A couple of weeks ago I was teaching a self-defense class to some teenage girls at a local church. As the morning flew by I became aware of a wonderful sense of “rightness”. I had the girls’ attention. Some moms sitting off to the side asked good questions; the words were effortless; I felt a connection with my students. But these were really only the results of the “rightness”, not the cause of it. At the end I had the feeling that this was exactly what I was supposed to be doing in that moment in time, even that it was the very reason for my existence; it was what God created me to do. It was very profound.
As I thought about and enjoyed this feeling of “rightness” later in the day, I was reminded of other times I had felt this way. Often there are fleeting glimpses of the experience I am talking about, but only a few times in my life has it been this profound. I remembered giving my testimony at a Ladies’ Luncheon, and I remembered my first degree Black Belt test. I would not have been able to do either of those without that feeling of absolute rightness from God. And then I remembered a particular time alone with God several years ago. I had been going through some pretty major emotional upheaval, dealing with some very painful things from my past. One evening I was walking and praying, as was my habit, and I realized that every day for 3 months I had felt God’s presence and He had spoken to me in some way. It was a glorious realization, and I found myself telling God how wonderful this relationship with Him was, and if it took those painful events of the past to get me there, it was worth it. I was shocked at my own words to God, but when I stopped and thought about it, I realized it was totally true. It was worth anything to know God in that way.
I was feeling pretty good as I remembered these experiences of “rightness” with God. These were moments when I not only knew in my head that I was where God wanted me to be, but I felt it in my heart as well. I believe in a Sovereign God who holds my whole life in His hands, who has a plan for me and will carry it out for His glory and my good. In those moments I could feel His glory and my good in a very profound way.
And then God spoke to me. “So, are you going to walk away from that just because you are disappointed with your life? Are you going to give up this relationship we have simply because you don’t have enough money to pay the bills?”
Oh. O God. No.
For the past few years we have struggled financially, and I had let anger and bitterness over our situation creep in - anger with myself, with my husband, and with God (who is, after all, in control). That bitterness had come between me and my husband, and between me and God. I knew it was there, I had talked to God about it, but I couldn’t seem to root it out. In this moment of reflection on God’s good providence, He pointed out the stark contrast of what was really in my heart; a bitterness about my current circumstances and about where I happen to be in His plan right now.
In God’s grace and mercy He didn’t leave me lying on the floor in my misery. God wasn’t beating me over the head with my own attitude; rather, He changed it in an instant. I cannot explain it, but suddenly a joy and peace filled my heart, along with the realization that where I am right now is a good place. It’s not just good in hind sight, after you walk out the other side of your trouble; it is good now, in the midst of it. I am right where God planned for me to be, and His plan brings Him glory and me good, not just in the future somewhere, but right now in the middle of it.
©Rebecca A Givens, 11/11/2009