Christians, listen up. We are all guilty of it—thinking something is God’s will and being completely wrong. I know I’m guilty, at least. I find that the hardest part of knowing God’s will is that you can’t really know until the situation is over.
I once felt that I was supposed to date this one guy that I really didn’t know—a pen pal that I had never met in person. He totally treated me wrong and had no problem flirting with other girls while telling me I was his one and only. Throughout that time, I sat in church every Sunday and listened to messages where the pastor said things like, “God wants reconciliation. The devil wants separation,” and “God sometimes destroys the good things so he can build something even bigger and better out of them.” I thought for sure that God was trying to tell me that my damaged sort-of future relationship with this guy—who was a pen pal and I had never met in person—was the right thing and that I should just hold out faith that God would make all the bad things go away. I even thought that hearing the same song on the radio every time I turned it on meant something, being that I never listen to the radio. But, to my absolute shock, it was not alright, in fact, this guy told me he wasn’t interested in me anymore. I was devastated.
Can’t God keep his word?
But as I thought about it, God did want reconciliation, he wanted me to reconcile with myself. In talking to this guy, I had given up a lot of my standards, and I was becoming a total stranger and enemy to myself. Because this guy could do no wrong in my eyes and was quite literally perfect on paper, I was suddenly okay with things that I knew were completely wrong. And that part about God sometimes destroying the good things so he can build something better? Yeah. He kinda did that. He took my fragile heart and shattered it so that it would become stone. Not the kind of stone that is cold and unforgiving, but the kind that is stable, properly guarded, and beautiful. Sometimes it takes pain to make us better. Sometimes it takes a bad relationship—or in my case, a non-relationship—to make us realize what we want. One passage in the Bible that I like is 2 Corinthians 2:9-10.
“’My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I find an odd comfort in knowing that bad things happen and that they make us stronger, so long as we don’t allow them to define us. I find an odd comfort in knowing that I can’t control everything because there is a higher power that already knows what’s going on and is working to make it better.
I realized that my will was strongly disregarding the red flags and that God wouldn’t try and give me someone who wouldn’t be faithful. Not long term, at least. He would put that person in my life as a lesson, but not as my forever person. It’s funny as I think back, because right after that whole thing subsided, I met the person who would treat me like a woman should be treated. Just to clarify, I am no longer with that person for other circumstances, but we are still good to each other. My point is, the losses we suffer often pave the road for better things to come.
Sometimes, when God is speaking, he is trying to tell us no to something, but we get so wrapped up in what we think we know, instead of listening to the one who knows everything. But of course, we never really know whose will it was until the situation is over. God is funny that way; just when you think you know him, he surprises you. Trusting something I can’t see? Call it insanity if you like, but I call it faith.