True Confessions of a Promise-Breaker

Welcome to Friday’s post!  If you’re doing the Online Bible Study with us and you haven’t posted yet for this week, I hope you’ll take the time to click over and share your thoughts about Chapters 7 & 8.  Week 5 starts on Monday!

True Confessions of a Promise-Breaker

“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
Numbers 23:19

Hi.  My name is Heather.  And I broke a promise to my daughter.

Let me explain.  For several years, we have taken our daughters to the performance that concludes our community’s summer children’s theater camp.  The costumes are amazing, the songs so cute they get stuck in your head for years to come (and years and years), and the scripts are funny.  Every year as we left the show, my girls quizzed me on how many years, months, days it would be before they were old enough for theater camp.

We’ve been on a 3-year-long countdown.

This year, we excitedly dropped off my oldest daughter, finally the right age for theater camp.  But my middle girl was sad.  She was still one year away from being old enough, so her countdown continued.  “When is it my turn?,” she whined to me as we left her big sister behind on that very first day.  “Next year,” I promised.

Only I found out there wouldn’t be a next year.  The leaders were stepping down and no one else agreed to take their place.  No leaders.  No theater camp.  The decision had already been made.

Now, normally I pad my promises to my kids to protect them and me from uncontrollable circumstances that could turn me into a liar.  I say a lot of, “If everything goes well . . . We’ll see . . . Maybe . . . I’ll try my best . . . Perhaps this or that . . . If the weather . . .”

But I hadn’t done that this time.  And so I had to answer the hurt accusations of a five-year-old girl, “But you promised . . . ”

We can promise and assure others, give our word and sign our name on the dotted line, but sometimes the unexpected waves of life crash down over our well-intended plans.  The rubble of hurt is all that remains.

But God.

Don’t you just love that in the midst of human inability and limitation we can say, “But God”?

Because even the best of us can’t stay true to our word sometimes, but God always keeps His promises.

There are no unforeseen events or circumstances beyond His control that change His mind or prevent His faithfulness. It is a basic tenet of His character.  The Psalmist wrote: “The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does” (Psalm 145:13).

There are times, maybe for you also, that I lift up my hurt face to my Heavenly Father and cry to Him, “But you promised  . . . ”

To be with me always, but I feel alone.

To provide for my needs, but I see no provision.

To take care of me, but as much as I cry out for help, my circumstances remain unchanged.

To be near me, to answer me when I call, to strengthen my feet as a deer, to turn my mourning into dancing . . .

You promised.

But it is then we must wait. “Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).  Not twiddle our thumbs in boredom waiting, but active waiting, prayerful waiting, do what we need to do in the meantime waiting, keeping watch waiting, pouring His Word into us more and more until our dry and cracked spirit is saturated with His promises to us waiting

We pray His word back to Him, trusting that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” and His character displayed time and again in the Bible remains constant and consistent here and now in the middle of my life.

We wait.  And He, ever faithful and true, does what He said He will do.

For more promises from Scripture, check out this beautiful site:

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

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