Do you ever have those prayers that you're sorta scared to voice because you know that if God takes you up on the offer it might hurt a little?
For example, I hate praying, "Lord help me to trust you." You know that no sooner than you say "amen" the world will cave in. Ha!
It's true. I hate praying for patience because I know that soon after, Eli will test my sanity with the fit of all fits, or the driver in front of me will sit through a green light, or the waitress will forget my meal. You get the point.
The thing is, we have to pray those scary prayers because otherwise we become stagnant in our growth. Maturing in Christ simply can not stop, so we humbly admit there is an area that needs God's attention. Then we step back and wait in faith for him to scrub out the stains. Waiting "in faith" is the hardest part because we have to trust God that the temporary growing pains we feel are for his glory.
Oh, and there are growing pains. They are a part of life; Eli has them in his legs right now, and I experienced them as a new mom. Now I know they are essential to spiritual maturity as well. That's where faith comes in, and yet those prayers are still a little scary if we're being honest.
Well, I've been really burdened about my view of money. I want to see it as the Lord's because, well, it is. I also tend to worry about finances and making ends meet, and the future, and pretty much everything. It's then that the Lord gently reminds me that he is Jehovah Jireh- my provider. I struggled with conviction for a few weeks over my warped perspective of money and my lack of faith in the Lord's provision. I even did a few Bible studies on the subject.
Finally, I took that leap of faith and prayed that humbling and scary prayer. "Lord, I need you to teach me to be a good steward of all you have entrusted to me, and to trust you to provide for me according to your riches and glory."
Then I stepped back and let God work in me. Wow! That's about all I can say.
Ya'll, we've had a week of drama in the Watson home. Eric's breaks went out on Monday, and mine decided it would be a good idea to go out last night, lovely! There was also a billing mix up with Insight and we now our double our normal fee! Oh yeah, our electric bill was randomly more than usual, gas jumped back up to $3.89 a gallon, and we've had a few unexpected personal and medical expenses. All since Monday.
By the grace of God alone, we have a savings account... but all the "cha chings" are taking a toll on it pretty quickly. And yet in the midst of all this I find an unexplainable sense of peace. Am I stressed? Yes! Am I still blessed? Beyond measure.
I asked God to take control of my view of finances. I asked him to strip me self and to teach me to depend on him. Well, he took me up on that offer. Am I still nervous? You can bet your life on it. But as the Lord continues to refine me, the peace that passes all understanding continues to reign through the doubt and fear.
My grandmother always told me this story: In the Bible we are reminded that God is the Potter and we are the Clay. We've all heard the analogy that he has to mold us and make us into his creation. But do you know what happens to the clay after it's sculpted? It has to be put into a fire to be refined. The problem is, fire alone doesn't mean the clay is done. When the potters hits the clay, it must "sing" like crystal before it's ready to come out of the fire.
God is the potter and you and I are the clay. Once we're a molded, God isn't done with us. He has to put us into the fire of adversity to refine us. We can't come out of that fire until we can come out singing. I don't know about you, but I want out as soon as possible!!
So, I have a choice. I can either remain stagnant in my faith for fear of growing pains during the maturing process, or I can trust the God who has never left me nor forsaken me. And in the midst of those pains and the fire of adversity, I have one more choice to make. I can either face it with contempt and fear, or I can learn to sing.
I am choosing the latter. I am choosing to realize that two sets of breaks in one week is nothing more than a minor inconvience. I am choosing to trust the God who tells me that he takes care of the flowers in the fields and the birds in the sky, so he'll take care of me.
I'm choosing to sing. In moments it songs like "I Need Thee Every Hour," and in other moments it's songs like "What A Mighty God We Serve."
Because we do serve a faithful and mighty God. I don't know what you're facing today or what prayer you're afraid to pray, but I challenge you to take a leap of faith. No matter what growing pains you may face, it's worth coming to know our Savior in a more intimate way.
I'm so glad we serve a mighty God!!!