When Jesus was overwhelmed with the future (just before he was crucified), he cried out to God in a way I didn't even come close to.
"My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
My prayer looked a bit more like this, "Alright God, could you just take this cup finally! If you won't then could you at least fill it with wine, pair it with some steak, in a wonderful atmosphere so I can be happy while I wait?? I'm not sure you realize how unpleasant this all is and I don't want to do this anymore so could you just hurry it up?"
Christ like? No. Human like? Oh heck yes. Thankfully God does know who He's dealing with which is most likely why He has to be full of grace...or else I should have been a lighting bolt smudge a long time ago.
I obviously need to work on my attitude, my sense of entitlement, and my level of patience. This is not exactly easy but I was reminded by God to look back to where I've come from. That is where I will find strength and hope. God has brought me through some incredible times and that is what I need to focus on to find my hope that this time is no different.
So how far back to go? Well, I suppose I can go back to the very first time I remember God delivering me out of utter darkness and despair. I was 13 or 14. This may seem awfully young to consider life to be dark and desperate but it was my first time of depression, I was going through some really horrific stuff, and I even got to the point of seriously considering how to take my life. In the summer, I went to a Christian summer camp with a friend of mine. Everyone was singing wonderful songs about our "loving God" and "merciful Savior" and sharing happy testimonies of how fabulous Jesus was. I had grown up around this but after the past 6 months I had gone through, I was no longer buying it. My world had been shattered and I learned a new lesson: Don't trust anyone because they will hurt you. I'm not going to go into why or how I learned this but as a new teen, this wasn't an easy one to face, especially for a bottler who didn't let on to how bad things were.
One night I was in my bunk while everyone was asleep. I was angry, hurt, frustrated, and confused as to why God would let me be so miserable, let me go through the things I had gone through, and I told Him that I didn't really want Him if that's what the life He created was going to be like. It was utterly pure, raw emotion that I poured out and unleashed upon Him. And He didn't say a thing back to me; not a word. However, in that bunk, racked with emotional pain and torment, silent tears flowing as my mind screamed out, I undeniably felt physical arms wrap themselves around me in the warmest, loving, most tender hug I have ever and will ever feel. He didn't have to say a word. I knew. He didn't control us like robots and couldn't keep the pain of the world away from me as if I lived in a perfect bubble. What He could do was be there.
That night the harsh lesson I had recently learned of "Don't trust anyone because they will hurt you" changed to "People aren't perfect so they will let you down sometime in your life, but God is perfect so He will never let you down".
That's the beginning I'm thinking of today. I will never forget those arms around me and I'll also never forget my Dad sharing about the time he was in utter despair and crying out to God that he had the same thing happen. God may not give me the answers but He will just hold me. I just have to let Him.
I was recently reminded of this song that I hadn't heard in years. It has spoken to me in so many ways at so many different times.