Never is a poisonous word in our relationship with Father God. I once lived in Never-Land where I held a long list of impossibilities in my heart. I was sure that circumstances, and people, and relationships, and worries, and fears, and my own struggles would never, ever change. I was sure of that because for many years, those things had not changed. I had no evidence that such things could change. So the best self protection mechanism is to resolve that such things cannot change, that it is not the way of the world for things to change. At least to change for the better. We always seem to have confidence that things can get worse!
But a few years ago, I found myself in a place where some changes seemed possible. The notion that God could actually change me began to sprout inside. I was very cautious in this new optimism, and I went through some months-long seasons of depression when my when and how expectations were disappointed. But all the while, God was at work, and big change was on the horizon. It seems he was prying open my heart, wedging in a sliver of faith through the callous shell of self protective doubt. In time, the thing was split wide open and all Heaven broke loose in me. Maybe an exaggeration, but that’s the way it felt. Everything changed.
Well, of course, everything didn’t really change. But some ages old granite was moved in me, and my marriage and family relationships slowly responded and have never been the same old way since. It’s clear to me now, that when I embrace the safety of never, that it works. I am, in effect, saying to my Father, who is eager and able to will and to work in me for his good pleasure – to this wonderful Father – I am saying Never! I know you have done some amazing things, but surely you can never do this thing!
I do this too often to want to admit it. I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to rebuff my Father, to grieve him with my doubts of his kindness and power. But I do. And he remains patient somehow. And waits for the season when I can believe and give way to more.
“With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”