I have to be honest. I’ve struggled in writing this post. This is now my fourth draft and each one has been very different.
This week in my “Greater” study, I read in 2 Kings 2:8-37 about the woman from Shunem. The story tells of a generous woman who is told she will have a son despite the fact that her husband is old. Was her reaction happy? Not really. When Elisha told her of her upcoming pregnancy, she says to him, “O man of God, don’t deceive me and get my hopes up like that” (verse 16). Elisha’s word comes true, and within the year, she delivers a son. When the boy was older, he suddenly falls ill one day and dies. She reacted by directing her anger at Elisha, God’s prophet, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord? And didn’t I say, ‘don’t deceive me and get my hopes up’?”(verse 28). In the end, the boy is healed and is brought back to life.
Yes, the story ends on a happy note, but God pointed something out to me through the story of this woman. How do I react when things don’t go as planned when I’m following Him? Am I like the woman from Shunem saying “I told you so” to God when things get tough? Our reflection verse for this week was “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them” (Romans 8:28). Now this is a familiar verse to me, but as I looked at it this week in light of what I had learned about myself, I realized that I don’t know if I believed in this promise. Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing promise and gives great hope, but as I truly look at myself, I realized that it has given me more doubt than hope in the past.
For me, when things go wrong, I look at this verse and point the blame at myself. 1) I must not love God enough because things didn’t go as planned, and 2) I must have misunderstood what God was trying to tell me. I know it seems ridiculous, but I when things are going wrong, I’m not usually thinking straight. And I do tell God “I told you so”, not about what has happened, but about using me in His plan.
At this point in the process, I’m a little scared for my own reaction to future set-backs. Here I am seeking to follow God’s greater plan for my life and I’m realizing that I start freaking out when things go wrong. Now I’m understanding why the woman from Shunem told Elisha not to get her hopes up!
But thank God for a friend who pointed me to truth in the midst of my crazy thoughts 🙂 She directed me to a quote in the book that says “the path to greater things is rarely the path of least resistance.”
So after breathing, praying, and breathing again, I realized that every time I’ve faced resistance, I’ve come out stronger. If I don’t go through resistance, how will I be able to handle the greater plans that God has for me. I need not fear the future rough patches because with every passing day, I am becoming less and He is becoming more in me, and He knows the future.
I hope you found my ramblings to be enlightening to you in some way, and if nothing else, a good reminder of how God is in control!