I Asked The Lord

Sometimes, church hits you in the face in a good way. This Sunday was one of those days for me. I was introduced to a hymn that could have been written by me [you know, if I was the poet/hymn writer type]. Fellow sufferers may relate. The hymn is "I Asked the Lord That I Might Grow," by John Newton. Here are the words:
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face. 
’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair. 
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest. 
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part. 
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low. 
Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith. 
These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.” 
In his sermon, the pastor talked about being angry with God. I have felt hurt and frustrated by God, but had never realized that I might be a little angry at Him, too. After all, I know He is good, I know His plan is better than mine, so why would I be angry?

One part of the song hit the nail on the head:
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds,* and laid me low.
There's the reason for my anger. I had a plan. God ruined it. He ripped it up, stomped on it, and carried out His instead. How rude!

As a planner, I like to know where to go, what to bring, and exactly what is going to happen. My plan was as follows:

  • Get married: check
  • Set an example to other couples of the right way to do birth control (FAM) by naturally preventing pregnancy during law school: check
  • Get pregnant as soon as law school ended, which would be easy after three years of charting: negatory
  • Have four biological children, then adopt three: about that...
It was a good plan, or so I thought. Now, I see some pride and control issues. Either way, God messed with my plan, and I think it really has made me angry. But, I don't want to stay there. May the mission be accomplished in my soul:
These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.
Through infertility and extended childlessness, may the Lord free me from pride and selfishness until I find my all in Him. It's scary to pray that, but I want it to be true. Will you join me?

*"Blasted my gourds" likely refers to Jonah 4:7, in which God sends a worm to chew the plant Jonah had trusted for shelter.


- This version of the song can be downloaded here:  I Asked The Lord [Emily Deloach]

AmateurNester
This post is linked with Amateur Nester's Infertility Link Up, Titus 2sdays, and Monday Musings.