I had an interesting day with the Lord that started out scary and ended up happy! To set the stage I have to tell you that I have a wonderful promise from God. He gave it to me over a year ago. I thought it was going to happen within 3 or 4 weeks but that wasn’t to be. Things that no one could have even imagined happened and the promise was put on hold in the fashion that many promises do. When God gives you the promise He knows exactly what is going to happen and how He is going to use the circumstance it creates to make your life better, your trust in Him greater and your joy and peace complete. But of course to us it does not look like anything good at all. It looks like a huge problem, a disappointment, something to be angry about and frustrating and depressing!
I won’t go into the steps through the process now but I will say that the year and 4 months since my promise has been very difficult for me. I didn’t do too badly for the first few months thinking at any moment the problem would be solved and the promise on its way. But I started this journey with no patience and the need to control my own life.
I decided I needed to do something to move it along myself. Soon I started to realize that nothing I was trying to do to “help it along” was working. I tried to get a job and move to another state but that didn’t work. Then I felt really directed to go back into jewelry making. So I built a website to put the jewelry on … then thinking it would be faster I put it on a well known established website. I had to pay for the service and money was short but I sold a few things. I got discouraged over small sales and tried to sell everything as a business and that didn’t work. So I gave up on all of it.
All the while I was doing all the study God was directing me in and I was starting to get the picture that this was His doing and He had a plan that would help me become a better person. I realized I did need changes and thought it would go quickly if I threw myself into it full time but that didn’t work either. The more I learned the more I could see I needed to learn and the wait went on.
I wanted to move to a cheaper house so finally God actually pointed me toward the right house and made it possible to get. So here I am three months later. I was so sure the house was the answer and that all would drop in place and the promise would arrive but it didn’t. I had quit looking for work, quit working with the jewelry, pulled all my websites off and just studied. Then recently I started my blog site again and I am developing a website for sharing what I’ve been learning from God. So now I’m here and blogging and working on a book I plan to write once my promise arrives and I have a testimony. I’ve learned a lot from God, I’m closer to Him and trusting Him with my life as I should … and I have lots of patience. And I found out that eBay is running a deal where you can list 400 items for free until the end of October so suddenly I felt I should put my jewelry back up and give it another try.
And then I got a call about a job in that other state that I can probably get for sure! It is my old job! Yes I’m going for that … but it doesn’t feel as good as I thought it would. Then three days ago I started being attacked by the enemy and felt discouraged, world-weary, negative, doubtful, confused, hopeless and even wondering if the promise would ever come and just giving up in general. Those feelings were so unlike the new me who had so much joy, peace, patience and was content with my life of waiting for God to lead me. Then this morning I got up and felt so depressed that I went back to bed and I lay there crying and thinking it would be best if I could just die because there would be no decisions to make, no promise to wait for, just over, dead … I lay there crying, thinking about death and suddenly I flew out of bed and said, hang on, that is not me and I’m getting rid of it.
I had a talk with God, “I am a prisoner of hope alright, I have nothing but hope that You will fix this and bring me the promise so I can move on with what You have for me and You God are the only one who can fix this problem and enable the promise to come, so Hope in You is all I have and yes, I am a prisoner of HOPE for sure and I need to learn to enjoy it and that is where the problem is, I’m not enjoying it and I’m not sure what You want from me… what do You want me to do? Maybe it should be obvious but it isn’t. I need You to tell me, show me in some way. I want to have joy daily and peace always but lately it has been so hard.”
So when I sat down at my computer there was a notice of one small sale off my eBay ads. It was just $8 but it got me thinking about the whole thing again and asking God for answers. I thought of the scripture I got before, “Don’t despise the day of small beginnings” Zechariah 4:10. So I looked it up again this morning in commentaries and found some words of encouragement about it and a good lesson and warning I want to pass on.
“To the eyes of faith, there is a world of difference between “little” and “nothing.” Often there is something we can do–some obvious first step we could take. This may be exactly what is needed to put the wheels of faith in motion. The seemingly insignificant small beginning often gets much closer to the heart of the Lord’s idea of going forward in faith than we realize.” We don’t usually think of it this way. The very notion of moving out in faith seems to imply taking a bold, extravagant step of some sort. While taking the small first step can make all the difference, but because of its apparent insignificance, we may not even recognize the small beginning that’s available for us to make.”
Such was the near-fatal flaw of Naaman the leper in the Old Testament. Naaman sought healing for leprosy from Elisha, who told him to wash seven times in the Jordan River. Naaman’s response was one of anger: “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” 2Kings 5:11-12 NIV. The text concludes, “He turned and went off in a rage.”
Naaman’s servants had the good sense to challenge him, saying, “If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” (v. 13). Naaman fortunately repented of his obstinacy and followed the prophet’s counsel. Yet his example warns us that no matter how greatly we want to reach a goal, our dislike for some of the details may keep us from moving forward. The initial steps that we must take are likely to seem unimportant and worthless effort to us.
So I think God wants me to stay put, work on jewelry (again) and write. If I get a job I won’t have time to study and write or blog or pack all those items that will be sold on eBay! There was a prophetic word a while ago that God will bring us witty ideas for inventions, things to write and businesses to start in these end times and they will prosper us and bring people to God as ministries done through His people. So don’t miss out on what God has for you because it starts out small!