As a young mother, I endeavored to “train a child in the way he should go,” so that, “when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). A decade later, however, I wasn’t reaping the results I had expected. Angry, I said to God, “But this isn’t the way it was supposed to be! This isn’t the way it went for this family here or that family over there. And this isn’t the way it was supposed to be for my family!”
Like a little girl who doesn’t get what she wants, I threw a spiritual tantrum. I used my time and energy kicking, screaming, and battling God. Then one day, when I took a breath during my rantings to listen, God seemed to say, “But, Elizabeth, this is the way it is. Now what are you going to do about the way it really is?” I realized I had to quit fussing, get up, and go on. I needed to embrace God’s presence for my present rather than wistfully denying the reality that was before me. After all, it wasn’t helping anything.
You see, because of my unmet expectations, I was postponing any action. Because I didn’t like what was on my plate, I was failing to do anything to try to improve the situation. I neglected to deal with the circumstances. And as long as I had that attitude—as long as I didn’t accept reality—no progress or solution was possible.
Other people struggle, too — I know many women who refuse to face reality when it comes to their marriages. It seems that our fantasies, expectations, and dreams about what marriage will be are usually quite different from the truth.
So, the question that faces us is, “Now, what are you going to do about the way it is?” What does God want me to pursue as a solution, a remedy, a plan. You see, once we accept reality—the reality of the condition of our marriage, our family, our job, whatever—we can then use our time and energy to make that reality better.
Your challenge is to accept what is real and acknowledge again that God oversees and has overseen every detail of your life (2 Timothy 1:9) —your singleness, your marriage, your family, your relationships, your job, your every situation and your every circumstance. This knowledge will help you to act on what is true and real today (Philippians 4:8)… rather than resent reality and idly wait for fantasies to magically materialize.
Beloved, with a heart full of faith and hope, with God by your side, and by His great grace, you can love Him… even more, no matter what has—or is—happening to you.
Question: What action are you postponing by denying the reality of a specific circumstance in your life? Or, can you share an example when you faced reality and positively changed the situation that was holding you back?
You will find more about God’s wonderful character in my book, Loving God with All Your Mind.