Monday, March 9, 2009

Spiritual Faint of Heart

I'm a little confused. I have this new challenge in my prayer life. It started the day of Corey's funeral. Spiritual numbness, maybe. Then, two days ago, Hanna woke up at 4am throwing up. By Sunday morning at 5am, I was pleading with God to please make it stop for her. So pitiful was she. And by 6am, I was claiming His own character as the basis for it, begging Him to show my children how faithful He is to answer prayer. How loving and caring He is to not want any of His children to suffer. I was sure He would listen and make her suffering stop. But 15 minutes later, while again holding the "barf bowl" I found myself to be wrong. So now, as I pray that God would spare Grace (everyone in our family, actually, but especially Grace) from this horrible stomach flu, I waiver in my faith. He said we should ask, believing that we have what we ask for. But how do I do that if He doesn't even answer the prayer that protects His reputation? For His Name's sake. I don't understand! But I know that even in that, God is sovereign. And I so badly want to believe that EVERYthing He does is good. So I guess I'll pray that He helps me in my belief.


laura said...

I feel like I've been too vocal here lately, so I hope you forgive me!
I don't have THE answer for you, but sometimes it helps me if I can at least think of ONE POSSIBLE answer, so I thought I'd share some in case it helps!
1. Maybe He is trying to convince you to get more help - that this is more serious than the flu?
2. Maybe He knows that the quicker all of that gets out of her system, the quicker she'll get better?
3. Maybe He wants to remind you not to hang your faith on what He DOES but who He IS?
4. Maybe He knows that when you learn whatever lesson you need to that you will share it with someone else who needs to learn it even more than you?
5. Maybe His answer is "Wait" or "Persevere" so that your character can grow?
6. Maybe He wants to keep you at home having family time to slow down the pace of your life for a moment?
7. Maybe He wants to remind you or your family of a larger truth (like "There is a season and time for everything - a time to be healthy and a time to puke")
8. Maybe He knows that if He answers you in the way you expect now, you might begin to expect Him to obey your prayers?

I can so relate to you. I have SOOOOOOOOOOOO much to learn in the area of prayer. One thing I am continuing to learn is that God will always respond favorably to the prayers we offer that align with His will. That seems like a Duh statement, but truly, when we delight ourselves in HIM (His character, His will, His plans, etc), He changes our hearts to desire His desires and He is overjoyed to answer the prayers for HIS desires to be satisfied!

Pain is temporary. We don't want to be free of it because it brings about such wonderful maturity! We don't have to fear ANYTHING because we always know that God's plans are what is BEST for us as His children! Can you believe that puking can be useful to His purposes, no matter how weird that seems?

Here my husband would chime in to say - we don't attribute BAD things (disease, sinful consequences, disaster, death, etc) to God because those things are works of the Devil. But whether we're attributing the bad SITUATION to God or Satan, it IS possible to give God praise in ANY bad situation (1 Thes 5:16-18, Phil 4:11-14, Rom 8:28, Job 1).

"The altar from which God gives us the gift of himself is not for exploitation by insiders who grab and loot. In the old system, the animals are killed and the bodies disposed of outside the camp. The blood is then brought inside to the altar as a sacrifice for sin. It's the same with Jesus. He was crucified outside the city gates—that is where he poured out the sacrificial blood that was brought to God's altar to cleanse his people. So let's go outside, where Jesus is, where the action is—not trying to be privileged insiders, but taking our share in the abuse of Jesus. This "insider world" is not our home. We have our eyes peeled for the City about to come. Let's take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus' name." Hebrews 13:11-15

My recommendation? Humble yourself before Him, fully coming to the conviction that God is HOLY HOLY HOLY. Admit your unbelief and pride and then offer up a SACRIFICE of PRAISE. Let Him know that you love Him because He IS WORTHY! Tell Him you can't do this without Him, but with Him, you can do ALL things! Tell Him you want Him to squeeze every ounce of benefit and blessing from this trial.

I pray that no matter how icky this situation gets, that God uses it to bring you to a profound new level of faith and love for Him! He can do it!

Love you!

laura said...

Oooh... I was just praying for you and thinking about you and something came to mind that I thought God might want me to share:

God never promises to give us what we THINK we need. He only promises to meet our real needs (as defined by Him!). He CAN heal us physically, emotionally, etc. But His priority is always our SPIRITUAL condition.

Luke 5:17-26 gives this amazing truth! The men brought their friend to be healed of his physical condition, but Jesus healed his spiritual condition instead! Likewise, we can come to God to ask for other kinds of things (like healing for a small cut) but if He looks at our hearts and sees a far bigger spiritual issue (like a gushing wound from our heart), who are we to decide that because He decided to heal our gushing wound and not our cut that He isn't faithful?!? In the end of the story, Jesus decided to heal the man's physical condition, too, but ONLY TO SHOW His authority to to the greater miracle - forgive sins! Awesome, God!

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