I stood over the row of carrots with excitement. The tops had popped up and were growing beautifully. They came at a request of my daughter; one’s I hadn’t planted before. Different types of carrots; colorful carrots, new carrots.
The next morning—gone!
The tops were eaten down to nubs. Barely a few shoots peeking out of the soil—all the thick, lush tops were gone. My excitement turned to dread. Anger actually. I was foiled again by an unknown predator. Another crop destroyed. The carrots were lost. I moved on.
A few days later, I noticed those little tiny nubs were still there. Something in me said, don’t give up. I listened. I tended the area around them, fancied up a chicken-wire cover, and hoped for the best. It may not be the prettiest pic I’ve ever taken, but what you see above is the current state of those lost carrots; flourishing, growing, protected.
A few years back, I was flipping through the car radio, when I heard a woman speak about her life’s battles, her wrestling with God, and her hope that had turned into hopelessness. Then she said something that literally stopped me on the road. I pulled over. I couldn’t scribble it down fast enough.
She told the interviewer, in the midst of her anger and grief, she heard the words, “You didn’t trust in me—you trusted in an outcome.”
Friends, let me tell you, that one sentence changed me. Somewhere, some unidentified beautiful woman’s soul touched mine through her words. It changed my view of prayer. It is, to this day, something I cling to, in times of hard-fought-prayer. The scribbled piece of paper has become a makeshift book mark in my Bible—always there to remind me.
Dear ones, we fill our minutes of each day with endless prayers. We cover our families, and our friends, and our circumstances, and beseech God to handle; to intervene, to change, to make perfect. And we plant our seeds of faith, and trust, and hope, in all those requests and prayers…and then watch as so many times they aren’t answered. In fact, we often watch as they are foiled by other forces, just to go the opposite of what we prayed. And we give up. We lose hope. We get angry. We move on.
We trusted in an outcome!
I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but to the one who is struggling with something so heavy, and so worrisome, that you can’t find rest in your prayers—it’s time to trust God…not an outcome!!
If the view looks bleak and unchangeable, if it is rot with problems and uncertainties, if it seems there are no answers in sight, trusting Him will be the actual answer to your prayer…the rest will be God’s work—not yours.
And that is where God says to us, don’t give up! Don’t throw in the towel because you can’t see the outcome. What we may see as lost, God sees as new beginnings.
What we may see as impossible, God sees as doable.
What we may see as useless, God sees as useful.
Don’t look at an outcome; look at The Way.
We need a God-written reminder for that:
“We know that in all things God works for our good…” Romans 8:28
Friends, listen to that soft still voice telling you don’t give up. Keep praying; but keep trusting. For when we shift our view to that, we can shift the view of our troubles. The trusting you do will be a greater answer, than the outcome you are hoping.
Precious Father, we want to set our eyes on You and not our prayers. Change our hearts. Change our thoughts. Help us to hear Your words, not ours. Give us the strength to trust in the midst of the turmoil, and to truly, truly, know You are working all things for our good.