Friday, May 9, 2014

a little encouragement

Psalm 37:4~5

"Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this."

The first part of the verses above can so be taken the wrong way.  I think many people do take it that way, in fact.  I have many people ask me to pray for them, and some of them tell me what to pray when I do so.  Call me rebellious, or whatever, but I don't ever pray the way they ask.  I pray, instead, for God's will to be done.  And that whatever His will is~whether it's what they want or not~that He will give them eyes to see and ears to hear.

If you're wondering what that means, "praying God's will be done", I'll explain with an example.  Let's say that someone is going on a job interview, and that person feels that this job is the very thing they've been waiting for their whole life.  They might ask me to pray that they get the job.  I don't pray that.  I pray that if this job is what God has in store for them, if it's THE job He wants them to have, that they will get it.  Then I ask that if this is NOT what God wants for them, that a better opportunity will come along and that the person will leave with peace in their heart.

To me, that is what praying God's will means.  I'm not saying I've never asked for someone to pray specifically.  I have, many times, but I've been convicted of those times.  Or I've had someone say to me, "I will pray, Lord willing, that your outcome will be this."  I don't know if I had ever thought about the way I pray, until a friend said that to me.  I'm thankful she did, because it was eye opening.  Maybe praying this way comes with maturity, and maybe I've only just now "arrived".  ;)

The thing that I want you to know is that God is not like a genie in a lamp.  You don't pray this verse like He will grant whatever your heart desires.  He will not do that.  Well, He may, but He may not.  But when you have your eyes fixed on Him, what you pray changes.  The desires of your heart change.  You truly want those things that you know He wants for you, things like spiritual growth for you or for your kids, or for Him to equip you with what you need to make it through a day.  (Talking to moms here.)  The more you grow in Him, the more of what you want changes.

Did that make sense?  That last sentence seemed weird, but you get what I'm talking about.

I love the second part of the above verses.  "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this."  To commit your way to the LORD means to surrender to Him.  It means acknowledging that you are not in control of your life.  God is in control.  He knows how many days we will live, and He knows what is best for us.  Even if we think we know it all~let me assure you, we don't.

But the most important of the passage is the very last part: "Trust in Him and He will do this."  Trust Him.  Whoever said that living a Christian life was boring was not living the way He meant for us to live.  It's scary living this way~God knows that I love to be "comfy".  I love my little home, in my little town.  I love my little family.  I love that I am comfortable right now.  There is nothing quite like being ripped out of your comfort zone.  We experienced this four years ago, when we went to Iceland.  Sure, I was excited about my first mission trip, but I was petrified!  At the same time we were making plans to leave, the volcano near where we would be staying was erupting.  It never stopped erupting and ultimately it ended up changing the entire course of our trip.

I didn't like any of that process, all of the not knowing what we would be doing.  Do you know how it feels to be going across the world, and leaving your kids in the care of someone else, not being able to give them an itinerary of your trip?  It's scary!  At least for us control-freak people it is.  But I learned on that trip, what it meant to fully surrender to God.  To let go of all my struggles and insecurities and allow Him to work through me.  And you know what?  My life was changed because of it.

My encouragement to you is this~don't give up on your prayers.  Whatever you are praying may or may not be what the Lord has in store for you.  But ask Him to show you what is best, and be open to maybe changing the way you pray.  He has it all in His hands, anyway, and He knows what is going to happen, so why not just trust Him?  It's so much more stress-free, living this way.  It's not easy, but it does no good to be fearful of what may come.

I hope you're encouraged today, and hopefully, all this is for someone who needed to hear it.  Thanks for reading.  Love to all.

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