I don’t know where the doubt starts to creep in. I know it starts as something small, something insignificant. And you make allowances because “it’s not a big deal,” and you’ll, “just do better tomorrow.” Which is all good and well until 2 weeks later, that one time has become a daily routine and now you’re drowning in the amount of small stuff. Did you forget to wipe the counters? do the laundry? Did you put off cleaning the babies breakfast tray, because you were in a hurry to get everyone out of the house, but now it is a new day and the oatmeal is hard and stuck like glue? It happens to me all the time.
I’m the worst with food. Sugar is a drug and one that I am sorely addicted to. It is also something that I have built a habit around when things feel out of my control. What I turn to when I’m down or overwhelmed or stressed. What I look forward to at the end of a particularly long day of screaming toddlers asking millions of questions and housework and work work and responsibility. I put my beautiful babies to bed and then it’s me time! I pour that gorgeous glass of wine and a few cookies as I watch all my guilty-pleasure television I’d be too embarrassed to watch with my husband and kids around. Just me and a giant bowl of cheerios while I watch the drama unfold on Bachelor in Paradise. Once in a while, it is a wonderful addition to the end of my day, but somehow festers and before too long, I’ve forgotten all about my goals and fitness aspirations. My brain falls into a sugar-coma, where the devil whispers in my ear things like, “You aren’t capable of that goal anyway.. You are going to fail.. You are going to let yourself down.. and How embarrassing will that be when everyone knows how worthless your word is?!” and it goes on and on and on! So I eat another cookie and pretend it won’t matter in the long run, after all, I’m still making progress. Excuse after excuse, as long as I don’t have to self-regulate. As long as I don’t have to deny myself that instant gratification. As long as I can numb myself to my current stressful or overwhelming situation.
Obviously, the Devil is the King of Lies. All of that negative self talk and put-downs - It’s all LIES! I know this. I know I am able and capable. The problem is my faith in the one who created me. Do I believe that I am good, like he says that I am? Do I believe that He can take a blind man and make him see? That He died for my sin, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father God?! If I truly believed that Christ is who the Bible says He is, then I would not doubt His ability to see my goals to fruition. I have not handed over the struggle. The panic and anxiety. The feelings of being trapped inside my skin, afraid to speak the words, “something’s got to give,” because I need to be everything to everyone. I need to be in control in an out of control world. I don’t know… Are any of you like this? I just can’t let God have it. All of it. Because, I trusted Him with my friendships and some of those friendships are over. My second mother, Marcy, trusted Him with her children, and my friend… her son… was killed by a drunk driver going the wrong way down a freeway. People die every day from starvation, cancer, addictions. Kids are raped, sold, and enslaved. If God is in control, why does he allow those things to happen?
And the doubt seeps in...
I begin to ask “Is God even listening? Does he even care? He must care, right? Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." It says to bring EVERYTHING to Christ, even the small stuff. I honestly feel shame bringing little things to Christ. My four year old having issues listening today, having to tell her five times to stop and then screaming at her before she decides to listen - How does that compare to someone else's prayers to become pregnant or to save their dying child from Cancer? How does God pick and choose what is good and what is right and what is just? Why do some receive miracles and others don’t. I think God will see my tiny parenting woe and see me as ungrateful. After all my kids exist and are healthy. I asked for them, prayed for them, dreamt about being a mom since before I can remember, and now I am Mean Mommy. I don’t want to seem ungrateful for my answered prayers.
But, my friends, God is God. I am trying to put God in a box. I am trying to define God, the creator of all things, by a human dictionary, and see Him, who knows all and sees all, through a human lens. Isaiah 55:8-9, says it more clearly, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,’ declares the Lord, ‘For the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” We cannot put God in a box. He is far greater and immense and beyond all understanding. He is powerful, mighty, and altogether Holy. All to often, we see God through Christ and his humanness, but Christ is God incarnate. Isaiah 40:28 reads, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” That sentence: He does not faint or grow weary! God does not sleep or rest. He is constantly working in our lives, behind the scenes, even when we don’t feel Him or see His works laid out for us. Even in the darkest of times. Even during the struggle.
The problem with being human is wanting to know everything and have it all right now! At least I do. I want to feel like I have order and control, because then I won’t fear. But friends, life is scary. We cannot exist in this life without fear. Disorder and chaos are simply God’s tools for creation. He is working for our good on a timeline far beyond our need for the here and now. In Priscilla Shirer’s book, God is Able, she writes, “Just because you can’t see it or feel it or tell your friends about it right now means only one thing: not that He’s unable, but that His sovereign love is acting right this moment out of sight and without your knowledge. Because His love (as Psalm 136 says) is eternal. Way bigger than just right now. And being willing to trust this truth is part of what believing in His ability is all about.” Nothing is too small to bring to God. He is able. It just might not happen in the time frame we want and expect, or it may not happen at all - and in that situation, we must remember that God is still God. We must choose to rest and choose peace, handing over that terrible, seemingly unanswered, right-now prayer to God and knowing God is still working for your good in all the current ugliness.
Let it rest. Let go and let God. Step away and look up to your creator. LIke Psalm 121:1 proclaims, "I lift my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."
He is able.