Recently I’ve been confused as to why I’ve felt so stuck. Stuck in a place of hurt, stuck in a place of pain, stuck in a place of disappointment. I went from being in a place of living confidently in the Lord, full of hope, to living in a place where I was lost in my confusion and disappointment.
“Why? Why did this happen God? I was so confident in what I felt you were speaking to me. I was so hopeful in what you had allowed for me to take part in. I had so much faith in You. I had so much confidence in what You had given to me and spoken to me, and now it’s all gone…” Those were just a few of the thoughts that seemed to dominant what felt like each minute of my 24 hour day. I had trouble sleeping as well, so I would walk around outside at 2 in the morning, letting the crisp Virginia air stir me to pray; pray for answers and pray for change. It was after a few of these days that quickly turned into late nights, that I felt like God had asked me to circle something in prayer. A situation that I felt He had promised me. And so I would walk and pray and kneel and circle until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.
Yet now, a few months later and after circling and praying, and crying… and crying some more, my circumstances seemed to be opposite. “After all of that praying God? Weren’t you listening to my cries?” I had so much hope in the beginning, but now I just felt like I was hitting a brick wall, like I was Joshua waiting for day seven, but stuck on day six. Circling, circling, circling… nothing. And with nothing changing I felt my hope starting to slip away because somehow when nothing changes except the time that passes by, it feels as though things change for the worse, since things aren’t getting any better. It seems as if I had determined God’s goodness, God’s provision, and God’s faithfulness, through the circumstances I was finding myself in. And that’s when it hit me…
I’ve been stuck on the second day.
The greatest story I could ever tell or think about is the story of God sending His one and only Son down to earth to die for the sins of the world. God, sending down His most beloved, knew exactly what He was doing–He knew that Jesus would die and then three days later be raised to life. So why do I, knowing that Jesus resurrects from the dead on the third day, stop reading and listening to the story when it talks about day two? Why do I completely shut the book and dwell in my own disappointment, rest in my own lack of faith, and wrestle with my own lack of trust, when the story isn’t over? Why do I cry and get angry and shut down when I don’t see the results of God’s work, when it’s only day two? Why am I stuck on day two?
I’m stuck on day two because I have subconsciously looked to my own competency in order to force God’s hand and see change. I’m stuck on day two because with my human eyes, I have failed to look to God and who He says He is, and instead trust in the actions of the world. I am stuck on day two, because I think that in order for things to be happening and changing, I need to be able to see them physically. And somehow I seem to have forgotten that I am human, and just because I can’t see things with my own two eyes, doesn’t mean that God isn’t isn’t working. I trust and know that Jesus rose on day three… so why am I closing the book on day two when things don’t seem to turn out the way I had planned them to? This is God’s perfect story, and not my own. I am stuck on day two because I have failed to realize that I had put my hope in what I wanted to happen, and not in God. And hope in anything or anyone else is not true hope at all.
So friends, do not let yourself be stuck on day two. Do not let yourself put your hope in anything or anyone but God alone. Do not be so focused on your circumstances and oppositions, that you fail to see what God is delivering you from. And most of all, do not despise the process. Because the process… the “day two’s”… are where God is growing you and teaching you to trust in Him and know His character, in order that your faith and relationship with Him might increase and grow deeper. Day two’s are the space that we need in order to grow, the time we need to allow God to work in His perfect timing, and the area in our lives that we need to give up control and let God be God.
Day two’s may (and probably will) take longer than we anticipate, but this is where you have to come to terms with your faith and ask yourself if you truly believe that God has the best timing. But don’t let yourself be stuck on day two, because it is not the end of the story, it’s just the beginning. God is bringing new life and resurrection of what once was dead. Reconciliation, restoration, joy, and hope are coming! Wait on Him!
words by Shannon Dunn and photo by Gretta Sheehan