All of my heart wrenching inner struggles were recently spewed out through my fingertips in a desperate attempt to get some secret sufferings out of my insides. It’s all saved in a draft and that’s where it will stay. No need to publish ALL my dirty laundry.
I’ve been crying out to Jesus in an urgent plea to “Tell me what to do”…and I knew this meant hearing something I may not want to hear. It’s His will I want, not my own. And as difficult as it is to say that to the One True Creator (because I have my own ideas of how my life should go down), I know His way is far better than my way and I think He just gave me my answer (now if I could just feel good about the answer). I was reading someone’s Facebook post about the fruits of the Spirit when one in particular stuck out like a sore thumb and almost poked me in the eye.
That’s a fruit?!?! Really?!? Wow. I had never thought about it before. In my ESV it’s translated as patience. But longsuffering struck a chord. It never occurred to me that THAT is what patience means. So I googled ‘longsuffering, fruits of the Spirit’ and my eyes almost immediately fell on this heading…
So, naturally, I clicked on it. This article pretty much addressed what I’ve been struggling with for a very long time. After reading it I walked away with the realization that this is all part of God’s pruning process. If I walk away and give up, if I give in to ‘self’, I feel as though I’m forfeiting the game. I want my Heavenly Father’s promises in my life and it seems to me that in order to receive His promises I must be willing to go through the pruning and not give up. I want to be Spirit-driven, not flesh-driven. And let me tell you, this is not an easy task. But I don’t want to miss out on something because I gave in to my own selfish wants and needs. This life is short and eternity is, well, FOREVER. I need to hold on to this eternal perspective. I’m going to “Stay on the vine” as it says in this article and remember this verse…
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, `We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.'”
When I stay on the vine I will find all I need to persevere. God will give me the strength and in doing so I will become all that He has intended me to be. I’m hoping the days that seem too heavy to bear will visit me less and less until they are a thing of the past. I know that I’m a work in progress if I don’t give up. My prayers have been problem-centered instead of God-centered. I learned that from Dr. Charles Stanley’s ‘Solving Problems Through Prayer’. Funny, I came across that on Facebook, too! It was in my memories feed. I had sent it to a friend to try and encourage her. Little did I know it was really meant for me to be seen years later. Of course, I do believe it’s OK to cry out to God with our problems. He wants us to tell Him how we are feeling because He truly cares for us, but our problems shouldn’t be the main focus day in and day out. I’ve been doing just that and let me tell you, it has become a burden far too heavy to carry and when you do this you run the risk of making yourself sick with grief. This very well may be why I’m experiencing the worst break-out of eczema on my face, EVER. Focusing on the problem will get you no where FAST and I’m sure it’s a tactic of the enemy. I’m going to try and listen to Jesus on this one. He said in Matthew 11: 28-30…28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
…Solving Problems Through Prayer…
God is interested in your problem.
God is greater than your problem.
Our first response should be to seek the Lord.
God may want to involve other people.
God will give us the solution.
Our prayers should be God-centered, not problem-centered.
God’s solution usually requires an act of faith.
God’s solution is always best.