I was a cynic. I didn’t doubt the greatness of God or what He could do; I just doubted that He’d move mightily in my life. I don’t know why that was my mindset, but it’s probably because I had been living in the land of disappointment. I had experienced some major letdowns over the past few years and had watched others that I love experience them as well. God is good, but I didn’t feel like I was seeing that in a personal way.
A few months ago I knew that God was trying to teach me to expect Him. With an attitude, I said, “Fine, then show me where in Your Word it says that I’m supposed to expect You to act.” He led me to James 1:6-7 which says, “When you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” From those verses, I knew He wanted me to expect Him to move, but I still had to work through my typical way of thinking. He kept bringing up the topic. He even had me dig out an old journal from when I was 12. In the third page of the journal, I had written a prayer that ended with, “I know if I ask, and I mean it, I will receive.” The verses I read, the messages I heard, and the conversations I had, were all God encouraging me to expect and believe.
There came a point when I was facing a tough time of need. It was a difficult time, and it made this lesson in expectation more of an aggravation than anything else. For months, God had instructed me to trust, believe, and expect Him to move, yet I was left feeling desperate and alone with unmet prayers. One Thursday morning, God had directed me to listen to a particular message. This message prompted me to write a wish list to God. I call it a wish list, but it was a simple list of needs. In my journal, I began the list by saying, “Through faith, I believe You’ll provide for all of my needs. I believe this because Your Word tells us that You will. I trust that You’ll make a way and provide.”
The deadline came for one of my needs to be met, and I hadn’t received anything. I cried out to God not understanding. I was upset, brokenhearted, and disappointed once again. Little did I know that earlier that week God had put it on my sweet friend’s heart to meet that need. She didn’t even know the details! Before the end of that “deadline day,” God used this friend to completely meet my need. I was humbled, blown away, and overflowing with gratefulness. Proving how human I am, I didn’t even think that other needs on the list would be met. (I have a lot to learn). In the weeks to come, He continued to meet my needs, the ones on my wish list and even ones that I hadn’t listed. Isn’t that just like our God? He’s over-the-top. He 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).
Through this crazy ride, I learned that God wants to move in our lives, not because of who we are or what we’ve done, but because of who He is. He loves us. It’s a love unlike any love in this world. He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord Who provides. Also, I was reminded that God doesn’t move in the way in which we would direct Him. Think about the unconventional ways He moved in the Bible! I like to think that it’s His way of reminding us that His ways our higher than ours. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” He might not have provided for me in the nice, neat fashion in which I would have liked, but He proved Himself to me, increased my faith, and still met my needs.
I don’t say any of this to brag about me. I’m just a recovering cynic, trying to increase my faith, trust, and expectation, bragging about my big God. If God can move in my life, He can certainly move in yours. I’m forever grateful that I serve a God who makes a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:18-19).
Do you have your own testimony about God moving in your life? Are you struggling with expectation? Do you just want to connect? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to email me at Katie@enduringhopeministries.com.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Many blessings!