn taurus nature I still forged ahead with the “keep trying” attitude. I ignored and shut down what I did not want to face. I had my own agenda.
In my stubbornness of “wanting what i want”, I brought the misery onto myself. I thought God had completely abandoned me. I took consolance in reading about Sarah (and Abraham) or about Rachael (and Jacob) in the Hebrew texts. I put on a brave face when people asked if we had any children or when we were planning having children. Then there was the “you are not getting any younger you know” comment that was like a spear into the Heart. I bargained with God. I also pointed out to Him how women on the streets and addicts were giving birth and here i was a “good clean person”, a regular church goer too with a “husband and a home”, and God wasn’t delivering to me. How dare He not!?! How dare He “curse” me so!?! Why?Why.Why?Why God are You being so cruel and mean to me!
Oh my! Oh my! Has anyone else out there tried to use emotional manipulation, emotional hostage taking, guilt tripping, or bully tactics to get God to answer a prayer?
There were one or two lone voices who said that “maybe God has a different plan for you”. To these comments, I would figuratively close my Heart and ears to and sing “la-la-la-la-la” so as to drown them out. It was easier for me to continue with my agenda rather than stop, ask and listen to what God was saying. Now, many years later, what I thought was my greatest “god-curse”, I now see as one of my greatest Divine Blessings. I now see that I wasted a whole lotta energy being self-absorbed rather than doing the work of listening and changing.
Thus this is why I now pray for Divine Humility. With this Grace, I ask that I “get on board” with God’s plan sooner rather than later. I also ask for the Divine Wisdom where instead of asking “why”, the better question is “what”. What do I need to see? What changes do I need to make? What is the Divine Way? What notion or emotion do I need to let go of? And do this journey of metanoia peacefully, gracefully, gently, graciously, gratefully, humbly, calmly, patiently, lovingly, and in a timely manner. Amen.
Things take time. We need time. Life takes time. Have patience with yourself and the process. Have the grace and humility to align with God’s Way. There is always so much more going on behind the scenes than the eye and i can see.
Abundant Divine Wisdom, Grace, Humility and Obedience, Irena As I Am