I Didn’t Ask for This - Encouragement Café - May 17

I Didn’t Ask for This
By Lisa Albinus

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. Luke 2:25 NIV

I didn’t ask for this!  Where are you God?

I can remember a younger me, mid 20’s, saved but selfish. I was engaged to a man I met at the Naval Academy Prep School.  He was my officer and gentleman, and I was his darlin’.  A fairytale romance. Working in Manhattan, I boarded the train each Friday afternoon. Ticket in hand, I found my officer-to-be wherever he was stationed. Weekend visits, old-fashioned love letters, serenades sung from his knees, I was so charmed by his uniform, I let the fairy tale distract me from the problems. I carried on and jumped over the cracks as they continued to multiply.

The fractures could not be overlooked. A dozen roses just delivered, my wedding dress ready, the invitations printed, and he called to say he didn’t love me anymore. The wedding was off.  I begged him, shook my fists at God, and I PRAYED.

Was I really praying, though? I think it was more like me presenting my plans to God.  I reached the bottom while speaking to a priest. “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned, I know better than God what’s good for me”, and with that, I broke in half, on the altar, for all to see. God meets us in that place. When we put our fists down and we put our plans away, we give Him the space to meet us in our brokenness.  Raw and vulnerable, honest and shattered, I had given Him the space to continue a great work in me.

Simeon had been waiting a lifetime for the Messiah. A baby, presumably eight days old, was brought into the temple. The greatest blessing the world would ever know, wrapped in human flesh with swaddling clothes as his armor. Was this the Messiah? The one that would topple nations? Was this what Simeon had been expecting? From Scripture, we learn that Simeon walked with the Holy Spirit. He lived a life of joyful expectation of what was coming next, open to the moves of the Holy Spirit.

Do we miss the great moves of God in our lives because we are watching the horizon for our plan, rather than rejoicing in His unexpected miracles? Maybe your fists are raised at heaven today and your heart is screaming, “I didn’t ask for this!” I know. Like Simeon, we are presented with our Savior when we look up from the altar of our brokenness. There He is, just waiting for us, hand extended, offering His plans for our life.  Will you take His hand today?  Can you let go of your plans and allow Him your tomorrow?  Can you open your fists and give Him the anger and the pain that you have been holding onto? 

Why not try this: Write your plan down exactly as you would have it play out. Then give it to Him.  Physically destroy your plan, tear it up, burn it, and grant Him permission to plan your tomorrows.

Dear Lord, Thank You for being a God who meets us in perfect ways, though we sometimes have to wait to understand Your timing and movements. Grant me patience and faith as I watch You do a work in my life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

For more encouragement, visit Lisa at praiseheart.net

© 2021 by Lisa Albinus.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Wednesday, 17 May 2023.