Friday, November 13, 2009

A Growing Faith

muted Life

Image by Robb North via Flickr







We had another crisis at homeschool this morning. 

God is so good!

I wish you knew just how angry and controlling I am by nature, so you would know what a miracle of God today's events have been.  Please don't think I'm a patient person, or wise, or any of those other things.  I'm not.  (Those who know me don't need to be told that!)

I won't go into a lot of details about what instigated the crisis.  Suffice it to say that one son decided a specific assignment was unacceptable, and a total meltdown followed.  (Now that I think about it, there was no fist-flailing this time.  How refreshing!)

Miracle #1 showed itself as calmness and love on my part.  Trust me, that's a true miracle.

Phillip had buried his face in the crack between the back and seat of the couch, and was wailing and screaming at ear-piercing decibels.  But I began to pick out words of prayer in all the wailing, and I silently thanked God for it and asked Him to bless and guide his prayers.

Once Phillip quieted enough that I thought I could make myself heard, I asked him if he would like me to pray for him now or later.

His request for prayer now was so touchingly sincere!

I prayed aloud for a while, and when I was done, Phillip sat up.  I asked him if he wanted a hug, and he wasn't sure at first.  "I'm thinking."  Then after a minute or so he said, "Sure."  So I drew him over close and gave him a hug, and he just melted.  "Oh, I love you so much!" he said.  I replied in kind, and then told him that God loved him too.  "I love Him too," Phillip replied. 

We cuddled for a while and talked about God, and Phillip just got more and more joyful.  When I got up to make him lunch, Phillip spent his waiting time and subsequent eating time just bouncing around and rejoicing over how much God did for him, and talking about how grateful he was.

Then, after lunch, on his own initiative, he completed the once-rejected assignment. 

Wow.  Miracle #2.  If you knew Phillip, you wouldn't think "miracle" was too strong a word.

I feel a caution in my soul.  There will be people reading this who don't experience the same sorts of wondrous things when they start homeschooling, and I don't want anyone to start making comparisons.  God's path for everyone is different, and there is no "arrival" in this life.

There are some very important things to keep in mind:

  • God decided before the foundation of the world that now would be our time to receive these blessings.  We did not trigger or earn these blessings.  We merely received them at the proper time.  When the next trials and hardships come (and they surely will), they will come because it is God's ordained time for them.  Trust in God's schedule for you!
  • God decided to use homeschooling as the conduit of today's blessing in our case.  He may decide to use different conduits for others, as well as different timing. 
  • We position ourselves to receive God's blessings when we walk in obedience…but sometimes those blessings come in very clever disguises!   I've struggled through almost a decade of hopelessness, rage, depression, and unrelenting trials…and I may find my trials doubled before this day is through.  If God removes all my joyous circumstances, He will still be blessing me.  All the agonies He has ever put you and me through have been blessings.  They just didn't feel like it at the time.  And the same will be true of whatever sufferings still await us (and I'm sure there are many).
  • The goal is not to find our way to Easy Street.  The goal is to depend on the Lord and walk in obedience to Him, regardless of what "street" we're on.   We must depend on God in the good times as well as the bad, because we need Him desperately all the time.  We may be able to "succeed" (however you define that) on good days, but if we've done it without God, we've failed.  On the other hand, our most miserable failure of a day is actually a success if we spent it constantly coming back to the Throne of Grace. 

Faithful dependence is success.  If you're doing that, you can rest assured that whatever He has brought into your life, you are positioned to receive the maximum possible benefit from it in His time

So let's rejoice with one another in happy-feeling blessings, weep with each other in sad-feeling blessings, and trust God's timing for all of them.

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