Am I a “Pollyanna,” Abba… as some have accused me of being?
“Pollyanna: An excessively or blindly optimistic person. Someone who is unreasonably or illogically optimistic.” (Dictionary.com)
Some might say, “Yep! That’s Diana to the core!” But I would argue otherwise. More importantly… so would You, Abba! Because I am what I am because of You!
Like this morning, in our sweet time together just before dawn. That time when the world sees only darkness but, by Your Spirit, Your children see Light. You had me “camped out” in the Psalms and I read these claims that would sound “pollyannish” to many:
“I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from ALL [not just some of] my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are NEVER covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; He saved him out of ALL [not just some of] his troubles… The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from ALL [not just some of] their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them ALL…” (Psalm 34:4-6,17-19)
Really, Lord? What about ALL those times when we cry out to You and it seems like our prayers stop at the ceiling? When we wonder if You are really there and really listening? When we question whether we just haven’t yet learned to pray “right” or often enough or with enough “faith”? When we conclude our troubles must be just one more punishment we deserve? Or when we wonder “Why us?” because we can’t imagine anything we did that would deserve such treatment? Or when it is none of the above… but things are so bad, we don’t see how we can make it one more day?
But here’s the thing. I have been in each of those places… more than once. You were, too… weren’t You, Lord? Even when I didn’t know it. Wherever and whenever I was searching, suffering, staggering, suffocating… there You were, too. Even when I didn’t believe it. And there came a moment — an unreasonable, illogical, impossible moment — when the Hope that comes from You alone penetrated the darkness and helped me take the next step… even just the next breath. And then, in time, one breath and one step became many… and my awareness of You, my understanding of You, my trust in You — my faith in You — grew. And so did my JOY… and so much more!
JOY… even in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. PEACE that defies circumstances that would otherwise elicit terror. The ability to LOVE an Enemy, just as You have loved me, Lord — me, who was once Your Enemy. PATIENCE that… well, we’re still working on that one, right Lord? 🙂 That one… and so many more.
All of this is to say I cannot, by definition, be a “Pollyanna”!!! My optimism is not blind. I have seen, with my own eyes, how You can (and do) enter the most impossible of circumstances and radically transform them — turning mourning into DANCING, desolation into HOPE, death into LIFE (both literally and spiritually)!!! How could I ever be “excessively” optimistic in the face of such miracles??? I “get” that my optimism may seem “unreasonable” and “illogical” in the world’s way of thinking. But since when are You bound by the limits of our human minds?
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon. ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than Your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.'” (Isaiah 55:6-9)
So, try as I might, I cannot fully “explain” You… and I will be eternally grateful for that Truth! Yet, as long as You give me breath, Lord, I will testify that You are a Good and Gracious God Who, though we deserve nothing, longs to give us Everything!!! You are a Real and Personal God Who loves us “unreasonably” and “illogically” and who pursues an intimate friendship with each of us because of Your passionate love!!! You are a Powerful and Life-altering God, Who relentlessly encounters us in the biggest and smallest moments of life, seeking to show Yourself to us in ways that are unmistakable and irresistible!!!
Oh, Lord: If anything, give me MORE of what the world may call “pollyannish”!!! More encounters with You that cannot be explained away by the world’s brand of Logic and Reason!!! True God-encounters from which deep, abiding JOY and PEACE and LOVE are the most logical and reasonable outgrowths… even when the troubles or challenges remain!!!
I’m not asking for an absence of difficulties, Lord, or for the “magic pills” or “quick fixes” that are so sought after in our culture. What I want (and truly need) is more of You, Lord — more awareness or You, more understanding of You, more intimacy with You, more trust in You, more faith in You, more surrender to You… so I can be all You have ordained me to be since before the beginning of time…
Your Daughter. Your Ambassador. Your Princess Warrior. Your Very Own.
Isn’t this the prayer of every heart You have already “won,” Lord? Isn’t this the unspoken prayer of every heart You have yet to win?
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1b)
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses… to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
“Therefore go and make disciples… surely I am with you always… ” (Matthew 28:18)