Why would people who should support me ignore this exciting moment in my life?
I racked my brain for something I had done wrong…for anything I could have done differently. I waited, thinking surely something would change. Something…anything, really…would at least be said.
But it didn’t. It hasn’t. I may never have answers why. And after some time praying and wrestling through it, I’m finally at peace…even without the answer I thought I needed.
In the middle of one of my tearful prayer sessions, desperately seeking to know the answer to the question, “Why, God? Why is it like this?” He chose to answer a different question, which gave me the answer I really needed:
“Why are you looking for their approval, Michelle? Why do you need their validation? Doesn’t My Word remind you this world is not your home (Hebrews 13:14)? That the fear of man is a snare (Proverbs 29:25)? And that only I can truly satisfy your soul (John 4:14)?
Knowing the why probably wouldn’t have benefitted me. What I needed was the reminder of the Who.
Him. My God alone.
Our approval rating doesn’t come from this world. And no matter how hard we look or how much energy we choose to expel, we’ll never find satisfaction here.
Because even people – good people – will let us down. We all struggle against our flesh that despite our best intentions, can rare its head in ugly forms – like envy, greed, selfishness, pride…
But none of those traits exist inside our awesome God.
He is the Giver of all good things. He is the Empowerment to do anything worthy of praise. He is our true Home. He is the Source of our identity.
No matter what our question is, God is our answer.
It never fails that each week, this is the top piece of advice I end up giving more than any other words:
Shorten your approval list.
Paul wrote “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).
I’m a visual learner, so I’ll try to explain it this way: Our approval list should be more vertical [toward God] than horizontal [toward others].
Here’s more good news: When we aim to please God, we’ll inevitably find favor among those also seeking to please God alone. These relationships are definitely smaller in number, but oh, they are so enriching to my life. When I stop to think about the gift those rare souls are to my life, I want to smack myself for worrying with needing “more” from anyone else.
God alone is enough. And in His infinite goodness, He graciously supplies His children with the gift of one another – to strengthen and encourage, to build up and edify, to sharpen and focus.
So the next time we find ourselves facing disappointment and wondering why, let’s focus on the WHO, and link arms with the few.
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)