Soon I will be sharing more about all of the wonderful homestead-like things that we will be and are doing this summer, but there was one more thought that I wanted to share.
Like me, the desires of your heart feel so real some days.
You are doing the best that you can and seek to do God’s will as you strive to live out a life that benefits your family and brings glory to Him. You see these desires as good and holy, and you wonder why God isn’t answering your prayers sooner and fulfilling them. There is setback after setback, but the desire won’t go away. There are days where you just continue on in hope, but then there are other days when your soul feels like it’s in turmoil as you wrestle with these unanswered questions.
I felt this way for many years, and there are still some days where I find myself crying out to God in bewilderment. I believe that God places the desires on our hearts for a reason, but it’s not always easy to understand His logic. We visualize and plan out the perfect path toward our goals and dreams, but then are sideswiped by unexpected events, twists and turns. Then this verse from Isaiah 55:8 comes to mind:
“My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”
Through the desires of our heart, God shows us what is possible. He gives us a vision for something great, and then asks us to trust Him with it. In giving us this vision, He has given us something tangible to strive for, but then also give us the opportunity to strive for Him in the process. That is the true goal.
In seeking out these desires, we are faced with two choices.
We can go out and do whatever it takes to achieve our desires, realize our dreams, and hit our goals – at any cost. We can choose to rely on ourselves while pushing God away, consciously or even unconsciously. In this choice, our desire becomes our idol, and that becomes the supreme goal that directs our life. Instead of leading us closer to God, the unexpected events and unanswered prayers become our reason for why God doesn’t care anymore. Instead of leaning on Him, we rely on ourselves more and become embittered toward those around us who stand in our ways and the others who look like they are hitting all of their goals.
Or we can use those desires as the catalyst for continually seeking God’s will in our lives and glorifying Him through it. We keep in the forefront of our minds that God is the source of that desire, and that our ultimate desire is to do His will in this life. Instead of pushing God away, we draw even closer to Him, and choose to rely on Him when things don’t seem to be going according to “plan.” This is where we choose to continue on by focusing on the next right thing without worrying about the outcome. It is staying true to the present moments of our lives, and stewarding well all that He has already blessed us with.
I’ve made both choices, and have seen the effect of both in my life.
That’s the beauty in the mercy of God though, isn’t it? We are given many opportunities to make the better choice. From personal experience, I can tell you that the first choice is bitter and isolating. The mind is filled with worry, regret, and inner turmoil. As a mom, this spilled out into my home, and I felt like I was rarely at peace within myself, with God, or with the world.
Yet God won out.
He was patient with me and showed me how it was only through a deeper surrender to Him and His will for my life that I would be truly happy. I first had to surrender the desires of my heart to Him, so that He could fill that place with His peace. The battle is not over. There are days when my insecurities, unrealized desires, and frustrations take hold, and cause unrest. Regardless, God always calls me back to Him, and asks, “Will you trust me?”