Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An odd way to answer a prayer

For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done;
He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness.
These 40 years (29 years) the Lord your God has been with you;  
You have not lacked a thing.
Deuteronomy 2:7

If you ever bothered to ask me what my favorite book in the Bible is, I'd say Deuteronomy.  Not that I expect it to ever casually come up in conversation.  But if it did, I'd have an answer, and Deuteronomy it'd be!

Have you ever had those moments where you just bottom out?  I mean like bottom out ugly.  Where is my faith Lord? Crying .. Praying... Pouring over God's Word in a franticness like never before.  Sure you have. If you're like me (and you might not be) but if you are, it's those toughest moments where you continue to question where your faith is, what do you believe, why do you believe etc.  It may even progress to who is Jesus, why did he die for me, did he die?  You get the picture.  It's a vicious circle, and we have just officially bottomed out.

Thankfully there is grace sufficient for us!  Amen.  I could end there, but I won't.  

I was reading a devotion by Spurgeon on just the matter.  A soldier isn't trained while sitting in the tents.  A sailor isn't trained on a smooth and peaceful sea.  We are trained most efficiently when we have to go through the ditches.  Praying for my faith to be strengthened is simply answered by giving me difficulties that I must face.  It's an odd way to answer a prayer, but it makes sense because ultimately I have to make a decision.  That decision is whether I will have faith in the Almighty God or myself.  Unfortunately this decision takes a little longer than necessary to answer, as I'm naturally bent towards trying to do everything in my own strength.  But in God's goodness, He does give us these times to ultimately fine-tune our faith and allow us to become more like His Son.  This is exactly how Spurgeon said it:

 It was but a little while ago that on thy knees thou wast saying,
"Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith." Was not this
really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?--for how canst thou
know that thou hast faith until thy faith is exercised? Depend upon it, God
often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be
certified of their existence.

How does all of this relate to the passage from Deuteronomy.  It's this:  He hasn't forgotten or neglected me or abandoned me for the 29 1/2 years I've been on this earth.  I think it sometimes.  I really do, especially in the silence.  And especially in the trials.  But He's there.  It's the promise I must remember.  He's working all things to His glory.. and for my best.  And because He is there, I have lacked no good thing.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Erin - I love Deuteronomy. I'm getting ready to get out of Numbers. When I was flying back to Raleigh to itnerview for the job to create treasuring Christ with Steve - Deut 8 was in my heart and mind. Remembering. Love it. Thank you for these reminders!