“I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
It was the middle of the night and I lay on my bed in pain. My stomach hurt, my ears were ringing, I ached all over. I had just tried getting up for a drink of water and realized after a few feeble steps that I couldn't make it out to the kitchen and then barely made it back into bed...
Away from home and missing my family, I felt like everything was a mistake. I wanted so, so badly to go to church the next morning with this family. But for all logical reasons it looked impossible that it would happen.
I started praying hard. Pleading. Searching my heart.
There are times in life that leave us confused and frustrated, I'm sure most of you can relate to this. Times when desires that are very good, meet reality... and they don't match up very well. There, in the physical pain and dark, the Lord shined a light on an area in my life that needed change: Ungratefulness.
I need to thank Him for the sanctification tools in my life that I so desperately want to escape. These sanctification tools hurt!
Much to my surprise and delight, I was well enough to be up and running in the morning. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense how that all worked, but I was awed at the Lord's graciousness to me.
And then during church that morning we sang What a Friend We Have in Jesus...
With the night before fresh on my mind, this song took on a whole new meaning to me. Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus!! :
- What a friend we have in Jesus,All our sins and griefs to bear!What a privilege to carryEverything to God in prayer!Oh, what peace we often forfeit,Oh, what needless pain we bear,All because we do not carryEverything to God in prayer!
- Have we trials and temptations?Is there trouble anywhere?We should never be discouraged—Take it to the Lord in prayer.Can we find a friend so faithful,Who will all our sorrows share?Jesus knows our every weakness;Take it to the Lord in prayer.
- Are we weak and heavy-laden,Cumbered with a load of care?Precious Savior, still our refuge—Take it to the Lord in prayer.Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?Take it to the Lord in prayer!In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,Thou wilt find a solace there.
Enter: my second lesson: prayer.
In the sermon that Sunday the Pastor went through the book of Habakkuk... pointing out that when we go to Scripture and read the prayers contained in it, we find that it is okay and very good to tell the Lord all of the things on our hearts that frustrate us and don't make sense. He won't condemn us.
We have a Friend we can tell all of our troubles, strivings and desires to.
And He will graciously give us what is best. He will act when the timing is right. Though the Lord may not give us the outcome we ask for, He will surely give us what we need: Jesus.
So in the meantime I can be thankful for the storm! Knowing that my Friend is with me, the pelting rain is washing me and sanctifying me and I can rejoice in this storm! And I also can strive after God's calling in my life while I prayerfully and dependently call and wait on the One who knows the last word of the last chapter of my life.
God is good!
"Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
If you would like to watch the sermon I referred to in this post you can click here for a video of it: A Conversation with God
And I also wanted to share another excellent sermon on prayer by Jason Meyer that I recently listened to: Look to the God Who Gives