February 24, 2008

Becoming more like Jesus

I have prayed for as long as I can remember that God would make me more like Him. Sometimes I pray specifically, sometimes I just pray that generally.

I have also been praying for years now that the Lord would give us another biological child. (Not that adoption isn't satisfying, but a major part of my desire is to experience pregnancy and giving birth again.) Thus far at least, He has said no despite my persistence.

In October I was reading in Luke 22 about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He says in verse 42 "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Yet not my will but Yours be done." Obviously, God told Jesus no. He did not take the cup of death from Jesus. God had a plan that involved Christ dying for us. That was the plan.

Do you ever have one of those days where a spiritual light bulb goes on? This was one of those days for me. There are a lot of ways I've asked God to make me more like Him, but allowing me to experience God telling me "no" was not something I thought of. In being denied my desire, I was being allowed to experience something similar to Jesus. (
Not saying that my denial is anything like Christ's crucifixion, except that we both asked something of God and His answer was "no.") He won't take this cup of infertility from me for now, apparently. He has a plan that includes this particular struggle.

So, God is answering yes to one prayer by telling me no for another. He is making me more like Jesus by denying a great desire of my heart. Was this how I wanted him to make me more like Him? No way. But does God have a plan for me? Yes. Does He love me more than I can possibly imagine? Yes. Does He know what's best for our family? Yes.

To be quite honest, this is something I wrestle with. I know this very well in my head. Does my struggle shake my faith in my All-powerful God? No, but that doesn't mean I don't get sad about it. It is a "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24) situation for me. Because it doesn't always happen like in the movies. God doesn't always heal; He doesn't always perform a last minute miracle. But I can choose to be joyful in the midst of my sadness. I can choose not to be bitter, angry, or resentful. I have to guard my heart from these things, and I have to trust in the God who loves me. Trust that He knows what's best for me. Trust that He has an amazing plan for us. Even when He says, "no."


jen2n said...

Oh Liss...the wisdom in this post is the kind that hurts so badly to learn, but serves us so well in our understanding of Jesus. I am hurting for you, and so proud of your trust in Christ as well, and your willingness to choose joy. I love you. More right at this minute than I know how to convey in a simple commment. Jeni

Anonymous said...

It's hard to type right this minute, as I can't see very well through the tears. I have often thought/said that you challenge me in your blogs and in
conversation, but probably never more than now. As Jen is, I hurt for you, and am proud of your trust and choice of joy.

I, too, love you and will pray for you even more as God brings this to mind. MOM

Kjirstin C said...

Wow, I have no words. Thank you for your honesty! What a difficult lesson - one that I definitely have not learned. I so admire your desire to follow our Jesus, and how it overrides your other thoughts. What a perfect example of submission to our Lord. I love you - and pray for this for you!

Leslie said...

What a beautiful post! ((((Melissa))) I too am hurting for you sweet friend. I am also encouraged and challenged by your desire to be more like God even when it hurts. Praying He would comfort and love on you as only He can do.

You are beautiful dear friend!