It’s been an interesting past few weeks for me, and though I cannot go into full detail for the sake of my friends and family, I can expound on some lessons that God has shown me. “Be careful what you wish for”.. or in my case, pray for. He will answer you if your heart truly desires to be molded, and mine does.
I’ve prayed that God would reveal all the ugliness in my heart, and help me work through it so I would be a useful vessel for Him.
First up was my need to be in control of what happens to my son, and every other thing that goes on around me. A few days after the first time I prayed that specific prayer was the shooting at Newtown. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was basically a walking, crying zombie for 3 days after the reality of what had happened sank in. I looked at my kindergartner and placed him at the scene. I couldn’t stop feeling like he had actually been there, and the tears wouldn’t stop. On that Monday morning after the shooting we got in a small fight over what he would wear to school. He got out of the car still mad at me, and then I drove away. I cried for almost 2 hours uncontrollably at the thought that my last interaction with my child was one of indifference. I really thought I was going crazy.
Then I started putting my mind on the things of Christ. He pulled me out of the thoughts of spinning uncontrollably in a world of hate and destruction, into His world of perfectly timed order for the good of those that love Him. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Before I knew Him I was one of those people that believed that everything happened for a reason…and now I finally know what that reason is. It is for Christ. It is ALL for Christ.
God does not make bad things happen, but He will let things transpire that will change the lives of those in the path of destruction. Because He is God, He knows what will happen, and when. It is His sovereignty. For the longest time I heard people using that word; sovereign. I figured it meant that whatever God did was good, and that is part of it, but I had missed the beauty behind the word. Not only is what He does good, but He is using that (and everything else) to mold and shape those who are called His. Everything is part of a huge teaching lesson to make us more and more like Christ; perfect.
Now here is the hard part: taking our eyes off of what is hurting us and looking to God to see where the lesson is in the situation.
I admit that I am dense most of the time and cannot see where the lesson is until much later. It usually takes me weeks and months to learn something, to work towards sanctification. The crazy thing about it, is even learning these lessons is part of God’s sovereignty. He won’t let you learn something until just at the right time! We must keep in mind, though, that we will never attain perfection, and the moment we think we have achieved it is the moment we will fall. God’s lessons are always wrapped in humility… and to be understood must be taken with the realization that I cannot do this on my own. I need Jesus to walk with me, always.
Wrapped up in this lesson of control was also one of submitting to God, to know and trust that all that happens is because He has allowed it to happen. So I must turn my life and the lives of my family over to Him, because He is the only one that can see the end in all of this. I must trust Him.
“31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”