There is a situation I am facing daily, at this particular season in my life, that frustrates me. It seems to just never go away. It will resolve and then something will happen and it will rear its ugly head and create turmoil again. This ebb and flow, up and down, inconsistent issue makes me want to hide. It drives me nuts. I want to throw in the towel and quit caring. I realized after 6 months of this that I was not bringing it to the Lord and I certainly was not letting him work on me. It wasn’t my fault right? I’m not in the wrong. I wasn’t being the problem, right? Well, perhaps in some ways that was true, but were never all perfect or lacking fault. We do things and we contribute to situations in ways that are Christ-like and sometimes we even go as far as justifying those actions. We must stop this and begin to go back to the basics of our faith. We must be willing to be teachable, moldable, even broken.
Remember when Paul mentioned that thorn? He called it a thorn in his flesh that tormented him.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“But he said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The “thorn” I am dealing with is not one of my flesh, but it pains my heart and is heavy on my mind consistently. Right now, this thorn in my life can either make me bitter and resentful, rude and sinful or it can push me to the cross. I can go to the cross, with every issue, with every hurt, with every hang up, and let it refine me. Maybe even redefine me.
Being able to get to the place where you know you can’t fix the situation or change what’s happening to you and then going to the cross and asking God to change you, is spiritually difficult, but worth the struggle. You can ask for God to change your situation daily for your whole life, but at what point will you hear him say, “I want to CHANGE YOU!” Quit begging God to change everyone else while you sit there and refuse to be worked on by the Father. This process hurts and is hard, but refining and redefining through Christ’s work in us is the best work in us. It can change more in our life than just one situation. Our lives can be transformed.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Y’all. We pray for God’s will, we pray for situations to be resolved, we pray for others to change, but at some point we have to ask God to change our views, our hearts, and our minds by being engaged in his word, attentive to his spirit and willing to extend grace. Grace to others and more often than not, grace for ourselves.
Ways that God has been teaching me in this lately are this;
- Go to prayer first.
Don’t go to facebook (for heaven’s sake please don’t air your grievances on Facebook)
GO TO THE LORD. Hit your knees, write in a prayer journal, sit in a quiet place and communicate your needs to the Lord. God works in the private places of our hearts and homes. Airing out your attitude and issues on social media will always bite you. Be mindful and careful. When we go to social media before we go to Christ, we are slapping him in the face with the idea that the entire world’s thumbs up are better than the actual presence of God himself.
- Get in the Word.
Yes. This is the go to answer for just about every problem you could ever have because it is the absolute right answer every time. The word of God has the answer. It holds the key. It shows the way. Lean into it, love it, chew on it, let your soul soak in its wisdom and LIFE. There are some amazing books on every issue you can imagine and those are good to bring into your arsenal, just remember that the Word of God will always have the answer you are looking for. Ask for God to show you His word in new ways.
- Ask God to change your heart.
This is such a hard one, but when you ask God to change your heart, to change your view point, to give you grace to understand others, he will. He will change you in ways you can’t imagine and in ways you didn’t know you needed changing. It can be a freeing and amazing time of growth and new life if you let it be. There are many situations in which the other party or a person in your world truly do need the Lord and a change so pray for that as long as is needed. Some situations call for further action from trusted people, a pastor or counselor. Utilize those people and seek help from them. My point is that there are lots of situations we find ourselves in that can be resolved from the inside out first. You will have the discernment to know.
I hope that these things will encourage you in whatever situation you find yourself in today. The things that have been pressing on me, that drive me crazy and make me want to quit, are I’m sure, not as heavy as many issues you may be dealing with today. But, I will promise you this. When you get on your knees, perhaps falling on your face, he meets you where you’re at. When you get in his word and let it soak into the dry places of your heart, it heals. When you ask for God to change you through the process, he will and since he loves you more than you can even know, he will change in you those things that are holding you back, he will create in you a clean heart and he will renew his right spirit within you.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
May you feel freedom and grace in a new way today. May you see the situations in front of you as things that God can use to work in and through you for his glory. Press in and join the adventure of being redefined and refined by the master artist.
You are loved!