Saturday, June 2, 2012

Doing Things My Way...or Not

"Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as he is and adjust our lives accordingly.  We insist on trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image."
-A.W. Tozer

 It can be so very frustrating, at times, to try to reason with a child.  Probably because they don't care what your reasons are, they just want what they want.  Tonight, as my family and I were taking a walk through our neighborhood, our three year old was begging us to let him get out of our double stroller so he could walk too.  Since we live in a low-traffic neighborhood, we decided to let him walk beside us.  First, however, we explained the importance of walking near the grass, looking for cars, staying right beside mom and dad, etc. We explained to him that if he disobeyed he would have to get back in the stroller.  At first he did pretty well, but then he began pushing the limits.  At one point, after looking back with a mischievous look, he darted right into the middle of the street.  We immediately scolded him and back in the stroller he went.  We tried to explain to him why he could not run in the middle of the street, but ultimately, he was just mad because he did not get to do what he wanted to do.  In my mind, I was thinking, "why can't you see that we are just trying to protect you?"  I wanted to open up his eyes to the reason why I wasn't allowing him to run in the middle of the street. 

As I was thinking these things, another thought occurred to me.  Is this how God feels when He's trying to get our attention?  I can think of so many times in my life when I didn't want to take the time to see what God was trying to teach me...I just wanted what I wanted and did not want to see things from God's perspective.  As women, I think we are more prone to take matters into our own hands when things aren't happening as quickly as we would like or the way we would like them to turn out.  

Look at the example of Sarah in the Bible.  God had promised Abraham that he would have a son: " will have a son of your own who will be your heir. Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, 'Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!'" (Genesis 15:4-5).  In the next chapter, however, we see Sarah taking matters into her own hands: "Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, 'The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her'" (Genesis 15:1-2).  It's as if Sarah is saying, "God cannot give us a son, so I will help Him out and take matters into my own hands." 

Sarah later finds out that God had a bigger plan and would accomplish what He said He would accomplish without her "help."  Even though she was a woman well past childbearing age, He allowed her to have a son at the age of 90! 

When I am going through a trial, I don't always take the time to ask God what He wants to teach me and how I can grow during that trial.  I just want the trial to be over and many times I am so focused on finding a way out that I miss what God is trying to teach me as I walk through it.  

Instead, I want to remember that, even when I don't understand the things going on in my life, I have to trust that something so much bigger is happening.  And, if I'll trust in my Almighty Savior, I can allow my trials to make me stronger.  I don't want to miss out on what God is trying to teach me because I'm so preoccupied with getting what I want.  

How can we learn to trust?
  • Remember that: Rushed Urgings are Rarely from God
My dad always uses this phrase, and I have seen it to be true in my own life.  Sometimes I'll come up with an idea and I feel an urgency to do it right then.  "It must be from God, or why else would the thought have occurred to me", is what my mind says.  Sometimes, the idea is from God, but if  I can't take the time to pray through it, or if I am only acting because I'm afraid that an opportunity will pass me by, then it's probably not from God. 

1 Corinthians 14:33- "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace..."
  • Talk it over with your spouse
I tend to be a little hasty when it comes to making decisions at times.  My level-headed husband helps balance me out.  Before I over-commit or make a rash decision, I try to talk with him about it first.  I might not always like what he tells me, but I have come to realize that going against my husband's wishes is only going to weaken our marriage. If I want a godly marriage, I need to respect my husband's wishes.  This works both ways too: I help balance him out by encouraging him to do things that he might not attempt to do otherwise.  I think God knew what He was doing when He created marriage!
  • Rejoice! 
Easier said then done, but it is nice to know that, if I will rejoice, I will become stronger through my trials.  I want to praise God, even in my struggles. 

Romans 5:3 - "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance."

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