It’s officially been a week now since I entered into the world of blogging and it’s honestly even more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I was considering what topics I might cover as the week came to a close and with so many options, I couldn’t decide on just one. I seem to write best when I’m writing on a topic that’s fresh in my mind or burdening my heart, so I decided to pray. I simply prayed that the Lord would show me something that I could write about, whether it be an old lesson that had slipped my mind or a new one that I had yet to learn.
As I woke up Monday morning, my throat felt sore and my body ached. I wondered how I would make it to the after school bible club that I had to teach that afternoon. By late morning I knew I wouldn’t make it, but I was reluctant to dump my teaching responsibilities on my already-busy mother. With a crash course and determination, she was able take over my part of the club and I was able to curl up in a blanket and drift back to sleep. I didn’t sleep long though – within half an hour my mind woke me up again, anxious about having to miss the last club meeting we would have before the kids were off on their summer break. I was frustrated, wondering why I had to miss this week out of all weeks. I was worried, wondering how my mother would do with the jobs that had been loaded on her.
“Wasn’t worry what you wrote your first blog posts about?” My mind questioned me. I was drawn back to reread what I had written last week (i.e. From Worry to Worship – Part 1 & 2). What was I doing worrying about this situation? Didn’t I trust that God had a reason behind all of this?
And so, I learned what I already knew; even once I’ve seemingly exhausted a topic in my mind, I’m never quite done learning it. God continues to teach us throughout our whole lives and, as I stated in From Worry to Worship – Part 2, fighting worry is a constant battle. That’s a quick synopsis of what I learned (or relearned), but now to get to the main point of this post.
Surprised By Prayer –
I always wonder what people are thinking when they pray for patience. Do they think that God will take a magic wand or perhaps just a wave of His finger and grant them the patience they’ve requested? What about the people who pray for contentment? Do they imagine that they will suddenly be blessed with ease in every situation? Or what about those who pray for God to give them something to write about? Do they suppose the lesson will simply pop into their heads (I’m referring to me, by the way)?
God uses our circumstances to teach us the lessons that He wants us to learn. When we pray for patience, we shouldn’t be surprised if we end up in a frustrating situation. A prayer for contentment may very well land us in difficult times and when we pray that God would teach us a lesson, how silly is it that we’re surprised when He does?
We must realize that when we pray for these things, we are opening up our lives for the trials that come with them. However, I am by no means saying that you shouldn’t pray for these.
A Heart Open To Instruction –
Spiritual growth is important in the life of a Christian. We should always be looking for the opportunity to grow closer to our Savior and a lot of that growing is done in the hard times.
“In order to realize the worth of the Anchor, we must feel the stress of the storm.” -Corrie ten Boom
It is not that we shouldn’t pray for patience, contentment or any other thing, but that we should pray for these with the knowledge that we are about to be taught and should be prepared to learn.
God doesn’t inflict hardships on us for His own personal pleasure, but to bring us closer to Him. The closer we are to God, the easier it is to face those trials and the more people will see the difference that God makes in our lives.
It is so simple to get frustrated or discouraged when troubles come, but the troubles are worth so much more if our hearts are opened to the lessons God is teaching us through them. It’s not easy to see the good that comes through tough situations. We can only see where we are at here and now, but once you’re on the other side of it – looking back – things will begin to make sense and you may even find yourself wondering why you were so worried about it in the first place.
So, when you pray for something, know that God will do what He knows is best. Be prepared for Him to answer. Be ready to learn the lessons that He’s going to teach you.