“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:5 (NIV)
I spoke earlier about how God invited me to fast last fall and how I felt as though by accepting it, it would be the beginning of a breakthrough for our family. As I write this, I’m currently in the middle of the fasting period and it’s been difficult. While I’ve only had a few days of truly being tempted by food I have given up, it’s been difficult in a variety of other ways, ways that are worse than food cravings.
I’ve had to come to the realization and acceptance that despite obedience, despite God’s promises in the Bible, sometimes His answers don’t look like answers we prayed for. Sometimes the answers we receive, while still good all the time, don’t look like what we thought we heard. It is during this time of fasting I’ve had to answer the question for myself, “Even if the ending doesn’t look like what I envision or thought God was revealing to me, will I still declare it good?” Even if…
And the answer is yes. I’m still clinging to the promises I think I heard God whisper to me. I’m still believing because He gave me the word “believe” for such a time as this. One of the ways God speaks to me is by telling me ahead of time what I need as preparation for trials that are to come. God knew I would need that extra encouragement when disbelief surrounded me. That is why I still believe. That is why I wait and fast and pray and get still before God. Because I want to hear Him correctly. I want His best for our lives, even if it doesn’t look like what I thought it would.
Ultimately I trust Him. I couldn’t have said that statement five years ago but I can proclaim it boldly today. When our family is given answers, I will shout God’s glory from the mountaintop. Even if the answer is not what we had expected or hoped for. I trust that the answer we are given will be the best for our family even if we don’t understand it.
I’m only halfway through the fasting period. I don’t know how God is going to answer our prayers… I just know that He will answer in His time and His answer is always best. I also know He invited me on this fast for a reason. He may or may not reveal the real reason to me. He’s God. I’m not.
I also know that the imperfect person in this equation is me and I sometimes hear God wrong. I also know that at times I prevent God’s blessings for my life and that of my family. However, I do know that despite my imperfections, God knows my heart and loves to bless the lives of His children in the ways that are perfect for them.
I have seen a lot of “even if’s…” happen in this life. Even if God doesn’t heal this side of Heaven… He still takes care of the widow and surviving children, blessing them despite the pain. Even if He doesn’t remove the situation that feels suffocating… God is right in the middle of the pain comforting, protecting and providing for the one who hurts. Even if… hard words to accept. Yet, to live a life of joy God’s way, I choose to trust Him even in the even if.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018