As I read the e-mail my heart sank. When I got the phone call with the good news, I was ecstatic! When Richard told me about his conversation, I became worried. When we hadn't heard back, I was stressed. When I read the text, I was encouraged.
All of this in just a day's time.
At the end of the day I was emotionally drained, worried, stressed, doubtful, and confused from the emotional rollercoaster I had voluntarily put myself on. None of these were emotions sparked by the Holy Spirit but I felt like I couldn't help myself. With each new piece of news flooding my life I was being carried away by my feelings and emotions and it left me defeated and exhausted.
When we face criticism, I feel defeated.
When we face financial uncertainty, I feel fear.
When we face conflict, I feel stress.
And I find myself lingering on these emotions much longer than when we get great news about a new ministry partner or an encouraging word from a friend or a generous gift from a fellow believer. I allow the disappointments and frustrations to rule and reign in my heart instead of the peace of God. I miss the little blessings He's pouring on me because I can't get past the disappointments.
Then I realize that I'm missing, once again, the big picture. The one that shows God in control and me along for the journey. The one where God works out the details and I wait in patience and awe of how He'll pull it all together in the end.
Sometimes I forget that things just aren't up to me. I don't get to decide when or how or even if things will work out. I don't get to make things happen my way.
So many analogies come to mind with parenting.
So often I have to say to Elliott "you can't pitch a fit and get what you want" or "you can't yell 'no' and get your way". And I bet if I had a dollar for every time I've had to tell Elliott to wait patiently, we'd be millionaires! Yet somehow these ideas don't sink into my own head.
But God is so patient.
He's patient when I'm fearful again that things won't work out. He's patient when I'm angry about hurtful words from someone who doesn't know me. He's patient when I want to try to handle things on my own first. He's patient when I'm prideful and selfish. He's patient when I don't trust His wisdom.
And every time He gently reminds me that He is ultimately in control, I find myself back on my face saying, "Thank You for being so very, very patient with me."
What a good, good God we serve.