Last week, my husband and I were feeling a little discouraged. It happens every once in a while. This journey we've been on since his furlough in 2012 has its moments of feeling long. We had received some hopeful news at the end of January, and even had an interview for a job that looked promising. The job was given to someone else and the news we were hopeful about hit a bump in the road. We had both been praying that God's will would be done in our lives. Sometimes this is hard for me to do, when I have such a strong will of my own for this journey to come to an end. It's hard when Satan is always at the ready to whisper ever so quietly...that you've been patient long enough already, you've earned the right to be weary, or perhaps God has forgotten about you. There are moments where I could almost buy into those lies...except I can't seem to forget the details!
I've been careful to keep track of them. I have journals and notebooks that list all the ways He has remembered us. There was one day especially last week, when I felt the strong need to list in great detail everything that God has provided for us during these four years without steady income. So, I prayed and asked Him to help me remember. It was so important to me that I didn't miss a thing. The only way to combat the lies of the enemy when he whispers discouragement, is with the truth. I didn't want to miss one shred of truth. I stopped writing several pages later, completely overwhelmed.
The pages were filled with miracles. When you lose your job you expect to struggle for even the smallest of things that you use to take for granted. The details revealed otherwise. Every basic need has been met....and then some. There were things listed on those pages that I would have worried about having to buy even before the furlough, and God gave them to us after the furlough. Those pages were full of answered prayers...in some cases prayers that never left my lips. God just knew the need and provided for it. As I sat there reflecting on the truth I had written down, I began to consider something that I had never thought of before. The furlough was God's will for us.
There have been times along this journey, that I have been afraid to pray for God's will to be done in our lives. There are several reasons for this, but most of them can be summed up with one word, fear. I may be afraid that His will is something that I won't like or it may require drastic changes to be made. I might be afraid that asking for His will to be done in our lives might land us in hard times similar to the furlough. Here's the thing...without that furlough I would not have sought to notice or keep track of the details of how He's loved us. If I had never gone on this journey, I would have continued to take the many ways He's taken care of us for granted, instead of realizing that everything I have is from His hand...always has been. If not for this journey, I would not be able to pray with the guests at food pantry, who are going through incredibly hard journeys of their own, with the same confidence that I do now...the confidence that God will answer. I could not look them in the eye the same way and say with the same sincerity that I do now, that God loves them and has not forgotten them!
The biggest lie that Satan tries to discourage us with on our long, hard journeys is that God doesn't really love us. He's not stupid enough to come right out and say it with that kind of clarity. He does it by making us feel forgotten, entitled to a better and easier journey, or by distracting us with the over all picture of our circumstances so that we don't pay attention to the details! He knows that if we look at the details we will see God's love and provision all over our journey. God is a God of details. He doesn't miss a single thing and every detail serves a purpose.
I don't know what journey you are on right now. Perhaps you're feeling discouraged like I was last week. Take some time to pray and ask God to help you to remember the details. Write them down. Pretty soon words like "breakfast, heat, blankets, oxygen, and water" will no longer appear to be ordinary. They become the extraordinary ways He has loved and remembered you. Pretty soon His will for your life is no longer something you hesitate to pray for, because you know that even when it's hard it's worth it because of the ways He'll love you through it.