“I’m sorry, God, but this is not what I ordered!”

I love good customer service.  Recently I was in Costco and I had left some ink cartridges for them to refill.  There was a miscommunication, and somehow my four ink cartridges were thrown away.  The technician insisted on “making it right.”  He sent me to the ink cartridge aisle and instructed me to choose new cartridges to replace the missing ones.  This was great customer service.

Customer ServiceImagine a customer service counter in heaven.  I’m sure that it is covered in gleaming gold, with nary a fingerprint to be seen on the counter.  Behind it stands glowing angels ready to assist customers.  And there are a lot of angels so we don’t have to stand in line for long!  There is soft praise music playing, candles for a welcoming ambiance, and an essential oil diffuser to perfume the room.  This customer service center wants to truly value and serve their customers.

Today I am one of those customers.  I stand in line, and truthfully, I’m not a happy camper.  I’m one of those irate customers that is not kind to the person trying to help me.  I’m holding a rumpled, filthy garment as I wait impatiently.  This garment represents the circumstances of my life: the challenges, the difficulties, the heart-crushing defeats.  And as I get to the front of the line, I walk up to the counter and lay my garment before the heavenly representative.  And I say, in a not-so-polite voice,

“I’m sorry, sir, but this is NOT the life that I ordered.”

Can you relate?  Did you envision a plan for your life, and it has not turned out the way that you planned?

Are you still waiting on God for a husband?
Did you beloved child die, leaving you crushed with grief?
Did you daughter get involved in the drug scene and now she’s in jail?
Did you best friend betray you?
Are you reeling from a cancer diagnosis?
Are you struggling to stay on top of the bills, even though you work very hard?
Is your marriage on the verge of falling apart ?
Are you a caregiver who is at the end of her rope?

Not what we ordered, right?

I’m an angry customer right now.  The trials that the heavenly CEO has sent my way are beyond what I feel able to endure.  I weep.  I rail against Him.  I pitch a holy hissy fit.  This is certainly #NotMyPlan.   I would like to exchange this heart-crushing circumstance for an easy-peasy blessing instead.  But if I did that, I would be missing out on something that is priceless.  Listen to this:

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance..that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  James 1:2-4

I hate that verse.

I’m not really feeling the joy right now, but I see the truth in it.  I want the easy route.  I would like to exchange the “testing of my faith” for the “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  But it doesn’t work that way.  The testing of my faith is what PRODUCES the endurance, the completion, the maturity. In short, the testing of my faith produces Christlikness in me.  This stinky pain-filled situation in my life is making me like Jesus.  It has a purpose.

As I stand at the heavenly customer service counter, demanding something easier, I look into the eyes of a wise angel who speaks to me with kindness.  He says, “Daughter, these circumstances that you were given ARE hard.  I know that.  But don’t give up, my love, for when you have walked through them and have endured, there is a beautiful clean garment waiting for you on the other side.  When you get there, and you will, you will understand that it was worth it all.”

Girls, I know that we would like to trade in our circumstances for something easier.  We are certain that God must have made a mistake, for this does not feel like love or blessing.  But God, in His wisdom, is holding the plan for our lives and He sees the purpose in what we are walking through.  He sees the end result, the good, the blessing.  And He sees that on the other side of the trial, we are more like Jesus.

We ache and we mourn, but it’s going to be worth it.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the  Lord in the land of the living.  Psalm 27:13

I would love to know what pain you are walking through right now.  Reply to the email, leave me a comment, or message me on Facebook.  I would love to pray for you. 

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12 thoughts on ““I’m sorry, God, but this is not what I ordered!”

  1. Your precious heart reaches me through your words. To our family’s life has set aside as a day of prayer for our Haley and the new medical pro lens she is facing. It is more difficult for me to see her in pain and my daughter,her mom, dealing with the heartache than to deal with my own heart. Icannot advise people on the exact steps to take in these circumstances. I can only share that every loss,heartache,dissapointment,tragedy,grief that I have experienced in my life…I run to Him. I have Survived, held on, weathered the storm Only because He lives. He has heard me cry and rant, seen my tears, and never left me.i don’t know the future…But I know Him,

    • What a beautiful example you are, Barbara, of not giving up. Of being a tenacious bulldog, hanging on to your faith with your teeth! This gives me great hope and will inspire and encourage others. I pray for you, as you own heart is breaking, that God will comfort you and be near to you (Psalm 34:18). Praying for your dear Haley too.

  2. I am going through a dry, dry season. In a few short months, there have been deaths, disappointments, and betrayals. I am feeling alone, overwhelmed, and much less than loved. Please pray I keep faith, as I am getting discouraged.

    • Oh sister, I’m sorry for the pain of your journey. I understand. I wish that I were there to give you a hug, to give you strength, to comfort you, and to love on you. These two verses from Matthew 5 are really helping me right now:

      Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the kingdom of heaven.
      Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

      Jesus knows that we are emotionally fragile, and He pronounces a blessing over our brokenness. Hang on sister – God will heal your heart (Psalm 34:18) and use all of this mess for His good. Sending you love and a hug.

  3. Lisa,

    God is good and I strive to claim Christ’s peace and strength even though I am hurting.

    My family has always been the kind that did vacations, holidays, and every weekend together. We are close knit and this is what my two boys have grown up knowing. This summer has been rough in general, but I thought the spiritual message I received at the ACFW conference was meant to rejuvenate me, not prepare me for more. I came home to discover not only is my brother and his wife divorcing, but also my parents.

    I truly covet your prayers, especially as we struggle to figure out how to tell my kids who have only known a complete and loving family structure. I can honestly say they will still get that from my husband and me (and even my in-laws who live with us) because we are rooted in Christ. I just can’t imagine how this will change everything we knew.

    Thank you for the prayers.

    • Oh Crystal I am so sorry for the pain that you are going through. My heart breaks for you, sister! I am a child of divorce (as is my husband) so I am proof that His power is greater than the brokenness of this earth. I will pray for God to use everything that you are walking through for your good, and for the good of your entire family.

    • Thanks Patricia for your comment…I did not see it until today. It is a struggle to have hope that we will see a change in the “land of the living” but the eternal perspective and hope in heaven anchors us, too. I so long for heaven!

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