Updated: May 5, 2020
I have a friend who really wants to get married. She is attractive, smart, sociable, spiritual, and has a good career. She has had multiple guys interested in her... but somehow she always finds fault with them. When asked why she turned each guy away she will tell you that it was because he wasn't the one God intended for her. Sometimes she won't even go on a first date with one of these gentlemen because in just one look the Holy Spirit let her know she needed to pass him up. Because of this conviction that no one is quite right, she has felt lonely and disappointed for years about the state of her relationship status.
While I am not here to tell anyone what God is or isn't saying to them, I can't help but wonder if maybe God has been sending her the right men and she has been rejecting them. I think there comes a time in our spiritual walk when God is indeed trying to bless us, but because the blessing isn't exactly how we expected it, we turn it down. Because the perfect Brad Pitt look-a-like hasn't come to my friends' doorstep, she has convinced herself that God has not answered her prayer.
As I look at my own life, I wonder how many blessings I have turned away out of my own selfishness or control freak attributes. What job, friendship, or opportunity have I ignored because it didn't fit MY idea of an answered prayer? Here I am begging God to answer me and provide for me when he may already have done so!
When I was learning how to pray I was often told to focus on asking for God's will and not my own. I can't help but think that we say that phrase a lot without actually meaning it. Especially in the tough times. When someone is in a life or death situation we begrudgingly offer up the phrase "thy will be done" but then if our dear loved one passes away we are left with bitterness towards God. Why didn't he listen to our prayer?? Well...maybe he did.
We must accept that there are things we do not know about our lives and about our world. We do not always know what is best for us or the people we care about. We look at the bits and pieces of information that we have and we concoct what we assume is the perfect solution, yet sometimes it isn't. I think it is like watching a movie. In a movie, there are characters who are going through experiences without all of the information they need to necessarily succeed. But we as the viewers are given the bigger picture. We know who the villain is and what they are scheming. Sometimes I even catch myself wanting to yell at the TV screen! If only the characters could see it from our perspective! It can be the same with God and us. How many blessings are we passing up because we can't see them for what they are?
Sometimes even the trials we go through are blessing in disguise. I can't help but be reminded of Laura Story's popular Christian song "Blessings" I think the chorus summarizes what I am trying to say very well:
Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops What if Your healing comes through tears What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
God promises to never leave us or forsake us. As I mentioned in my previous post (view here), He always has a plan even if it is different from what we expect! His way is better and often leads to more happiness and success than we could have ever achieved on our own.
One of my goals for the New Year is to be more accepting of my circumstances and more willing to call things blessings in disguise.