If God gives good gifts, why’d I get a DUD?

Sometimes I wonder what God’s thinking. (Ok, lots of times.) When prayer seems to fall fruitless to the floor, and battles rage unabated, and I’m frustrated with something in myself, it’s easy to wonder if what God’s thinking about includes me at all.

When I’m in those modes, those Eeyore “Nobody loves me. I’m no good. Might as well curl up and succumb to the bag of chips” moods, it takes something big to jolt me out of it.

Which, fortunately, happened the other day as I read something in my morning not-so-quiet-(does ANY mom ever have “quiet time”? Ever??)-time with God.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
my God, I will give thanks to you forever! ~ Psalm 30:12-12

Our church is doing Rick Warren’s 40 Days in the Word program, so I found myself reading that passage with one of the tools he recommends for devotional study: the “Pronounce It” method. Which basically means you read a short passage, systematically accentuating one word of the sentence at a time. As you emphasize each word, something different about that truth, about God, or about life pops out of the page at you.
For example, using that tool on the passage above:
  • “YOU have turned…” It’s God who makes this happen. Not me.
  • “You HAVE turned…” It’s already done. In the past. The issue isn’t getting it to happen, but realizing it has.
  • “You have TURNED…” This is where my breath caught in my throat. And where that whole “design and purpose” issue came jumping off the page at me.
He has turned my mourning into dancing. It doesn’t say He’s REPLACED my mourning with dancing. It says He’s TURNED it. Like “my mourning” – that intensely personal grief over the unanswered prayer, the battles, or my own weaknesses – actually somehow BECOMES dancing. And dancing is dancing from everyone’s perspective (unless it’s modern dance, which is debatable. But I digress…)
That God can shift one part of us or our lives – something tough, yucky or frustrating – to become something else without even scrapping the raw materials… that’s just unbelievably cool. 
What DESIGN, to make us and the situations we face completely reusable like that. He doesn’t waste anything in us or our lives. Not. One. Thing.
Like I’ve said before, and will keep right on saying, you are – truly – amazing.
Will you rest in that today where life’s hurting? Will you let God mold that hurt into something beautiful?
I do hope so, dear friend.

-Laurie
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