Prayer at Gethsemane

Mark 14-36

Christ’s final hours were upon Him
The disciples waited nearby
His closest, Peter James and John
Were invited to watch and pray
Jesus shared His overwhelming grief
And went off alone to pray

He called out to the Father
If possible, let this cup pass from Me
Yet He submitted Himself
To His Father’s will and plan

When He returned
He found fast asleep those He asked to pray
Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour
For temptation is coming your way
To resist your spirit needs to be strengthened

Jesus went again to beseech the Father
He returned only to find
His three closest friends asleep on their watch
They had no idea what to say
No excuse is given, they remain silent

A third time
Jesus goes alone to Father and prays
When He returns it’s no surprise
He finds His disciples asleep on their watch
His time with them has come to an end

For His hour is at hand
His betrayer will come with throngs
And greet Him with a kiss

Jesus arises
He knows what’s to come
And the great suffering He will endure

Instead of fleeing
Jesus Christ rises
To meet those who seek to kill Him
He stands ready to accomplish the Father’s will

He is alone
Soon His prayerless disciples will flee
The angles are restrained
As the Son of God is betrayed
Given over into the hands of evil men
The Father is silent in His resolve
His plan will be accomplished

Sin will be punished
Those bound by sin and death will be set free
Grace and mercy will be offered
Not to those who deserve it
For there are none

But salvation will be given
To those hell-bound sinners who repent
To those who confess Christ Jesus as Lord
They will be saved

by Susan Wachtel
September 16, 2015

The Winds of Change

This week the infamous Santa Ana winds were blowing on Wednesday.  Whenever the winds blow hard the phrase “the winds of change” comes to mind and probably even more so this week because we anticipated that there might be changes coming down the pike at work.

With the economy continuing to tank and folks losing their jobs and remaining out of work for extended periods of time…I always have in the back of my mind the possibility that a work layoff could be in my future.  Each day, it makes me so grateful to have a job…and not take it for granted.  It reminds me that every good and perfect gift, employment and the ability to perform the work, is a gift from my heavenly Father above.  I’m also mindful to be thankful for today what God has given me and try to be faithful through His power and strength. 

While we anticipated the strong possibility of changes coming at work…we didn’t know exactly when, who or how many folks might be effected.  I was praying in the weeks and days leading up to this time and I’m so grateful that God gave me such a sense of peace regarding my work situation.  I had peace with the thought that I might be let go and I gratitude if I was permitted to keep my job.

Thankfully work has been very busy, so there wasn’t any time to waste being preoccupied with thoughts of “what if”.  Instead all of us were working hard to keep up.   

When praying about work, I found that my will was fully submitted to God’s will for the situation.  This time around I wasn’t dictating to God what I thought was the best outcome.  I had been through similar circumstances four years ago and handled it much differently.  But this time…I was absolutely at peace with whatever happened.  God had indeed given me the peace that passes all understanding.  My husband Chris was praying that by God’s mercy my job might be spared so that we would continue to be able to meet our financial obligations without undue stress.  However, I continued to pray for God’s will to be done.  It almost felt like if I prayed that my job would be spared, I was in essence praying for my co-workers to lose their jobs.  So instead, I prayed for God’s will to be done. 

I praise God for the peace that He gave me…absolutely trusting in His will and plan.  I was confident that God knows my future and my friends and co-workers future…and He has a good and perfect plan for each our lives that He is working out.  I may not always understand why God permits certain circumstances…but in heaven it will all be made clear.

While I anticipated changes…I didn’t know the exact day they would hit.  Just in case I would be let go, I ordered my prescriptions while I still had a job and insurance coverage. 

This week that fateful day came…a little earlier than I expected.  It was a hard day as people whom I consider friends were laid off.  It didn’t seem to make any sense who was laid off because I knew the great work they did and the positive attitude they brought to work every day.  It was a hard and sad day. 

When the dust started to settle, I went to lunch and called Chris. I told him that it had been a very hard and ugly day, but that his prayers had been answered.  At the end of the day…I still had a job.

A number of folks talked about having “survivor’s guilt” and not understanding why good people were let go when others still had jobs.  I guess to some degree I felt that way.

I’m certain with the new responsibilities that I will have due to the recent layoffs, it will cause me to depend upon God even more.  There is no way that I could manage it on my own strength and might.

When I pray each day…there has been an ongoing list of people whom I’ve been praying for regarding their employment situation.  Now my prayer list has greatly expanded.  But I know my God is faithful.  He is merciful and pours out His loving kindness on each of us.  I pray that the God of all comfort will draw each of these people near and reveal Himself as Jehovah Jira the God who provides for all our needs.

Things won’t be the same at work and I’m already missing the people I worked with each day.  Oh Lord…cause me to depend upon You more, be filled with gratitude and faithful in prayer. 

Thy Kingdome Come

It seems like each day God continues to work on me and challenge me.  It’s easy for me to pray the Lord’s Prayer…and say “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  But the real work starts in my heart.  Am I ready, willing and able to let God’s will be done in my heart, my mind and even my mouth?
One area that God has challenged me is when I see something unlovely in the life of another Christian.  When that unattractiveness is displayed towards me or others….I find it so easy to want to go to God and complain about them.  But God is challenging me, instead of complaining or building a case against a brother or sister in Christ…I need to remember that this side of heaven, none of us is perfect…that includes me. 
Instead of complaining…God is challenging me to be in prayer for them.  That God would reveal to them an area of weakness or sin or an attitude that He would have them to repent of.  That they would have a heart that is tender and yielded to the Lord.  That they would have the ears to hear Him and a heart that responds in loving obedience and repentance.
When I see that area of weakness in another Christian…it should be a reminder for me to be praying for them.  That neither they nor I will give the devil a foothold by having a wrong attitude or response.
We are on the same team…I need to help build up the body of Christ, not tear them down and pray that they will do the same for me. 

Grace Expectations

Have you ever noticed that expectations…both great and small…can be a huge source for unhappiness and discontentment?  Discontentment with family, friends, work, home and church to name a few. 
After running smack dab into the wall of expectations…I think perhaps there’s a better way.
That’s not to say we should do away with expectations all together.  It’s reasonable and even godly to expect our spouse to be faithful and fulfill wedding vows.  It’s reasonable for parents to expect a child to be obedient and respectful.  It’s reasonable…but goodness knows it doesn’t always happen.
I don’t think having low expectations is good thing.  God doesn’t have low expectations of us.  He commands our love and requires our obedience and there are consequences when we fail.  God’s expectations, unlike ours, are not motivated out of sin or selfishness. 

Sometimes we’ll say we have no expectations in an effort to spare ourselves the hurt and disappointment that we feel when other people or circumstances fall short of our expectations.
So what’s a better way?  I believe that God is challenging me…to run my expectations through the grid of His will.  Is what I’m expecting in line with God’s will for the people and circumstances in my life?  When it is, then I can freely and boldly bring my requests to God in prayer. 
That’s not to say that God will impose His will upon each person and that everything will turn out the way I want.  But it means that I can pray with confidence.
When my expectations don’t line up with God’s will…it’s often because my expectations are motivated out of selfishness, fear or wanting to be in control. 

When others fall short…and circumstances don’t measure up to my expectations…it’s imperative that I deal with people graciously.  God has been gracious and merciful to me.  I’m also motivated to be gracious because I’m well aware of my own sinful nature and past failures. 

Perhaps the key is to have “grace expectations”.  Expectations that line up with God’s will and grace given generously to those who fall short. 

God’s Will

Oh how the enemy robs me
When I fail to yield to God’s will

When I want what I want…in my timing
Unwilling to wait upon the Lord

When I plan my ways according to my will
But the Lord directs my steps elsewhere

Then anxiety fills my heart and mind
The peace of God evades me

When I try to manipulate circumstances
Unwilling to admit they are far beyond my control

When I stand in judgment of people
Who just don’t cooperate and mess up my plans

Then frustration and anger reigns
Consumes my every thought

When I don’t trust that God is good
Unless He answers my prayers in the manner I deem best

When my prayers are orders
Instead of a humble petition to omnipotent God

Then I raise myself up
In place of God

Oh Lord, give me the mind of Christ
Help me to die to self daily, pick up my cross and follow You

Put me in the refiner’s fire
Consume any wicked way that remains in me

Help me to wait upon You Lord
With confident assurance all Your ways are good

Susan Bunts Wachtel
February 26, 2010

Recently I was reminded of a time in my life…when I wasn’t yielded to God’s will.  Some of that struggle went on after I became a Christian.  Praise God…He keeps on whittling away at my sinfulness and conforming me into the image and likeness of Christ.  It’s an ongoing work this side of heaven.

God’s Will

God’s moral will
Is clearly revealed in scripture
Reinforced by the Holy Spirit within

But knowing God’s will for my personal life
Is often better understood
In hindsight…after the fact

What step should I take next
What direction should I go
What choice should I make

It’s tempting
To try and interpret His will
From the unfolding of recent events

May I tread carefully
Not stumble into dangerous territory
By reading the signs and putting God in a box

Rather than seeking a desired outcome
May I desire to walk closely with You, Oh Lord
Knowing that Your presence is my great reward

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 7, 2009

“God’s Will” was inspired by recent events in Chris and my life involving the purchase of our first home together. As we’ve gone through some ups and downs it’s been hard to know what God’s will is. But I think we are finding out…day by day as we walk with our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The above photo is from our collection of wedding photos taken by Sherry Hebestreit. Sherry did a marvelous job. Both Chris and I were not sure about having a photographer for our wedding. But Sherry did a lovely job and we cherish the memories of that day especially when we look at the photographs. If you would like information on how to contact Sherry, please send me an email and we’ll forward your inquiry on to Sherry Hebestreit.

Just Thinking

Tonight, while driving home from Bible study with my husband Chris, I was thinking on how amazingly blessed we are. As individuals and as a couple. Our church has been richly blessed with Pastors, teachers and leaders who are faithful to preach the full council of God’s word uncompromisingly. Blessed to live in a nation where the Gospel can still be freely preached. Blessed as a Christian who can tap into the abundant resources available today, as never before.

I spent a lot of time today listening to John MacArthur’s sermons on spiritual warfare. This evening I started to download the messages from this year’s Shepherd’s Conference. John MacArthur and Grace Community Church have “opened their vaults”…and the years of wonderful Bible study are free for downloading. They truly are unleashing God’s word one verse at a time.

I’m feasting on a veritable smorgasbord of God’s word regularly.

The Holy Spirit brought to mind God’s sober warning…to whom much is given, much is required. I have to ask myself…do I diligently and passionately seek God and study His word. Do I crave it and treasure it and obey it?

In third world countries where the Bible has been outlawed…when the people receive a Bible…share it with one another. Each person taking a page. Then they pass the pages around. I’m sure they memorize it…since they may never see it again. They hunger and thirst for God’s word and the truth therein. Do I?

I may fill my days with God’s word…through Bible study and church…podcasts and music. Being fed richly and abundantly.

But it’s out in the real world…in everyday life that I see if I’ve let God’s word change my heart.

Am I dying to self and living for Christ? Day by day, more and more am I laying aside my plans and seeking God’s will? Am I willingly to be obedient to God…even when I don’t understand His plans? Do I see sin as God sees sin? Do I love the unlovely? Do I seek to be holy as He is holy? Do I live for God and desire to please Him? Or do I still seek after the approval of men? Or worse…do I seek to please myself? Is my focus and delight on God or me?

I can sit in church as much as I like. I can attend Bible studies every day of the week. But until such time as I love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength and seek to obey and please him…I’m not letting God’s word work in me and transform me as God desires to do.

When I get a grip on the absolute goodness and holiness of God and His nature…then by the power of the Holy Spirit within…I can submit myself to His eternal and glorious plan.

Will I?

“Susan, choose this day Whom you will serve!”

A new day will soon be dawning…and I will have a choice to make.

Susan Blog Sig 2

Yet For a Season

In a place
Where I cry out for God’s deliverance
Yet for a season
God’s will is to keep me here
Right where I’m at

When necessary
I put my hand over my mouth
Think a second time
Choose to look on the good that God is doing
In the midst of uncomfortable

It would be so easy
To withdraw
Harden my heart
When the reason for God’s delay or His “No”
Is unknown to this frail human soul

But instead God has given me His word
By the power of the Holy Spirit
I can learn from the examples of others
I can stand strong, purpose in my heart to believe God
Or go down the path of unbelief which surely leads to destruction

Oft times His will is inscrutable, unknowable, a mystery
That’s when God calls me to trust Him
Believe that He is good, holy, righteous and just
He is working all things together for good
For this one who loves Him

Susan Bunts Wachtel
March 12, 2009

Susan Blog Sig 2

Discouragement’s Victory

Discouragement reporting for duty
Greetings powerful evil one
The day is young but the time is right
I’ve already begun to make my rounds

While I may not rob them of their salvation
Through defeat and discouragement
I can keep them from experiencing
The joy and peace of their Master

I can lead them down the path to failure
Use their own sin nature to cause them to stumble and fall
I move by stealth
They are unsuspecting of the enemy’s plan

I stir up discontentment
Cause them to grumble and complain
Focus on what they lack
Rather than turn to God in prayer

Like the Jews of old wandering in the desert
They experience deliverance by the mighty hand of God
Witness miracle after miracle
Recipients of God’s grace, mercy and compassion

Yet I cause them to question their God
Demand deliverance according their plan
With unbelieving hearts
Choosing to doubt God’s goodness and character

They will not submit their will
To God’s perfect sovereign plan

Pride and selfishness
Such effective tools
Rather than God
They enthrone themselves upon their heart

The mouth which should praise Him
Is instead filled with grumbling and complaints
They are focused on the here and now
Rather than submitting to God’s eternal plan

No crown will they receive
To lay at their Savior’s feet
Their works like wood, hay and stubble will one day burn
What remains will lie in an ash heap

I will have the victory
If I can distract and disarm them
Keep them focused on themselves, rather than God
Discontent and disheartened…believing their God does not even care

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
March 5, 2009


I don’t think that you can live in a place for so many years and not feel anything when you face the prospect of moving.

I’m feeling a multitude of emotions…exhaustion being primary. While there is a part of me that feels a little sad…more than anything I feel like the grace of the Lord has left this place…and it’s time to move on.

This afternoon the movers will be coming. After having lived here in Anaheim at an apartment on Jackson…I will be moving to a new place. This time…it won’t be just me, but my husband Chris and me will be moving. We will be taking up residence at an interim home just a few miles away.

Following our marriage, we quickly discovered that a one bedroom apartment is just a little too small for two people, two kitties and two birdies. Despite a lease that lasts until December…we decided it was time to move. Time to move to give us some additional space and to move into “our place”. Not try to live in a home that was Susan’s apartment or Chris’ condo…but our place.

For months now there has been nothing but issue after issue going on the apartment complex I live in. Starting back in April…it started with a notice that everything…EVERYTHING…had to be off the patios because they would be steam cleaning them. Thus…for a time I had plants and lots of patio stuff inside my apartment. It was just to be for a few days initially….but that few days grew into a couple of weeks…when the steam cleaning was pushed back. In the interim…I got rid of a lot of plants and patio decorations. They just didn’t look as good inside as out on the patio.

The pièce de résistance was the notice that appeared on my door…a couple of months before Chris and I were to wed. It notified me that they were doing major remodel on the apartment in the bathroom and kitchen. As it just so happens it took place the week following our marriage. Now that doesn’t sound too bad. But when we were using every bit of time to plan and execute a wedding in four months…the last thing we needed on top of our wedding as to have to empty the bathroom and kitchen completely. So in the weeks before we married…and even on the night before the big day…we were packing and throwing away things. Chris being the trooper that he is…didn’t protest at helping pack up a place he didn’t yet live. Instead…he helped box things up and made many a trip to the trash cans.

After Chris moved in…the quirks and problems with the apartment that I had just gotten used to…really, really bugged him. Like the bathroom door that wouldn’t close completely and the blinds that were broken and necessitate closing them by hand instead of pulling the levers. Oh…there was much more than that…but after living here for 10 years…well I guess I kind of got used to it all and it ceased to bug me. I just found a way to work around it.

For Chris one of the biggest irritations is the lack of parking. Sometimes he gets a spot close by…other times it’s down the street and by a sprinkler.

So…it was only a few weeks after we were married and back at home in the apartment that we decided…it was time to move. The search began for an interim place until we can purchase a home together. A tough prospect in light of today’s economy.

While it would have been nice to know God’s specific will regarding this change…it was with prayer that we began our search. The place we found…was by happenstance. It wasn’t one we had looked up on line. In spite of high rents at each place we went to…the rent was reasonable on the new place. We both liked it immediately…and felt comfortable there.

Each place has its challenges…even the new one. Like parking being the main issue. Despite promises that there would soon be many new open spaces in the coming weeks…that hasn’t happened yet. It looks like no matter what one of us will be parking some distance away. Perhaps God will use that to motivate us to keep moving in our search for the home when He will provide in the not too distant future.

As I’ve been taking my morning walks…I’ve been reflecting on all the changes in my life in the last 10 years…and thinking on what I will miss the most. Honestly…I think I will miss my morning walks in the surrounding neighborhood. I’ve come to know some of the people because I’ve seen them for so many years. I will miss my UPS driver who has delivered many a package…and he is so considerate that we’ve struck up a deal that since I’m usually at work when he delivers packages…he’ll just take them to the office and I can pick them up there. The other night…he delivered a package later in the evening…and even noticed that my name had changed. I told him I had just gotten married. If I had been thinking quicker…I would have given him one of the CD’s from our wedding. Oh well!

With so many problems that we’ve had here at this apartment since going back to April…I am so ready to leave this place. But I do feel a little something sad at leaving. My life has changed so very much, never more so than this year.

Just this year alone…I started dating Chris in February, my 16 year old kitty Nathan died, my mom was sick and died after 6 years of Alzheimer’s and I got engaged and married. It’s been an eventful year. While I wouldn’t change the things…I think I feel a bit melancholy at all that’s gone on in the last 10 years.

In some respects…I feel like the glory of the Lord has departed this place…and it’s time to move on. You’d think I’d miss a lot more things after living here for 10 years. But I don’t…at least not right now. It’s been a mix of both good and bad things. It’s been both eventful and life changing. Many people…family and friends have left my life in the intervening years.

The most important thing in the last ten years has been the presence of God in my life. My awareness, dependence and love for God has grown. While the prospect of a couple of moves is daunting…I know I don’t want to be outside of God’s will. I don’t want to try and remain in a place where God’s grace has left. Instead I want to follow closely after His lead…hand in hand…step by step with my husband Chris.

Your prayers for our move would be greatly appreciated. Both this move today…and one in the not too distant future as we look for a home. We are prayerful that this move to a new home for the interim will be just right for our new lives together.

Smack, Dab, Center

Honest and truly…my parents could have named me Jacob and it would have been most appropriate. Jacob and me…we have something in common. We both like to wrestle with God. Actually…I’m not sure I can say I like it…but goodness knows…I sure end up in a wrestling match more often than I’d like to admit.

Thank You Lord…that You are patient with me. This time around…there was wrestling going on…but it wasn’t for a long and extended period. I’d say God had me in a full nelson…and was whispering my ear until I cried uncle.

“Susan….when you responded the other day…you made it clear what your will was. Did you ever ask what my will is?”

“Uhhhhh…no God, I didn’t. Surely this can’t be Your will, can it?”

I should have known better than to ask that. After all God loves obstacles and overwhelming circumstances. In fact he specializes in them. He specializes in taking broken people and mending them. He loves to take the weak and despised things of this world…and use them for His glory.

While I don’t fully know what God wants to do in my situation…I do know that He has a perfect will and plan. He desires that I want His will for my life…to obey and follow Him.

I learned that lesson last year. I learned that there is no better place to be than in God’s will.

My circumstances seem impossible…huge. Beyond me…by any measure. But I do know this…I want to be smack dab in the center of God’s will. No matter what. I don’t want to turn to the right or to the left. I don’t want to go my own way. I want to be right where He wants me to be and no further.

In the center of His will is where I have peace. It’s where He will strengthen me…encourage me…and enable me. He’ll even fight for me…when I’m in the battle that He has designated for me.

So…I made a phone call. “I don’t know what God’s will is in this…but whatever it is…I want it. This seems impossible…it’s huge…far beyond me. I’m scared. But we serve a Big God…One who is more than able to accomplish…with ease…everything that concerns me today, tomorrow and always.”

Once I yielded to God’s will…I had peace. When I stopped trying to figure out all the details…I was able to turn the reins of this situation over to God. So He’s in charge now. My orders are not to figure out how to make it work…but to instead listen and closely follow God’s lead.

Smack, Dab, Center God…that’s where I want to be.

6/10/07 At the End of the Day…the Center of God’s Will

“God…I want to be at the center of Your will. Dead center…spot on. If this is not Your desire than I pray that You will close the door so hard that I can not mistake Your will. I pray that I will desire Your will for my life so much that I will hear only Your words and not my own desire. God…I would rather be on the road that You designed for me…a road not of my own choosing with you…than to be on the road I want to be on but without You.”

Those words were my prayer over the last few days and weeks as I applied for a new job and awaited word on the results. I found myself at absolute peace…and was comfortable with the thought of someone else getting the job instead of me. Yet…I desired a change and was hopeful that this would be what God has called me to.

But I knew…no matter what…if it wasn’t God’s will…I didn’t want it. I want Jesus walking with me daily…not me wandering off on some wild trek that looks appealing to my flesh.

So when I got the call and the offer I was at peace. Somewhat excited…but mostly at peace. It wasn’t something to boast or brag about…except to rejoice in God’s faithfulness to me through a difficult year.

I’m excited for a number of reasons…including the opportunity to learn a new area of the business. To continue to learn and grow. I also feel that God has a definite calling on me regarding this job. What exactly that call is…I don’t know…but He does and He will reveal it in His perfect timing. But I’m mindful that there is no greater risk of failure than now…right after I have had a success. I risk being prideful and believing that my success has to do with me and something that I did…instead of knowing that this was a work of God.

So it is with fear and trembling that I will step into this new role…cognizant that it is imperative that I walk in a manner that will bring praise, honor and glory to Christ Jesus. This group of people doesn’t know me…and it’s a place where I don’t have an established track record. I may have been employed for almost 23 years continually with the same company…bought out several times over…but these folks are new to me and I to them.

I give Jesus praise for the work He has done. I ask Him to help me to do excellent work and finish my current job strong. To leave with a good record as far as the work and people go.

I’ve learned a lot being in this place I didn’t want to be. It’s revealed things in me…both good and not so good. I’ve learned how important it is to have a good attitude…even in the midst of difficult times or when you daily have curve balls thrown at you. I’ve learned the importance of working diligently…no matter what my neighbor does. I’m accountable to God for me…not them. I’ve learned that stress will take it’s toll on my body…and that I need to take better care of my body, mind, soul and spirit. I’ve learned that while I may have a few health challenges…to be thankful that in the scheme of things…it’s minor and a condition that I can do something about it. I’ve learned to be thankful for having health insurance. In all my years of employment…I’ve gone to the doctor more this last year than the proceeding 22 years. I’ve learned that I’ve still got far to go. That it seems too hard and unachievable and that I’d better be on my knees in prayer seeking wisdom, guidance and strength.

I’ve been reminded about a core principal that I’ve had and known over the years…and that is to pray for my enemies. When I have someone difficult…that I don’t like or someone who has caused me a boat load of hurt…that there is only one remedy…and that is prayer. Not prayer that God will smite them…but instead to pray for them. Pray for their needs, cares, woes and concerns. To give over to God my hurt and bitterness over past hurts so that I might forgive. Do I walk a perfect walk…and struggle no more? Yeah right…uhhhh…not even. But I have improved and do work through this process quicker than before. Thank You Lord!

I’ve learned that I want to pursue God and follow hard after His lead in my life. I’ve learned that I need more sleep…thus an abrupt close to this article…as my body beckons that I arise and turn off the computer and head to bed…which I will do.

Good night to you all…wishing you evening grace as you follow in the wake of God’s will.

6/4/07 At the End of the Day…What a Difference a Year Makes

This year on June 1st, I found myself again at a crossroads…only this time…I’m filled with peace and a desire to follow hard after God and His will.

Last year…well that’s a different story. It had been months and months of uncertainty. Our company had been bought out and the team I was once a part of…most of the folks had job interviews and knew one way or the other if they had a job. Some received offers and others received a painful phone call that they would not be offered a job. They set their face forward and moved on into an uncertain future.

My exact fate was still uncertain. I had multiple interviews…and no answers. No thumbs up…or down. And then a phone call came and I was invited to travel far away for a big interview. I was hopeful. After all why in the world would they fly someone that far that they wouldn’t consider seriously for the job? The trip was your basic trip from you know where…but in the midst of it…God strengthened me, upheld me and enabled me to get through that day…and the many months to come.

As odd as it sounds…I never got an official word from those that interviewed me. The job remained open for months and months. Each time it posted…I reapplied. But it all came to naught.

During this time…I was emotionally torn up. I knew what I wanted…but I couldn’t see my way clear to make it happen. As I look back with the wisdom of hindsight…I can see clearly that God had closed that door. What God has closed…can never be opened. But I didn’t quite get that then.

I thought perhaps it was a test of perseverance…and God just wanted to make sure that I was going to trust Him…and believe Him…no matter what. That I wasn’t going to look at my circumstances but instead look to Him who would fight for me.

I guess that was indeed the test. But proving grounds were different that I could have ever imagined. I never got that which I had so desperately sought and desired. The question is…would I preserve in my faith and trust God in the midst of deep disappointment? Would I trust God…even as I asked why…even when answers were not forth coming? Trust God as He led me on a path I didn’t want to travel? Was I going to look to Him and not my circumstances to determine my love for God? Was I…did I? Uhhh…not exactly.

It was much different than I would have ever imagined. I was ready to persevere to get that which I wanted. But I wasn’t ready…it never crossed my mind that I would have to preserver in my faith as I got that which I did not desire.

It was an awful time…a time of great loss…a time that I made all the worse because I didn’t fully trust God. I didn’t trust the God who created the universe and everything in it by merely speaking His powerful Word. I didn’t fully believe…with a deep down personal faith…that God works all things together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. I valued my hopes and dreams over and above His plan for my life.

To quote Elf…I was a cotton headed ninny muggings! Here, here…I’ll second that.

Despite my roller coaster…wobbly faith…my God was faithful. He showed me His tender mercies…and poured out His grace upon me. Before my path…he brought people…who would help make the unbearable, bearable. Those who would share a kindness or two even as I bore the emotional wounds from that of a friend. It’s those wounds that cut the deepest…and take the longest to heal. But God brought the salve of friendship to heal those wounds. Slowly but surely…those scars have mended. On occasion they are a bit tender still…and if I choose to dwell on them…they are still visible. But when I’m busy and set upon the work God has called me to do…they seem so very distant, small and even unimportant.

So as this June 1st rolled around and I found myself once again waiting to see if God is would open up a door on a new job opportunity…I was pleasantly surprised to feel an absolute peace.

My prayer is not…God get me out of here…or help me get that job. Instead…my prayer is God…please make Your will known to me. If this is not Your will…please I beg You make it ever so clear…so I don’t go down that wrong road. Shut that door…with a load bang that even a slower learner like me can’t mistake for a no. Please God…reveal Your will for me in this situation.

I am not anxious…and would feel a genuine peace if someone else got the job I applied for. In looking at the circumstances…it looks like God may be leading this way. But I don’t want to read something into it that’s not there.

I want to follow hard after God. I want to be dead center in the middle of His will for my life. Better that I be on a path not of my own choosing with God…and on my own path alone.

So here I wait to see what God is going to do. Is this just a test to see if I will choose wisely? Will I trust God this time around? Or will I seek to bring about what I want no matter what God wants?

It doesn’t matter if this is a test…or if God opening the door to move me in a different direction. It doesn’t matter…because all I want is His will…not my own.

I do pray that if another person gets this job…that I will be joyful for them.

When I look back and see why I experienced closed doors last year…I know why He closed them. I understand now…I get it. Yet I’m mindful that while God may use our wrong actions to bring about His predetermined plan…He will also hold each of us accountable for our choices and actions. Just as He did on the nations he allowed to come up against Israel. It didn’t negate their responsibility and consequences…even when God used it as part of His plan.

There is no better place to be than in the center of God’s will. I wonder what this last year would have been like if God’s will had been my overriding desire and determined purpose?

If per chance God opens up this new avenue…I’m very aware that this is just a tool and a means that He will use for His purposes and plan. May I praise God…no matter what happens!