This strange thing is happening. It wasn’t supposed to. We followed the directions like we were always taught, but somehow it still happened. One minute we were graduating from college and heading into the sunset, diploma in hand, smiling at our families as they waved goodbye to us. We were going out into the “real world,” and we were ready. We strutted onward to face life with confidence, nodding at our fellow comrades and their happy successes. We had finally made it.
But then it hit us. Before we knew it, the life we thought was the answer was suddenly pulled out from under us and we fell down. Hard and flat on our faces. And with this fall came the doubt of our dreams. The fear to believe that they could really happen. We had given up on our faith in God’s promises.
After any sudden change for the worse, whether it’s a failed business, a lost job or even a lost marriage, a time of mourning and pain follows. We become afraid of believing the whole life we had hoped for could really happen. But we knew God had planted a seed in our hearts for this dream. We had prayed about it. So how could He be so cruel as to let it die?
When the company I was working for, the one that I respected so highly, that made me stand tall because I was part of their “family,” let me down horribly, I was devastated. God, this hurts so bad, I protested. How could you let that happen to me? I was faithful to you. I followed all your rules. How could you take something so precious from me?. In other words, I had a pity party. And then more doors shut, and once again a deeper wound began to fester in my heart. Wallowing in fear and disappointment, I began to give up my passion and dream. And before long, I had forgotten what I was fighting for.
Thankfully, through all of this, I never lost faith in God. He was still my God and I believed in Him, but as for taking care of my life—that was up to me. God would just be my Father, but I would handle my revised dreams—the dreams I could see that were possible. It didn’t hurt so bad that way.
Unfortunately, with this attitude came self-pity, bitterness and doubt. And before I knew it, I wasn’t me anymore. I didn’t like who I had become. All I could think of were the famous words, Why me? What did I do, God?
And then I had my answer. You just gave up on me, God told me. I had given up on the promises of God. I would read the Bible and say, “Yeah, that’s true,” but the words didn’t make it to my heart. My faith had been so shaken because I didn’t get my way, in my time.
At that moment, I wanted to start over and allow Him to birth a dream in my heart. To grow it and make it real and spread its blessing. And when I didn’t think I could wait any longer, I wanted to be able to be like Daniel and keep praying. The Word says that Daniel was praying and seeking the Lord persistently, but nothing happened. For three weeks—nothing—but he kept praying. Then an Angel of the Lord finally came to him.
Then he said, "Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come."
If Daniel had given up after a day, would the Angel have been able to give him the message? His faith would have been gone, and so would the answer.
I have prayed, and I will continue to believe. God is raising us up in this time when things are scary and hate seems to rule so many. But we will love, and God will work through us. We will hang onto His promises. We will live to please Him. Hebrews reminds us:
For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and patience.
Patience is all part of faith. They go hand in hand. So for all of us who are wondering, What is going on God? This is not how it’s supposed to be—stop! Pray! And don’t give up. God has answered your prayer on the very first day. But time must bring you the answer.
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