“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.” – Isaiah 48:10
This verse was awaiting me this morning in my Daily Streams devotional app. What a timely verse. God has been bringing me through a journey of faith in these recent months. He has been changing me from the inside out. It hasn’t been easy, but yet I have known deep within me that change with the goal of becoming more like Him is worth the price tag that comes with it.
I recently fully grasped two very important truths: God is God, and I am His Child. Last night God worked to solidify those truths within me. It wasn’t easy; it was quite painful. Actually, I think I initially required Him to throw me back into the fire for a little more refining. 🙂 But this morning with the reminder above as well as His working within me throughout the day, I get it. And even more, I am thankful.
God is God. He was in the beginning, is now, and forever will be. He is creator. He is my sustainer. He is everything…omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. He is. He knows me better than I know myself. He spoke this world into existence. Spoke! Seriously, who else can say “Let there be light,” and light appears?! Who can say, let the land bring forth plants, and plants appear? No one! God is God. If a mountain needs to be moved, He will move it. If a door needs to be opened, He will open it. If it needs to be shut, He will shut it. And nothing surprises Him. Nothing. He is God. God.
So even the meeting I attended last night did not surprise Him. Actually, He used it to refine me and to grow me. As I’ve said, God’s been taking me through a difficulty journey. I’ve had some tough moments in these past months. There were some big giants to face, giants that have been there for years. Yet one giant I hadn’t faced before was seeing a plan and desire of mine begin to unfold while knowing I was not going to be there to be a part of it. My heart hurt. I was even angry. I just couldn’t understand it with my finite mind. I felt like I was looking over the hill into the promised land while also being told I’m not going to enter it.
Langston Hughes wrote a poem entitled “Dream Deferred” in which he questioned what happens to a dream when it is put off. Each image is one of items rotten and ruined due to lack of care and lack of hope. It’s depressing. The poem ends with the question “Or does it explode?” Last night I felt like I could explode. I almost wanted to give up, to just revert back to the old me who didn’t pursue dreams for fear of failure, who didn’t pursue relationships for fear of losing them. I wanted to throw up my white flag and retreat.
Yet I knew that wasn’t God’s plan. Why?
Because God is God–a faithful God–and I am His child. God loves me and calls me His own. Galatians 4:4-7 states, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” I am a child of God, and I am an heir. He has adopted me into His kingdom and I can cry out to Him, “Abba, Father!” He cares for me. He loves me. Because He loves me, I can trust He has plans for me, plans far better than I could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20). He has a future and a hope for me (Jeremiah 29:11).
So even though last night I looked at what I was hearing and seeing as a vision of what I was missing–perceiving it as my promised land being flaunted before me, God in His infinite wisdom has since shown me His perspective. If what I was listening to and seeing was a desire of mine and He is not allowing it at this time, then it is because He has even greater plans for me, plans beyond what I could hope or imagine. God’s ways are higher and greater than my ways. If what I saw last night will not compare to what lies ahead, then I say bring it on. I wait. I trust. I hope. I place my future in God’s hands and pray, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”