Have you ever felt like your life was going great one minute then suddenly things are crashing down? You had dreams, did the work, made the reservations, bought the tickets, but things didn't turn out the way you thought? Are you still holding on to those plans?
The LORD knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile. Psalm 94:11 NIV
One day I was trying to explain to my sons how life doesn't always work out as we think it should. I used the example of a situation that had occurred a few days before, his ice cream had fallen out of the cone. He was so upset but would not release his hold on the empty cone. Sometimes life is like the ice cream cone we had looked forward to enjoying an event or reward, but then everything seems to fall in the dirt.
Life isn't fair. We are not created to be simply consumers of the LORD's blessings. Like our children, our character is built through hardships, disappointments and failures. We don't like it, it's not fun, but as we grow older we can look back and see how the mighty YHVH worked out each detail of our lives, good and bad, not providing constant comfort, but shaping us into the image of His Son, our LORD Jesus Christ.
My prayer partners of the past thirteen years would cringe when patience was the attribute for us to pray over our families. One of our leaders warned that the upcoming week would be filled with ways to practice patience over and over. A few years ago I asked the LORD to increase my faith like the heroes listed in Hebrews chapter 11: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. (v.1-2) Abraham, Noah, Moses and others... the list sites how these great Old Testament patriarchs obeyed God, walked with Him believing every Word of Elohim was true.
Little did I realized, my prayer would be a more painful process than struggling for patience. Faithfulness requires that we let go of what we have in order to gain what we hope for. Abraham left Ur to go to an unknown location where God would lead him. Noah built a boat even though he had never experienced rain. Moses led a rebellious people, but never was able to live in the land promised. What dreams are you holding on to? Are you willing to open your hand?
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-11 NIV
Like our empty cone, our love is often shallow and superficially based on a temporal, earthly value system. IF we are willing to open our hand relinquish our empty cone, fully submitting our hopes and desires as we fully trust that our Abba Father will take what is in our small hands make us able to receive what His Omnipotent hands are prepared to give us. My son said it best, "if I let go of what my small hands hold, I get what His really big hands are giving." I think he got the message.
LORD, I desire to seek You while You may be found; calling for You while You are near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to You, the LORD, so You will have mercy on us, and to our God, for You will freely pardon.
Adonai, You have declared that Your thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are my ways Your ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are Elohim's ways higher than my ways and Your thoughts are so much greater than are my thoughts. "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater," so is Your word that goes out from Your mouth: "It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
Holy Abba, Father God, please help us to submit to Your perfect plan for our lives, opening our hands so we might take hold of Your perfect plan for our lives. May we "go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song" before us, and may "all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.” May Your Name, Hashem, be praised forever more, in all we do and say, giving glory to You the Father, Our risen Savior Yeshuah ha Messiach and the Holy Spirit. Amen.