Does anyone else have conversations with God where you know the stuff you're REALLY not allowed to ask for - because He won't let you finish the sentence? This happens to me all the time. Like this, "Dear Lord, could you please let the pur... pur... Oh. Okay. The purple pansies aren't going to bloom any time soon? Gotcha".
It's not like I always like what He is doing to me at any one time. I don't particularly enjoy the process. I've had a long, wonderful, blessed time in the fields over the past few years - after as nasty a walk through the valley as I'd care to live through. Now? I'm going through another valley. It's not like the old one was. No where near that bad.
But I'm being taught lessons. Big lessons. I'm being taught lessons about letting the steel backbone show a little bit more through the marshmallow fluff, and being a bit more blunt. I'm being taught lessons about pride and the praise of men. I'm learning about faith, and patience - real patience, where you wait for God's timing, no matter how long it takes. I'm learning about letting people I love dearly go through stuff instead of flinging myself between them and their valleys.
I'm enough of a nutjob to always enjoy the learning, always rejoice in what God is doing to me. I am *not* enough of a nutjob to enjoy the process or the pain or the waiting.
I'm learning to listen to God and remember what He's told me and wait on Him. This valley? I knew this valley would come, because of just such a prayer conversation. I *tried* to say, "Well, at least that issue is over and done with, we don't have to revisit this ever again!" I think I got about three words out and knew very clearly that it wasn't the last time I was going to have to battle this particular lion. It's been a long time since I had that knowing. I could easily have waited longer - but then NOW He's telling me, 'No. Because I have something beautiful on the other side for you".
Experience teaches me that He is faithful to reward obedience beyond my wildest dreams.
And really, what is this mortal life about anyway, except coming out on the other side to hear, "Well done, My good and faithful servant".
Consent. My God has my consent to shape me into what He wills. And I am blessed to have a God Who will cradle me as I cry with the pain and struggle with the will to keep walking the path He has chosen.
Peace isn't always about being overjoyed about where you are - it's about the certainty of Whom you are walking through the darkness with.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, His will and His alone be done. Amen.