There is wisdom in perspective.
I read this on a friend’s BBM status last night and it really struck a chord with me. We’ve been praying for a certain situation for the longest time. And those of you who pray will know that when your prayers don’t seem to be answered in the way you WANT them to be answered, or WHEN you want them to be answered… one’s prayers sway between many levels… I’ve gone from a faithful prayer, to a whiny prayer, to a plea bargain prayer, to a bribe prayer (seriously, I’ve actually tried to bribe God), to a frustrated prayer, to a prayer where I just cry and cry and hope that it’s going to work. I tell you God is sitting on the Throne like “look at this insolent child of mine behaving like a needy toddler, I should go down there and give her a hiding.”
I have these battles in my mind where I try to figure out WHY God isn’t answering the prayer, or what lesson I’m supposed to be learning in the hope that I can figure it out, pass the test and get my bloody prayer answered already!
It’s ridiculous really, I know that!
Because I WILL remain confident of this: I WILL see the goodness of the Lord, I WILL wait on the Lord, I WILL be strong, and take heart and WAIT.ON.THE.LORD (Ps 27:13). Paul says we must rejoice in our suffering, because suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope (Rom 5:3). I KNOW that God who began this work in me will bring it to completion (Phil 1:6) and God has promised to be with me wherever I go and whatever I face and that I should not be discouraged or afraid, but be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9). I know these things and I BELIEVE these things.
We are human, and it’s a fallacy that Christians live in this happy little bubble cushioned by the promises of God and are untouchable from the pain of this world. QUITE the contrary in fact! But here’s the thing: I’ve come to realise quite recently that what John Bradford said in this quote is SOOOOO profound: There, but for the grace of God, go I. WOW. Let me tell you, based on my life, the silly situations I’ve gotten myself into, the foolish choices I have made, and just the general battering that life can give you… I should be a deadbeat. And quite possibly DEAD. BUT for the grace of God! Oh man, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Thank GOD for His grace. And then when I have THAT thought, I think about how my situation is not that bad. My “unanswered prayer” is teaching me many other things that I would not have learned had a magic wand just fixed this problem (even though we all think that would be rather nice, don’t we). Last night I was thinking about all of this and started thinking about people in my immediate circle and the things they are praying for (nothing like looking at other people’s misery to make you feel better about your own haaahaaaa). No seriously. Some are praying for babies, some are praying that new business ventures will take off, others have just bought houses and are going through the stress that that brings, others are dealing with sick parents, others are afraid of entering the corporate world for the first time after many years, others are coping with children with learning disabilities, others are facing financial difficulties, some are trying desperately to sell their houses, others are dealing with relational problems within their families, some are desperate to get out of their current jobs. People got problems, yo! And these are just the few people I interact with daily!
And that, my friends, is why I love that BBM status. Because there IS wisdom in perspective. Absolutely. I see the trials that my friends and family are enduring, and it gives me another perspective of my own problems and it makes me realise that there is communion in the Body of Christ. Let’s start praying for each other earnestly while still lifting our own petitions. This is not a magic cure. This is not going to make your prayers be magically answered. This is not you doing something good for others, so you can expect God to do something good for you. No. Look around, look at what people are facing, look at what people are going through, lift them up to God and give thanks that your situation (and theirs) is only just THAT. A situation. It’s not your life, it’s not your destiny, it’s most certainly not the end of your story. God’s already working in the background, while He is working on YOU, you can be assured of that. He’s done it before, He’ll do it again. There, but for the grace of God, go I.
There is wisdom in perspective.