Some weeks ago, I was really upset with God. For four days, I was sad, disappointed and angry all at the same time because I felt He was taking too long to answer some prayers. I can’t remember what set me off but it was like all hope was lost and I spent those days alternating between tears and questioning God’s faithfulness.
The fourth day of that episode fell on a Sunday and I went to church simply to “mark register”. I have often heard pastors encourage us to come before God with an expectant heart but that Sunday, I had absolutely no expectations toward God.
As service progressed, I went through all the motions but my heart wasn’t in it. Then my pastor went up to the pulpit and said that as praise and worship was going on, a song kept playing through his mind; it was “Mercy said No” by Cece Winans.
Immediately he began singing the song, I knew that was God speaking to me; the song was His response to my fainting heart. God didn’t remind me of any scriptures or rebuke me for walking in the flesh; he just washed me in His love. Even as I write this post, I still can’t recollect what my pastor preached about that Sunday but my heart still remembers the second he started to sing the chorus:
Mercy said No
I’m not gonna let you go
I’m not gonna let you slip away
You don’t have to be afraid
Mercy said No
Sin would never take control
Life and death stood face to face
Darkness tried to steal my heart away
Thank you Jesus, Mercy said No.
That Sunday, I surrendered once again to God and over the next few days, He stilled the storms in my soul, led me beside the still and restful waters and refreshed my soul.
Over the last few weeks, I have marvelled at how God calmed my fears and wiped my tears. I thought He would reprimand me and instruct me to get my act together but He did neither. As I wondered, He told me that He knew that my actions, though wrong, did not stem from rebellion but from fear and He reminded me that His love is perfect and expels all fear (1st John 4:18). God gave me the right remedy for my condition, a fresh experience of His love for me.
I had always been a bit puzzled by God’s response to Job’s questions and doubts. I felt that God should have been gentle with Job and explained why he was going through such suffering but no, God answered Job from the midst of a raging storm, declared His own majesty and omnipotence and then challenged Job to correct and accuse Him! (Job 38:1-40:2). God’s response sought to humble rather than placate Job but it turned out to be the right answer for Job’s questions and fears.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’ I admit I once lived by rumours of you; now I have it all firsthand — from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry — forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise! I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumours.” (Job 42:4-6)
So, what have I learnt from this short but painful experience?
I learnt that God truly is the God of all comfort and that He cares enough to do what is right for me. God’s response to me was different from His response to Job but He did what was exactly right to get each of us out of the dark valleys of life and draw us back to Him
With God, one size doesn’t fit all.
On the journey of life, “stuff” will happen; there will always be mountains to scale and conquer, valleys to fill, rough roads to straighten and crooked paths to make straight and through it all, it may sometimes look like God has forgotten you but I assure you that that will NEVER happen.
“Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you — never. (Isaiah 49:15)
As I end this post, I would like to share one of my favourite poems with you; Enjoy.
Footprints in the Sand
One night, I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints
Other times, there were one set of footprints
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life
When I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat
I could see only one set of footprints
So I said to the Lord,
You promised me Lord, that if I followed You, You would walk with me always
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life,
There have only been one set of footprints in the sand
Why, when I needed You most, You have not been there for me?
The Lord replied,
The times when you seen only one set of footprints,
Is when I carried you.