The other day, I was on my way to a woman’s retreat with my school and I was craving my favorite drink, chai, from Starbucks. I had my friend make a quick stop so I can run in and get one for the road. Now, if you’re an avid chai drinker like me, you know there is absolutely no in-between for chai. It is either delicious or absolutely disgusting. I bet you’ll never guess what mine was… I didn’t have time to have the barista remake it so I basically wasted five bucks on a cup full of milk and a drop of chai. I was so frustrated at that moment because I’m so frugal and absolutely hate spending money, let alone wasting it. I completely shut down because I was so irritated. I not only wasted five bucks but my craving still wasn’t satisfied. I let it alter my thankfulness and worship to God that night in a room full of hundreds of other women worshiping the same, patient God not worrying about wasting five bucks on a bad Starbucks drink.
I don’t know how many others are like me, but I’m the type of person who can shut down from things very easily. If something upsets me in the smallest manner, I’ll shut down for most, if not all of the day. It’s ridiculous, but it’s just who I am. I’m growing in it daily. It’s a struggle.
The definition of opposition is “disagreement with something, often by speaking or fighting against it.” I don’t know about you, but I know I disagree and even fight against God consistently. The question that I find popping in my mind more often than not is “God, why?” and I try to fight with Him as if I know best (spoiler alert, I don’t).
Leading up to this season, I’ve been finding myself so consistently completely shut down when it comes to God and anything that has to do with Him. I’ve been prioritizing homework and a social life over time spent with the Lord and let me tell you, I can feel it. But the Lord has been so gracious to me and although I close myself off, He finds such gentle and sweet ways to pour in. Whenever the Holy Spirit pours into me, I find myself wondering why I ever wanted to be closed off to Him in the first place. If you’re a Christ follower, I’m sure you know the feeling. It’s an experience like no other. It’s so bittersweet. It’s so encouraging. It’s so satisfying. I just love it so much.
Refinement: The improvement or clarification of something by the making of small changes.
I absolutely love this definition and how it goes along with the Lord so well. “Small changes.” This complement’s the Lord’s patience and grace so well because in times of refinement, the Lord brings small changes for the sake of our own self betterment and the glory of Himself. He doesn’t overwhelm us with changes unless it is necessary for growth in our relationship with Him and if it is, it’s a change that needs to be embraced.
In seasons of opposition, the Lord’s patience is accentuated so well because He refuses to rush us. He speaks only when we listen. He pours out only when we offer Him our cup. He’s so gracious not to force Himself upon us but simply waits for us to meet Him at the halfway mark. He’s already there. He’s already waiting.
I think one of my biggest regrets in my walk with the Lord is how blatantly I’ve shut myself off from Him. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand how I could possibly shut off the one thing that is in constant relentless pursuit of me. It doesn’t make sense, yet I still do it. Constantly.
I think once I stop trying to make sense of the Lord’s patience and embrace it instead, miracles will begin to happen. We don’t need to make sense of Him, sometimes we simply need to embrace Him and the goodness that He brings, even when it doesn’t make sense.
Openness with the Lord is such a beautiful thing because He already knows everything about you, so why let Him flourish you through that? He can only move so much when you’re closed off to Him, but the moment you open yourself up, the opportunities are limitless. Let the Lord do a new work in you today. In this season. In the times you feel like hiding from Him, run to Him instead. Expose yourself to Him instead. He already sees you. He already knows you. I promise you won’t ever regret running to Him.
So, if you’re like me and a bad Starbucks drink can somehow lead you to shutting yourself off from the Lord, remember that He is patient but He is also expectant. Minuscule undesirable circumstances are not worth missing out what the Lord has for you in that moment. Remember: He’s already at the halfway point. You just have to meet Him there. He’s waiting ever so eagerly. For you.