Saturday, March 10, 2012

Turn around!


Walking With the Lord is a weekly pause we take here at Ruby in the Rough to focus on the things of the Lord. Sometimes it will be a devotional, sometimes a lesson from our church that stood out as being particularly applicable. 


I woke up that morning my mind a whirl of worries. I've noticed in life that things come in sets. It isn't just that a lot of different things happen all at once ("when it rains it pours"). Often, those "different" things, though unrelated, aren't really all that different.

That's what it felt like that morning. Three different situations, three different loved ones, and all dealing with the same problems. Or about to be dealing with the same problems.

Don't you hate it when you can see a danger other people can't see? And you know it's bad, but you can't do anything about it? And the person who CAN do something about it is completely oblivious, despite warning signs? And you feel like that road sign, "turn around, don't drown!" and wonder, if signs had feelings, if they wouldn't be hopping up and down desperately trying to flag down people who are driving by and ignoring rain and the warning?



So I got up and did what I often do when I'm upset--I write. If I can put something down on paper, then it becomes smaller, something that can be handled. It's like wrestling that monster (my worries and fears) out of the closet (my mind). John Piper once wrote,
I know not how the light is shed
Nor understand this lens,
I only know that there are eyes
in pencils and in pens 
 I started writing, and, as usual, it was easier to identify the problem when it was bound to paper, than when it was free in my thoughts. After describing the situations, I continued:
I can't see how a situation like this can be usable by God.

I guess that's what this boils down to, then. I can't believe that God can work in this. I'm not trusting God. I'm upset because I'm believing that [this single human error is] bad enough to outweigh the ability of God to work all things together according to His will.
There. That is a monster that can be dealt with.

I can trust God with myself, with the major events in my life. I can trust him with the day-to-day happenings in my life. But I was struggling to believe He could handle the problems in the lives of loved ones with the same wisdom.

Philippians 4:6
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
I can take my fears to God, and leave them with Him. He's big enough to handle not just my problems, but also problems of my loved ones and, in fact, the entire world.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal
My brothers and sisters in Christ may go through hard times, but I can be confident that any trial that they (or I) go through will be minor compared to the "weight of glory" that it will work. In fact:
James 1:2-4
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
The trials and pain do in their nature force us to rely on God, as our faith is deepened, our endurance increased. Ultimately, though the process is uncomfortable, we become more Christlike and whole through the difficulties than we could ever hope to become without them.

If God allowed me to love the way I instinctively love, I would stunt the growth of every one I cared about. I would wrestle away the hurts, trials and pain in their life, at the expense of their own spiritual growth. They might be protected, but they would never be strong or whole.

Thank God that I'm not god!!

What about you? Do you ever struggle to trust the Lord when it 
comes to the lives of loved ones? How about your own life? 
Is it easier to trust the Lord with yourself, or with your family?

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