"Darkness was slowly permeating my bedroom, chasing out the last few rays of daylight, as evening fell. As the sun slipped behind the horizon, I felt that the light left me as well. I felt a oneness with the gathering darkness, as though it was an expression of my own dark thoughts and feelings. For a long time, I lay there quietly, staring up at the ceiling, which was rapidly disappearing from my sight. I could easily turn over to turn on my bedside lamp, but I didn't want to. After an emotionally draining, tension filled day at home, I felt I deserved this moment of darkness. But I also didn't want to be found. I just wanted to be left alone."
~from Seasons of A Mother's Heart, A Light in the Darkness
So many times in life, the sweeping feelings of fear or desperation or despair, increased by being alone or lonely, have blown over my heart and soul. Often, worry would strangle my heart, making it difficult to breathe the reality of His freedom and grace. Too many children, too many bills, difficult relationships, an insurmountable work load, unanswered questions and unanswered prayer, often felt like too much for me to bear or carry.
Feeling as though my "labor was in vain," or that God had forgotten me, I had to push through the darkness to sit still and picture Him as I read about Him--that He was faithful, righteous altogether, that He loved me, that he answered prayer, that I was not invisible.
And then, in spite of my feelings, I would timidly offer Him my love gift. "I believe you even though I can't see you right now. I want to thank you that darkness is not dark to you, but that you are with me, working, loving me and taking care of my problems and worries, even though I can imagine how. I love you, God. I have faith in your faithfulness."
As I look back now, I can see that God usually had bigger purposes than just meeting the demands of my immediate prayers. He was building character, forming hearts, leading in a new direction, protecting me from my own temporal idols of quick fix, which would leave me more empty if I were given them.
As a matter of fact, when I see where I am now, and where my children are now, I often think He was doing far more than I even asked him. But even as a toddler doesn't understand the discipline, love and protection of a wise parent, so in my limitations and ignorance, I was tempted to think He was not there. He was not taking care of me.
I was reading in my quiet time today, "Those who hopefully wait for me shall not be put to shame." He promises that when we wait on Him, praise Him, rest in Him, believe in Him, that we will not be embarrassed or put to shame for our faith.
Malachi 3: 13-14 tells us of the wickedness of choosing to believe that God is not active. "Your words have been arrogant against Me, " says the Lord. "Yet you say, what have we spoken against you?"
"(This) is what you have said, It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the Lord of Hosts?"
God considers us arrogant when we shake our fists in his face. He is at work.
Finally, Hebrews 3: 12, "Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you and evil and unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God."
God equates evil with an unbelieving heart.
When these tests come upon us, it is our one moment when we can look at our circumstances, feel our feelings of despair, and then choose to say, "I don't understand, but I believe and I will wait, and I will rest, as an act of my will, because you are the Lord of Hosts and you are my Father."
How precious to a parent, when a child looks into reaches for his hand and looks up into his father's or mother's eyes and says, "I love you. I trust you because you are faithful. I will submit to you, because I believe in you."
And so, when we look into the eyes of our father, not with arrogance, but with humility and trust, we must bring a smile to His face and be pleasing to His Father heart.