It is difficult to really believe that God is good when my needs are unmet. Years of prayer have come to naught. What is it that God desires me to do or be? How have I disappointed Him?
I don’t know.
For the rest of this week, I’m going to be exploring this topic.
Lets define need, first. It’s not a desire or a hope or a dream. It’s something in me, or that should be in me, that will enable me to do whatever I’m supposed to be doing. In other words, a met-need enables me fulfill my purpose and calling.
Met-needs, to God, are necessary to achieve His purposes. Besides that, met-needs benefit both me and others. When needs aren’t met, however, I’m unable to do what God has put me on this earth to do … and I’m unable to be like Christ, to mirror His divinity in my person.
So, why aren’t my needs met? That’s the pressing question. I’ve prayed about some of these needs for many years, after all. Yes, I’ve changed for the better during this struggle to pray, but … well, when needs aren’t met, I feel both incomplete and that something is desperately wrong. Either I’m in the wrong place/circumstance or there’s something horrible in me.
I have a huge problem trusting God. As I pray, a little voice inside whispers, “He doesn’t care … won’t do anything … it’s futile.” I need to see myself as His loved child — psychologically, I’ve been so love-damaged that this is difficult, to say the least. But, with God it is possible. That’s the point of these blogposts, to chronicle my flailing attempts to really believe He loves me and wants to bring good out of this particular evil situation in which I’m mired, as well as in the future.
I read online that when God creates a need, He is responsible for meeting that need. But I’m not sure God created these needs. Maybe they’ve been conjured up by my own mind? Maybe they seem rational but are not? Maybe they’re implanted into me by evil forces of which I’m unaware? And, too, maybe God gave me these needs. Again, I don’t know.
I need to believe — this is a real need, certainly — that God loves me, has forgiven me, and will help me serve Him more effectively. The issue is Trust. Trusting God. NEEDING TO TRUST.
I can think of two times that God miraculously intervened to meet my needs. One was in a traveling situation during which everything seemed to go wrong, yet miraculously I walked by thousands of people and was the last person to board the plane. Another was more recent, where God definitely answered my pleas to be vindicated … I was, and am, innocent.
God expects me to do my part to meet needs. He usually doesn’t do it for me for God hates lazy Christians. Thankfully, laziness is not a character problem for me — I’m far too driven to be lazy — so He’s probably pressing down on the brakes which is why this feels like limbo or a long wait for seasons of life to change so I can get going: I’m EAGER to move beyond this place; EAGER to move to another country; EAGER to figure out where I fit, if anywhere.
Many others are like me in this big world — over-educated, passionate about high culture, eager to talk to others who read incessantly, and utterly devoted to faith and God’s calling. I want to know a few of these people.
Is this a need or a desire?
God-determined needs may be so fundamental that they’re a bit like breathing or eating, not like finding like-minded people. Needs could be for shelter and food and stuff like this, not for literate, Oxbridge/Ivy friends. But the desire to know people like me, which strikes into my core, has risen to the level of need. It feels like a need and until convinced otherwise, I’m going to pray for it as if it is a need.
I pray to minister to like-minded people. To truly love them. To be loyal and service-bound. I should be this way with everyone, but — and this is where the need becomes fuzzily desirous — I’d like to be contented, happy and challenged, too. I want people in my life I can trust, who understand me and that I understand. People of my class. People of my faith. People of my passions.
This could be just a very strong desire. Now, God could meet desires even if they don’t quite rise to the level of need. Needs often seem to be character driven — I need His guidance; His strength to endure this current unmerited trial; His wisdom to meet the challenges before me and to overcome them, one by one.
Think about Jesus walking on the water toward the disciples in that famous biblical pericope. Then, the disciples were panicking during a storm; they thought they would drown. Jesus neither assured them by saying something like, “Fear not, you’ll be okay …” He never comforted them. He didn’t run when He saw their panic. Instead, Jesus strolled along the top of the water, taking His own sweet time, not in a hurry, not worried, and not concerned about their widdle fweelings. He must have known He had everything under control. It was all about the timing.
The disciples thought they needed God NOW NOW NOW or they would drown, but Jesus decided they could wait.
This is where trust comes in. God knows how long I can last in the boat without drowning under the waves. He seems to toe that limit. I’m to trust Him and assume that He knows what He’s doing. I’m also to keep rowing and wait for Him to provide the solution AS I ROW. I’m to row and wait. Rowing is the only thing I can think of doing, after all. Rowing and praying.
Right now, I’m too worried about surviving. Yet, I know Jesus is with me. I’m learning to trust Him. Jesus may not walk on the water toward me, but He’ll get here in time. When I can really believe this, I will sleep at night without panic attacks, which I’ve had for the first time in my life.
This storm will end.
It will end when I learn to trust Him in ways much greater than I do now. It will end when I learn to love Him and accept His love for me. It will end when whatever God is doing — His purposes elude me! — is accomplished.
Here is where prevailing prayer kicks in. I am praying passionately and with all the faith I can muster to be delivered from this situation however God chooses to save me. I believe I’m obeying what I know to be His will both specific in this situation and general. I have made a vow, like Hannah, that God can have the rest of my life, even to the point of martyrdom. I want Him to pick up the tattered threads on the ground scattered here and there, and re-weave them into something beautiful and wearable. I want more of God in my life. To know him intimately. I am asking God to lead and guide all my decisions, wee and big.
Too, I’ve decided to harangue God until He answers my prayers, to pray until I drop. These are prevailing/winning/overcoming prayers that will not end until I prevail, win and overcome.