Passage: Isaiah 55:8-11
Key Verses: “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11
“Did you do your best, honey?”
“Yes, mommy, I did” she quietly said.
“Did you study for the test, double-checked your answers?”
“I did, mommy, I promise.”
She was at the verge of tears.
My heart sunk. I felt helpless and dumb. The grade was pretty unacceptable and it wasn’t her first that month.
I found myself hating Pre-Algebra all over again.
No, I didn’t think about pre-algebra when I said yes to homeschooling my children. No, sire, pre-algebra was not in my “cons” list. I actually didn’t have a “pros and cons” list at all. I simply knew that God was calling us to enroll our girls in a hybrid school, where they go to school some days and homeschool on the others. I figured we would do just fine; after all, I was only going to serve as a facilitator and booboo kisser on homeschool days.
Wrong! Was I ever wrong.
I was also the one who was supposed to be able to help my babies when they didn’t know what to do. Instead, I looked at pre-algebra papers and wondered how on earth I made it through school thirty years ago.
Nice. Really nice, Patricia. What were you thinking?
Did God really say…?
That’s when I started questioning God on a decision that He guided us through, step-by-step. We knew it was His will. We sought His confirmation and received it.
But at the first obstacle, at the first not-so-comfortable situation, I decided I must have misunderstood Him.
I wish I could say that that was the first time in my 20 years as a Christian that I doubted His direction when things didn’t go as planned. I wish I could put on the super-Christian cape and claim that I always tell my heart to quiet down when things start getting out of (my) control.
I’m just glad I’m in good company.
Several of the Giants of Faith of Hebrews 11 struggled with the same sort of unbelief before they reached the place where they could always see with eyes of unshaken faith.
Think Sarah laughing at the thought of a baby in her barren womb… Genesis 18:12
Think Abraham doubting His Covenant Promise and agreeing to a shortcut … Genesis 16:2
Think Moses keeping his eyes on His inadequacies instead on the promise that I AM was with Him… Exodus 4
Think Peter denying Christ after offering to die for Him… John 18:15-27
Think Thomas touching the wounds after seeing the Risen Savior… John 20:27
Truthfully, when God gives us a direction or a promise, we all usually start on the right path, acting as those who truly believe… only to halt at the sight of an obstacle that is bigger than our abilities… an unexpected outcome… or become anxious and jump ahead of God when we think that He is taking too long.
Still, God’s words to Isaiah ring true to every single promise He makes to His Covenant children:
“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55: 11
I’m glad that we pressed on and survived pre-algebra last year.
Algebra 1 has been the promise fulfilled, as our daughter’s A’s confirm that we passed another (faith) test when I chose to remind my heart to believe and trust… and simply press on in obedience. But I know many other times will come, when I will be tempted to question God’s ways, and wonder if I missed the right turn on His path for me, simply because He has chosen to mold me in the process.
My ultimate response, I pray, will remain the same:
I’ll tell my heart to believe.
And in the meantime, while I cannot see the full scope of His promises, I’ll choose to keep on seeking Him… trusting Him… listening to His guidance… obeying His Word.
Knowing with all my heart that, in His perfect time, I will delight as His Word of Promise returns completely fulfilled… just as He said it would.