August 18th, 2021, was one of the most challenging days I’ve ever experienced.
I felt like an all-around failure.
Despite how hard I prayed for God to make it happen, my dream got destroyed.
Honestly, my mistake was not praying correctly. I wasn’t praying for God’s will to be done but was merely asking God to make my desire happen.
When I did pray for Him to gain the glory in my participation, it was occasionally.
And that led to–wait. I’m jumping too far ahead. You have no idea what I’m talking about, huh?
Well, friend, sit back and let me start from the beginning.
The National Bible Bee Summer Study
March 16th, 2021 was the day I had been looking forward to since the end of 2020. It was the day I’d finally get to register for the National Bible Bee Summer Study!
As soon as I finished breakfast, I quickly got on my laptop to sign up; I didn’t even check my school email.
I was so satisfied when the screen said, “order confirmed.” The box with my Discovery Journal, along with other things, would be coming in late May or early June, and I couldn’t wait!
From June to early August, I studied Acts 1-11, Greek words, cross-references, and much more to learn about being a witness.
Although there were many hard days, it was fruitful to share this journey with a study partner. Every week over Zoom, my study partner and I would meet to drill, discuss what we learned, and encourage one another. We both desired to qualify for the national competition, so we pushed each other when the going got tough.
When I wasn’t meeting with my partner, I went through Quizlet sets during the day and underlined my Bible like crazy at night. Even though my perfectionism was off the charts, I continued pressing forward because of God’s little nudges.
It seemed that He wanted me to learn something, and boy did I ever!
The Real Trial Starts
Now, let’s go back to August 18th, the day I’d find out if I qualified for nationals.
After my family and I did our daily Bible reading, I quickly logged onto the Bible Bee dashboard at 6:15 P.M. and glanced at where my rank was displayed.
“Aw man, I got 167th? Last year I was 157th. What gives?” I thought to myself.
I came back to the living room and told my family, who immediately embraced me with hugs. I wasn’t as upset as I was last year because I had a feeling I wouldn’t qualify.
However, just as I became comfortable with the idea of not qualifying, something shook my world in less than 5 minutes.
I logged onto the National Bible Bee Social Community and saw that my study partner had messaged asking if I qualified. I told her “No” and then asked her the same question.
When she replied that she had qualified, I cried like a baby.
She got what I wanted, and I was confused about why God allowed that to happen.
It just didn’t make sense. I felt lost and confused.
What God Showed Me Later
For a couple of weeks, I wandered around with a weight of disappointment. I kept how I truly felt a secret because I didn’t want to burden anyone with my emotions, which made the emotional weight heavier.
But you’ll never guess what two things God showed me that lifted the burden little by little…
1. What I want might not glorify God.
Like I said in the beginning, I was praying for what I wanted, but I hardly asked for God’s will to be done.
My study partner later told me numerous times that my not qualifying is glorifying to Him. God didn’t allow me to make it to nationals because He had something else in store (like investing more time in my blogging ministry and even writing this post for theReb).
Jeremiah 29:11 says that His plans will prosper us and not harm us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Even though I couldn’t see how God was working at first, He was working all along but waited for the right time to show me.
He knows what He is doing with everything He allows to happen in our lives and when it happens. Therefore, we must trust Him with all our heart (Proverbs 3:5) and remember that He is good and will always do good (Psalm 119:68).
2. When God says “No,” He has something else in store.
I’ve been blogging for almost three years, and right now, the Lord has shown me other ways to encourage young ladies on another level.
Recently, through my blog, I’ve been able to share my story about this past summer and encourage my readers to press on in faith and trust God.
If I qualified for Bible Bee, I wouldn’t have time to get more involved with my little ministry!
At first, I was upset with God for not allowing me to qualify, but now, I understand in a deeper way. As I waited upon Him, He showed me His different plans.When a longing goes unfulfilled, seek God instead of being angry with Him. When the Lord answers in a different way, learn the hard discipline of praising Him. Click To Tweet
When someone gets what you want, don’t envy them.
When a longing goes unfulfilled, seek God instead of being angry with Him.
When the Lord answers in a different way, learn the hard discipline of praising Him.
None of us have any idea what God’s plans are, but we can trust that His ways are always perfect.