Words in Red are excerpts from my journal as I have been taking the words of Jesus and letting them speak directly to my own heart.
John 6:61 “Does this offend you?”
Lord Jesus, I honestly have to admit that there have been many times that I have been offended by You. When I was a young, immature Christian everything about You seemed so neat and tidy. Before long, I started creating a nice doctrine where You answer every prayer the way I pray it, and behave according to my interpretation of how God should behave.
Fortunately and unfortunately, You are not containable in a theological box of my creation. The only way You could mature me and bring me to a deeper understanding of Who You are was to smash the box.
I remember one time when You didn’t answer my prayers regarding something really big. When the opposite of what I prayed for happened, I thought I wouldn’t make it. I thought John and I would be ruined – and I was offended by You.
You did not answer my prayers the way I was certain You would – and should – according to my understanding of Who You are and what Your Word said. But You are God; and while I laid my plans, the outcome belonged to You. You had a plan to take me through my nightmare, not out of it. You used that defeat to cause me to face the fact that I could become offended by You. And You brought me to a place of realization that I had a choice – would I still serve, worship and love a God who doesn’t behave the way I want, Whose ways are sometimes beyond my comprehension at the moment, or would I let my offense and confusion turn my heart against You? Would I trust that You are good even when my circumstances are bad?
I chose to lay my offense at Your feet in honesty, being real in my anger and frustration with You. And as soon as I did, You not only soothed my wounded heart, but You began to mature my commitment to You to encompass the infinite mystery of Who You are.
While a “god” of my own creation who always behaves the way I desire and expect is manageable and comfortable, I would rather have a real relationship with the Living God, whose ways are above my ways, whose thoughts are above my thoughts, and Who sometimes offends me for my good and for His plan.
Jesus, thank You for Your patience with me and for Your compassion on my humanity, my short-sightedness, and my pride. Thank You for revealing Who You are even when You know the revelation will offend me. And thank You for holding me through the freak-outs the tantrums and the fist-raising while I come to the end of myself and humbly turn back into Your love.
Isaiah 55: 8-9 (NASB)
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Proverbs 16:9 (AMP)
A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life],
But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.
Maybe you are going through a season where everything you prayed about is turning in the wrong direction or you are seeing no effects from your prayers at all. You have a choice: Do you throw away your faith because either your answer has not arrived yet or it has come in package that is detestable to you; or do you cling to the truth that God is good, His ways are higher and stronger and that you are being held during this hard, parched season?
No one can make this difficult decision for you, but I promise that if you approach God in honesty and let it all out in His presence – let the fur fly, so to speak – He can handle it. He already knows that your heart is struggling to trust and to stay the course, and He has compassion on your humanity. Bring your hurt to Jesus and let Him speak to it. He’s not intimidated or manipulated by your tantrums and He has a word to speak to you in this time that will soothe your heart and allow you start moving forward again. Call on Him today and find out that you have always been held by Him even when you thought you were on the run!