We had a 1:00pm coffee with our realtor that afternoon where we were going to have some preliminary discussions about the house situation. We quickly realized God was impressing upon us that it was time to sell our house. I then left for my 2:30pm work meeting. When they spoke the words, “Brittany, you might already know what this meetings is about,” I simply smiled, knowing this was the “exit strategy” discussion and that God had so kindly prepared my heart for that moment.
Back home, as I prepared a meal for our dinner guest that night, I wept at the sadness of the necessary ending of two things I love…our home and my job. However, I also rejoiced in what God had revealed of Himself and our process. We were in labor! A baby was coming!
And that wasn’t all! At this point, God had granted us with three new financial supporters. And we had others that were calling and letting us know they wanted to join the prayer team. God was growing the tribe!
Thursday remained to be a day of processing praying and wrestling with the words, “contrite spirit.” They are mentioned in Isaiah 66:2, “This is the one to whom I will favor: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Was that the position of my heart before God? My spirit was still not at peace, so what was it that God wanted me to wrestle with?
Friday, I awoke and got down to business right away with my Bible study. It was then that I wrote out these statements: When I am humble and contrite, here is what I am like with God…worshiping, grateful, and bowed asking for forgiveness. When I am NOT humbled and contrite, here is what I am like with God…grumbling, angry, fearful, and standing before God with my hands on my hips.
When Nate started his reading that morning, he opened his Bible right to Matthew 6:25-34, which are Jesus’ teachings on anxiousness. Laughing at the timeliness of that “happy accident”, he went to turn over to Psalm 37. Instead, he initially landed at Psalm 103 and began to read what he had underlined the last time he read that chapter. He was struck by verse 14 as David speaks of God saying, “For He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust.” God was reminding Nate that He is God and we are but dust…and we don’t need to confuse the two! After Nate finished his Bible reading that morning he read this quote from a Jerry Bridges book*, “Although we primarily depend on the righteousness of Christ, we like to think we’ve added some of our own merit for good measure. But this is an insult to the gospel of the cross; we treat it as though our personal performance can add to its immeasurable and all-sufficient merit.”
Our spirits broke before God who was showing me the posture in which I stood before Him and showing Nate how he had been operating within the confines of a self-righteous/self-reliant equation. We were not living out 2 Corinthians 4:18, focusing on the unseen things. We were trying to bargain with God and make an equation work. When the reality is that God does not need us to do anything for His work to be done.
He alone is Sovereign.
As we stood in the kitchen together, we cried and prayed, “Lord, please forgive me for my unbelief. Please forgive me for bringing my self-righteousness before you. Please forgive me for my impatient spirit. Please forgive me for my grumblings when you were doing the unseen things. Thank you for guarding our hearts and preparing them for the necessary endings. Thank you for working all things out for the good of those who love You. Thank you for loving us unconditionally. Thank you that you forgive us of our sinful nature.”
My solitude of prayer that afternoon didn’t involve anything fancy. I didn’t DO anything. I just sat with my Father, and we carried on a conversation for hours. It was freeing, peaceful, and refreshing.
Now, with our hearts humbled before God, we are worshiping Him for what He has already done on our behalf. We are moving forward in confident faith that God is doing unseen things on our behalf. We clearly see our weakness and need for a Savior. And we are full of joy as God has us in the process of labor. A baby is coming!
*The Bookends of the Christian Life, by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington, pg. 50