How do you deal with hurt and disappointment? Wendy encourages us to take the time to lay our troubles before Him, and remember that God has a plan.
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Five More Seconds
One Saturday morning, I caved into the disappointments of the week instead of carving out more time with the Lord. I skipped and skimmed through the motions of having a devotion, and then I stared at my attic writing room ceiling that’s so low it’s a noggin-bumping-hazard for all the other members of my household (not for me because I’m the family shorty-cake); at that moment, I realized my prayers and meditation hadn’t reached any higher than the wisteria flowers stenciled on the walls.
And then I remembered a blog post I shared a few days earlier. It was about how important it was to wait five more seconds before responding to a speaker. In this case, I hadn’t even waited five seconds for my own thoughts to float to the surface. Instead I stirred the pot of my thoughts briefly and then slammed the lid down on a stew of a week I hadn’t been too pleased with. It was a meatless meal with all the quarrels and none of the peace I craved. Things I prayed about seemed to slip further and farther away from being answered.
I set my Bible back on the side table and glanced at the number five I’d penned on my wrist the day before. It was inked onto me to remind me to listen for five more seconds. It had faded, so I grabbed my black pen and freshened it up. As it darkened, my spirit lightened because I sensed a nudge to go there. To go where the hurt was and pour it all out to God. He was willing to wait for five more seconds. He knew I’d cut things short. He knew I was hurt and angry inside.
God Has A Plan
So I told Him what I was disappointed about. I told Him it hurt so bad that I wanted to pack up, change my name, and move to another town and start over as a hermit. And then I waited for five more seconds to see if God had a rebuttal, a rebuke, or a retaliation in response to my self-pity-party of complaints.
I sensed His acknowledgement I was being crushed between hurt and disappointment. And then I realized, as always, He has plans. The lemon juice squeezed out of me had the potential to be fermented into an inspirational wine if I took the whine—W.H.I.N.E—out of it and offered it back as a praise offering to Him instead. If I trusted God to make something marvelous from the situation—He would sweeten the bitter and create something better.
Then I thought of Corrie Ten Boom and my own trials seemed…well…ah…trivial. What would have happened if she soaked in bitterness instead of soaking up the aroma of Christ’s grace? Many Christians, over the years, would have missed out on some of the most amazing inspirational stories on this side of Heaven.
And then I thought of Joni Erickson Tada who faced and battled the discouragement of losing the mobility she’d been born with. However, she triumphed, by the grace of God, and used her wheelchair as a platform to help, serve, and inspire others.
Then, I thought of one of my favorite bloggers, Bill Sweeney of Unshakable Hope, and I realized again how foolish I would be to blubber about my still unanswered prayers for the lives of others when he’s been given a life sentence that won’t be repealed unless a cure for ALS is found, or unless God intervenes with a miraculous healing. And just because it would be easy for God to say, “Arise, Bill, and walk,” doesn’t mean it isn’t any less of a miracle that Bill and his wife, Mary, are blessing so many people with their amazing testimony of God’s goodness to them in their here and now living.
God Always Listens
Here and now is when I need to wait for five more seconds. Not when I feel like I have it all together. I don’t have to fear that God will roll His eyes and say, “Get a grip, girl. You’ve got it pretty good compared to some of the people you’ve heard about on the CBC radio news.”
No, He’s not an insensitive narcissist. He’s a good Father who remembers I’m made of dust. So I’m going to dust off my down at the bottom mood and focus on He who is bigger and better than all the bad stuff that happens to any of us.
Wow, that was the best five seconds I’ve ever invested.
Psalm 103:13-14 NIV says: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”
So go ahead and share all of your heart with the Father, He’s more than willing to wait and listen for five more seconds.
And here and now, I’d like to close with a poem.
God’s not afraid of our tears
Because His Son has walked this earth
He listens with patient ears
For He feels the pain of the curse
Suffered during our earthly years
But Christ’s blood bought us rebirth
So we are freed from sin and fear
Because God’s love gives us hope-filled worth
For eternity, for today, and for right here.
Wendy L. Macdonald
Wendy is writer, poet, photographer, and contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio.
Read and hear more from Wendy L. Macdonald on the contributor’s page or on her personal website.
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