Saturday, April 25, 2015

What if it’s an answer to prayer? {a repost}


There are a lot of awfully hard things that happen in life – sickness, death of a loved one, natural disasters – that we won’t ever understand the reasons behind while we’re on earth. 

Then there are the tough circumstances that come because of our own or someone else’s selfishness, rebellion or stupidity.  While they’re not any easier, we can at least find a reason.  Admitting when it’s my own fault is another matter.

But I’ve been thinking about another reason for experiencing difficult stuff.  What if it’s because I asked God to help me get to know Him better?  To be less proud and more humble?  To look a lot more like Christ?  What if God allowed some painful things because He is using them to do exactly what I asked Him to do?

If that idea makes you cringe just a little, it does for me too.  I know that His way of getting something done in me is quite different than what I would choose… give me a minimum of discomfort, only minor pain or inconvenience and don’t touch those tender areas where I may get my feelings hurt or my pride wounded.

If I’m honest, I have been afraid to pray for God to shape me (He might ask me to go to Africa!).  But in the last few years, I’ve started to want some changes in me more than I want to stay comfortably messed up.  And that has only happened because I asked God to please change what I want – to give me His desires for me. 

A while ago I experienced a completely uncomfortable confrontation by someone.  My feelings were hurt.  My pride was wounded.  I wanted to defend myself and had a thought or two about a few things that bothered me about them

The thing is, they were right.  It was done in love.  And suddenly it occurred to me that God was answering a prayer I’d prayed in earnest:  Expose my pride and help me deal with it.  Become greater in me so I will become less.  Help me see my own sin and be quick to admit it.  Rule over my emotions so they don’t rule me.

I am so thankful that God is faithfully answering those prayers.  None of those things will happen without some pretty significant discomfort because my old flesh will fight to the death to be in control.  To the death!  That’s exactly what needs to happen.

It’s causing me to look at hard things a bit differently. 

Sometimes (not always) they are a gift – a loving answer to a hesitant, timid prayer for change. 

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