The last couple of years I have struggled physically and, at times, emotionally. I am currently on disability, and I’ll tell you what, I am not proud of it, nor do I cherish it. It is simply the reality I am living. Like the Borg, I have learned to adapt (you have to be a Star Trek fan, to understand that. Use Google. lol).
But don’t look at me funny. Has your Father ever hurt your feelings? We need to mature to the point where, like Paul, we can say, “I know how to get along and live humbly in trying times, and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing life, whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. I can do all things which He has called me to do through Him who strengthens and empowers me to fulfill His purpose — I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace” (Philippians 4:12-13).
Was Paul confused about the power of our Messiah? Should he have said, “In every situation and circumstance I am victorious and always win?” Hmm, unlikely. Many years ago, I read what Paul wrote and said, I can learn to live that way! I can grow close enough to my Lord that “stuff” will just roll off my back! But even still, I freely admit that there are still times when I feel it is a tough pill to swallow.
Now be honest. Can we be content in any and every situation? Can you? The past few years, I have seen an Endocrinologist, a Neurologist, a cardiologist, a Hematologist, an Orthopedic Surgeon, and even a Rheumatologist. Indeed. It sometime amazes me how large my stable of specialists and doctors has grown. Wow!
As I said, this has been a tough pill to swallow. I mean, I spent several years teaching and preaching how my God is all powerful. I have seen Him work marvelous acts of Grace in the lives of many believers. I have seen quite miraculous healings: emotional, physical and spiritual. Now, I know in the grand scheme of life, people face much more challenging situations. But this is my life, and obviously, it is much more personal.
As I said, I am not bragging or anything, but during all this, I have never once been tempted to wallow in the “why” questions and tell my Father that He was being unfair. I never asked him why it has happened. I never begged, pleaded and stomped my feet demanding that He end the suffering. I never wondered why He hadn’t answered my prayers or the prayers of my church family (and we have some mighty prayer “warriors,” in our church!) In fact; I have never even been tempted to blame Him for any of this. He is a God of Righteousness, and I fully accept that.
Again, I am not bragging; I am just explaining where I have been? But be honest, have you ever had a big situation in your life where you just couldn’t process why God would allow such a thing to happen? Look, we could be talking about one of your kids who is having behavioral issues that seem crazy, complicated, and yes, say it: overwhelming. Or maybe a child is having issues with addictions or legal problems. Maybe you are married, and your spouse has become distant or possibly involved in an adulterous relationship (don’t call it an affair. That minimizes the sin. Be honest). Maybe you are single (and have been for many years), and it becomes almost unbearable at times. Especially when you see others celebrating their marriage (as they should. Don’t begrudge them that privilege. Rejoice with them for being able to have such a relationship). But, that will not remove your pain.
Just admit that it is tempting to wallow in the “why.” It is not a sign of weakness or a lack of faith. It is the truth. The reality of what you are living. Asking why is perfectly normal. Nor is asking why unspiritual. However, and this is important, when you ask your “why,” does it push you further away from your Father? Or, as it should, draw you closer to Him? If it is pushing you away, you are asking the wrong question.
If it doesn’t offer hope, you are barking up the wrong tree. You see, as Paul wrote to the church in Phillipa, “. . . keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable” (Philippians 4:8).
Great recommendation. One writer sees this verse as: “Directions on Where to Park My Mind.” That, my friends, is what we need to do in every situation and circumstance in our lives. Quit wallowing in why something happened, but rather say: “This is my reality. Now, what am I going to do with it? What can I learn from this? What opportunities is the Lord providing? How can this draw me closer to Him?
Switching from why to what it will pave the road to parking our minds in a better spot. Is this easy? Absolutely not! But I’ll tell you what, it is certainly a better way to find peace and joy in our current situations. It will help you accept the things you don’t understand and don’t like.
What I am saying is that even if our circumstances aren’t good, we can still trust our Father’s work in our lives.
Father, I will be honest, sometimes I just don’t understand. But that’s okay. Allow your Spirit to help me learn to process everything I face through the filter of Your love. I mean, I know You love me. There are no fears and doubts about that. But sometimes by golly, Father, it is hard to understand the things that occur in my life. Sometimes, I am always trying to figure things out instead of looking for Your perspective and trusting You. Thank You for this new way to look at things. In the Name of your Son Jesus, Amen!
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.