Bonfire night is approaching and I am a lover of fireworks.
Two months ago, I was out walking with my wonderful mentor and church ‘mum.’ I had just moved back to Bath after a wonderful but isolated 7 months living at home. I was thriving, back living with my best friends and being in community. Life was planned out and about to unfold.
Out on Victoria’s front door step, we began to pray. On the driveway, we surrendered all my dreams and relationships to God, open-handedly. As she prayed, she asked God to ‘take my black and white knowledge of God and transform it into a technicolour season of beholding the glory of the Lord in a new season.’
What did I imagine? Fireworks, of course!
Little did I know that this ‘technicolour season’ of fireworks would look incredibly like a bomb site for a while. Two weeks later, the guy I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with abruptly walked out of it. Suddenly my hopes and dreams for the future were shaken. I don’t need to share details other than that it was a beautiful relationship and journey I am grateful for.
Besides the grief and heartbreak, I became confused and angry. Somehow, I found the strength to pursue a good closure and to forgive. But, I didn’t understand why God would strip everything away when life had just started to be rose-tinted. It’s still painful and writing this alone requires a shear audacity, but in it, I’ve realised something.
He takes away to establish.
God will never allow any situation to compromise the prosperous plan he has for each one of us. Because he loves us.
I surrendered all to God open handed and let me tell you, that’s a dangerous prayer. Done that, got the t-shirt – without even noticing there was a t-shirt on offer.
I only see in part right now, but I choose to trust that He is good – and He is!
I’ve cried and I’ve been comforted. I have been discouraged and I’ve also been carried by my friends in the most incredible way. I’ve had to make decisions about my future during this strange time and God has placed so many great people around me to remind me of who I am; they to call out my gifts and encourage me to dream for God’s plan.
The season I had was beautiful and the season I am in is also beautiful.
My life looks completely different today. I could be angry or overwhelmed by this. I may try to fill my life up with one hundred things, complain or go about pretending that life couldn’t be better; I often build a false sense of ownership over my life. But time and time again, I have been reminded, comforted, and humbled by the fact that Jesus did not own his life – he gave it.
The Perfect Plan?
All the stuff we hold onto, is nothing but wooden furniture in the glorious throne room of the creator of the universe. What does it profit to gain the whole world but miss out on the perfectly ordained life Jesus wants to offer you? Believe me – Jesus offers hope in life eternal and fullness of life in this world for today.
Through it all, God has been my deliverer. In it all, God has been my first love and even on stubborn days, He is patient. I am believing and seeing that God’s plan is good and he is faithful.
I’m beginning to see in technicolour. You see, God will never compromise the prosperous and perfect plan that He has for you just so that you can feel comfortable in the present. Fruitful plants must be pruned before they blossom.
Over the past month, God has opened so many doors. As I’ve put my hope in God, he’s placed new and old dreams on my heart. The future-decisions I’m facing are more exciting, open and promising. New and old friendships have unfolded. Despite my circumstances, I have known unbounding joy (which does not mean I haven’t shed many tears) and Christ’s grace has been sufficient always. In it all, I’ve come back to the heart of God, knowing that I am outrageously loved and that He has so much more for me!
I have learnt that we do not get a guaranteed comfort in life, nor should we expect it. But, we do have a saviour who himself sacrificed his comfort to save us and it is a privilege to be uncomfortable yet comforted by God – to further grasp and understand Jesus in a new light.
I’m not writing this for my own comfort, or for testimony or affirmation. I’m writing it because I want you to know that God is good. I want you to realise that life with God is the best it can be! I want you to know that God loves you and has a hope and a future for you. Don’t be discouraged just because you can’t see it.
Sometimes we have to let go of our own black and white idea of ‘prosperity,’ face the uncertain or uncomfortable and step into the technicolour life God wants to lead us into.
If you’re facing a decision or a new venture that involves leaving a comfort zone, or letting go of something, be encouraged. Run to the God of all comfort. Kneel in the glorious throne room, dearly loved and wonderfully made for more. Just as Jesus openly gave his life for yours, may you trust that your open-handed surrender will be anointed by the God who can do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. And may you know that in all things, it is the Lord who completely satisfies our hearts – nothing and no one else but him.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, “Ephesians 3:20
Holy Spirit, help me to trust you. Jesus, thank you that you gave everything so that I may have life and know the outrageous love that God has for me. I’m sorry for when I grip so tightly to my comfort, that I don’t step into your incredible plans. Help me to discern your plans for me and open my eyes to see in technicolour. Amen.