My little family is having a rough time. There are issues going on all over the place. Yesterday I hit a breaking point. I did my best to hold it together at work. I did take my lunch to leave the building, park in my favorite spot and read some scripture prayer cards. The Word always soothes me. Well, except yesterday.
Yesterday God gave me a gift. Yep. He surely did. I was praying, okay, whining about everything that was going on. I tried to stop the whiny train by praying through my Beth Moore Praying God's Word scripture cards. I read the first card and nodded in agreement. I read another and again nodded in agreement. Then I hit the third card in the stack. It was the one for 2 Corinthians 12:9. Ever read that scripture?
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
Yeah. Not quite what I wanted to hear. So I said aloud "Ooooohkay Lord. I was kind of hoping for something a bit more encouraging." I moved on to the next card. Surely it would be a bit more hopeful. Nope. Another "gut punch". It was the card for 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. Let me share those verses with you.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
I don't know about you but that does not elicit the warm, fuzzy soothing feeling I was looking for. it felt more like "Suck it up girl! This is good training!" Um, yeah, but I really did not want to hear that right then. I wanted comfort. Apparently, it wasn't going to happen.
The final "whack"? The next card of course. Ready??
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance... Romans 5:3
Wow! I sat there and thought about what had just happened. Wow!
And then I laughed. That's just like God. When we are seeking what we think we need, He gives us what we really need. I was seeking comfort. He provided direction. That was His gift to me; divine direction. It was a gut check. Quit focusing on the circumstances and focus on the One who could either change or get you through them.
That's a lot harder to do when you're in the midst of a bunch of messes and raging fires. But do it I must. After all, God was pretty clear. Besides, I don't think my gut can handle anymore "attention".
And yes, I still love God, even if sometimes He gives me exactly the opposite of what I ask for :) In fact I love Him because He's willing to smile at my request and do the God thing instead. Sometimes I need that. Even when I'd prefer something else. Keeps me humble and teachable.
Has God ever given you the opposite of what you felt you really needed? Feel free to share!
As always, be blessed!!