In the midst of the storms of life it is important to remember why you are there. Your placement is not random, your reason is not unknown..you are there in that hard moment because that is where you were placed by a loving God who wants only the best for you. We often look around in the midst of the storm raging around us and question, “Why?” Why does it have to be so hard? Why can’t I catch a break? Why can’t this struggle be over already? Usually the answers to those “why” questions don’t come in the moments we are wanting them to come. Usually they come years later when the storm is past and the struggle is over..if the answer comes at all. We can’t see the big picture. We don’t have the larger vision. That is why in the midst of that storm raging it becomes all the more imperative that we trust and rely on the God of all, who does see the big picture, and trust that He is working this hard part of our life for our greater good.
It has been said, “Be careful what you wish for..you just might get it!” I could take that one step further and say,”Be careful what you pray for..God just might answer.” And His answer doesn’t always come in the form you would expect. I pray often for humility. I long to set down my sins of control and pride. I want to be able to honestly pray, “Thy will be done” and mean it. (Not “Thy will be done if it matches my plan!) I want to care more about the opinion of my Heavenly Father than the opinion of others. I desire to be more patient. I long to set aside my own agenda and plans and follow His path for me. This is a battle I fight daily. My intentions are good but I find myself failing time and time again..so I pray. I pray for humility…and God answers.
C.R. Findley once said:
“Answers to prayers often come in unexpected ways. We pray, for instance, for a certain virtue; but God seldom delivers Christian virtues all wrapped up in a package ready to use. Rather He puts us in situations where by His help we can develop those virtues. Henry Ward Beecher told of a woman who prayed for patience, and God sent her a poor cook. The best answers to prayer may be the vision and strength to meet a circumstance or assume a responsibility.”
My loving God has answered my prayers time and time again. I prayed for patience and humility and God has sent me Tyler. Tyler has taught our family so much. He is a blessing but that doesn’t mean he is always easy. I prayed for humility and I got it! Yesterday was a tough day. He tested..he pushed..he fought..the storm raged at our house. In the midst of the storm I prayed and I asked the question, “Why?”
Why now, God, after so many good days? Why today when we are nearing the end of school and there is so much to be done? Why this battle when I thought we had resolved this issue? Why..why..why?
The answer: because that is how God answers those pleas of my heart. I long to do better. I desire to be more Christlike. So He honors those desires and gives me opportunities to learn those virtues that I desire.
I pray for patience and He gives me opportunities to learn it as I explain to a little boy once more why we don’t color on ourselves or others with Sharpies.
I pray for humility and am given the chance to learn it as I carry a little boy who is screaming, “I hate you, Momma! You’re the worst mom in the whole world!” as I walk out of a crowded store with people watching and wondering.
I pray for the ability to let go of my agenda and plans and be open to what God has planned for my day and He gives me a rebellious little boy who must be carried out to the fencepost for the 8th time and it is only noon. Hours I had planned for school and chores are now being used to teach another type of lesson…perhaps the more valuable lesson.
I pray for gentleness and a sweet spirit and am tested as I try to love this broken little boy in the same way Christ would love him when all I really want to do is turn the hose on him.
I pray for self-control and learn that lesson as things of worldly value are broken and destroyed and I try not to lose my temper. I am reminded that trust and a fragile spirit crushed by words of anger are much harder to repair than a broken plate.
I pray for the attributes of a good mother and wife and I learn them, not on those easy days, but in the midst of the storms.
It is in those dark hours when I ask “Why” that I learn the most profound lessons. I learn humility when I call out for God’s help because I can’t do it anymore. When I am at the end of myself, when I have no more talents to pull from, when there are no more tricks up my sleeves, when there is nothing left to give.. I am humbled. I know that I am nothing, that I have nothing, that I can do nothing without God’s grace and then when I am broken and raw He reveals himself in the most glorious of ways and I see the truth: With Him all things are possible!
“Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.”