I desperately need more hours in the day…more days in the week…and more sleep in my bed.
Last night as I lay my head down on my crazy configuration of multiple fluffy pillows, I began to pray for friends and family, for my children and myself.
I want my people to know the Lord.
I’ve been praying “whatever it takes” off and on for someone. Actually a few someones.
I began to utter that prayer again and the thought crossed my mind, “Gosh, I hope someone isn’t praying that prayer for me!”
I stopped praying.
Then I thought, “Wow. How you have changed Sue.”
What happened that I fear that prayer now?
Is it that I think God is a father who would say, “Ok, I accept that challenge! Let’s see what it takes.”
That is not my Father…He is not willing to play with my faith or my life. He loves me too much.
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you. Jeremiah 31:3
Or is it that I know myself better today than 7 years ago when I was willing to pray that prayer for myself and anyone else I loved.
Back then I was the “righteous one” – I was the victim of someone else’s sin – or so I felt about myself.
Today, I am just me and my own sin…my own failures and fears….my own faithlessness.
God’s been opening my eyes to things in my life…I feel it’s just layers and layers and layers of stuff.
It is painful and difficult.
I’m tired of painful and difficult.
I think that might be why I’m struggling to pray that prayer. I think I don’t want to go through anything else…I’m tired of doing hard things.
I’m tired of others struggling with hard too.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But fear not, for I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Well, that confirms what I already knew…Jesus is a man of His word. I got trouble.
But if I do…God has to have a reason for allowing it.
God doesn’t mess with me. He sometimes allows messy but not messing.
Lately, as God has been showing me my layers and layers of issues and sins, honestly, I’ve had some moments of despair. I’ve felt that I must be the most hopeless case ever.
(There is that “But God” thing…)
Then God reminds me that as big as my sin is…the cross is so much bigger.
Sometimes I forget.
Sometimes I live at the foot of the cross rather than the door to the empty tomb.
Sometimes I forget that although my sins put Him there, His love took me from the cross to the throne of grace.
There is a place for self-reflection…for a moment. A place for recognizing that I still need my Savior. A place for seeing my sin and its effects, but my eyes aren’t supposed to be fixed there.
My eyes focus intensely on Christ.
The Author and Perfecter of my faith.
Sometimes I think that my faith is all about me…It’s my job to protect it, strengthen it, reveal it, and nurture it.
I was never given that job…my job is to have it.
Trust that God can bring me safely to my inheritance.
Trust that God knows me better than I know myself, and, amazingly, He still promises to never leave me nor forsake me.
Trust that God doesn’t play games with my life.
Trust that God knows what He is doing…and it is good.
He can’t do bad.
Sometimes I just need to remind myself of that…God can’t do wrong.
And if He can’t, then I can pray that prayer…even if I have flocks of butterflies in my stomach and bats in my chest while I utter the words, “Whatever it takes…”
Whatever it takes to strengthen my faith.
Whatever it takes to make me the mom my children need.
Whatever it takes to keep me walking with You.
Whatever it takes to grow me into the woman after Your own heart I so want to be.
Whatever it takes to have a life that You can use for your glory.
Hard prayers…and yet, not.
If I trust Him, I can pray for those things and know He loves me and whatever it takes is worth it.
I can’t say that I’m joyful or even excited about some prayers I feel called to pray, but I can say that I feel loved and peaceful in the care of my Father.
And maybe it doesn’t really matter if I pray those prayers or not…God is going to do what is best in my life…whatever brings me closest to Him…whatever it takes.