When God’s Will is Tough to Swallow
When we were missionaries in Ghana, we were entrusted with the trial of allowing our three children to attend boarding school in a neighboring country.
When we were in the decision phase, I would ask the Lord to remove the “cup” of boarding school from me – but then I would add, “but not my will, but yours be done.”
Once it was obvious that boarding school was His plan for us, I changed my prayer to “show me that this plan is good – good for us and good for our kids.”
You see, my view of our lives was limited to my earthly view.
What I could see was that I wanted to be the main influence in my kids’ lives – I wanted to be the one teaching them, walking beside them, putting them to bed. But God could see everything and He knew that boarding school would be best for our family. He wanted me to trust Him.
Have you ever felt like God’s will revealed to you was tough to swallow?
In seeking God in prayer, we want to align our will with His will. How often do we cry out, “Lord, I don’t know how to pray about this?” Romans 8:26 – 27 says: “the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us . . . He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
What we are doing when we pray is that we are holding something up before the Lord Who is wiser than we are and Who desires as our Heavenly Father to give us all good things.
To “ask God” doesn’t mean to beg and plead with God for something we decide that we want, but rather to seek His will.
I like to call Jeremiah 33:3 “God’s phone number.”
It says “Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and mighty things which you don’t know.”
Have you ever experienced a child who stubbornly refuses to ask for help? I remember struggling to teach our daughter to ask for help. We wanted to help her but she needed to learn to ask for it.
Asking for help is a humbling thing. When you ask for help, you are admitting that you can’t do something alone. God wants us to call to Him – to ask Him.
Next the Lord says “and I will answer you.” Do you ever feel like God is not answering your prayers? God’s will (and His answer) always agrees with His Word with no contradictions.
So God wants us to hold up our requests to the Lord and pray in the light of His promises and commands which are His will. Then we can watch and see Him reveal His will to us.
Don’t forget that God’s answer can be yes, no, or not now too!
One time we went to visit our kids at boarding school and I saw different character traits that they each needed work on. We spent time with each child alone , talking and praying through things we had discerned. And then we left.
What a helpless feeling that is – to know your child needs help with something in his life and you are then leaving. But I made a prayer list for each child and would faithfully pray through my list.
As parents, we say we trust God, but really we trust ourselves an awful lot. But when our kids are off at school or otherwise away from us, we have to trust that God loves them more and that God will work in their lives – even when we aren’t there!
God is bigger than our geographical limitations.
The next time we visited them, it was as if I could check off each character quality I had been praying for! God’s work in our children’s lives is not limited to our meager input.
The last part of that verse says “and tell you great and might things which you do not know.”
Now think about this: how would you feel if the President of the US called you to say “I want to tell you something amazing that you don’t know!” You would be thrilled and honored and your heart would pound.
That is what the God of the universe has said to us: “Call to me and I will answer and tell you great and might things which you do not know!”
This is called a conditional promise. It is a promise where God says: If you do this, I will do this. In this case, call to Him and He will answer and tell us great and mighty things we don’t know.
I don’t know about you but I want to do my part of calling! I want to rest in knowing His will is exactly what I want . . . even when it is hard to follow.
How about you?Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/starsalive/4018045371/
Amy Hagerup is a Health and Wellness educator who is passionate about helping others reach optimum health in their body, mind, and soul. A former missionary to Africa for 23 years, Amy teaches through her many stories to help bring change in her readers’ lives. An author, speaker, and coach, Amy is married to her hero, has five children, three children-in-love, and 12 grandchildren. Amy’s current kindle books are Overcoming Depression God’s Way: 9 Powerful Action Steps to Renewing Your Hope, Do You Want to Lose Weight and Get Rid of Debt? 9 Biblical Principles to Help Reduce Both, and God’s Remedy for Transforming Stress into Rest.