Stop Holding Your Breath
Over the last few months, God has moved in amazing and wonderful ways in our family’s life. Our close friends know some of what’s happened, but most of it we’ve lived quietly, in awe of God’s tremendous blessings. Even in the midst of this incredible season, I find myself holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
A piece of me wonders if God’s not setting us up for some grand disaster. He’s granting us all this favor, building our trust, so when the hard times come we’re prepared to lean on him.
Or what if we all only receive so many miraculous, amazing incidents in our lives and God’s burning all of ours in a six-month span? What if I need to call in a favor later but my account with God is empty?
When I write it out it sounds a bit manipulative and works based. And if there’s anything I know about my God, He’s not manipulative.
Someone on Twitter said recently they’d lived their whole lives afraid when good things happened they were about to be Job’d. And I often feel the same way.
The Children of Israel felt that way. God send ten plagues (miracles, really) then delivered them from slavery by parting the Red Sea. Yet when He showed them the land He intended to give them they said, “No, thanks. Someone already lives there, and they are too big for us to defeat.” Meanwhile, the spies stood around holding a bunch of grapes that was so big it took two men to carry it on a pole between them.
That night they cried and wished they had died in Egypt, as they stood on the edge of God giving them the most fertile land available. They thought it was a trick. God rescued them from Egyptian slavery and held back the waters of the sea so He could kill them at the hand of the inhabitants of this land? Crazy thinking, right? Yet I’m standing as guilty as they were.
Jesus loves us. The song we learned in VBS had it right. He’s promised to care for us and give us good things. Like a father, He wants to protect us and provide for us and see us flourish. Satan likes to remind us of the verses in the Bible that talk about how every life has trouble, and we shouldn’t expect to be treated any differently than Christ was treated. Those verses are certainly true, but they’re only part of the truth.
In Matthew, Jesus reminds us that God clothes the flowers of the field and feeds the birds of the air and He cares for us even more than them. In John, He says He came to bring us peace. In Jeremiah, God promises welfare, a future, and hope for His people. From cover to cover the Bible is filled with God’s blessings on His people.
Yes, it’s also filled with His judgment, discipline, and wrath. We should certainly be aware of the consequences of our sin. None of us deserve His goodness, love, and mercy, but He freely gives that to all of us not to set us up for some grand travesty, but because He loves us.
You’d think when God has paved every step in front of a person, she’d have a little more faith in where the journey is going. I’m as guilty as the Isrealites. Good times and blessings test my faith as much as trials. We’ve done nothing to deserve God’s favor, but I’m going to stop worrying about what happens when He figures that out. Truth is, He already knows how sinful I am.
Yet He loves me. And He shines His favor on me.
It’s time to stop holding my breath, waiting for reality to set in. Instead, I’m going to turn my face to the sun and enjoy these moments for however long they last. I know trials will come eventually, but I’ll rest even then knowing we’re exactly where God intended for us to be.