This week, my first MRI after radiation is scheduled to see what the radiation was able to accomplish. I am terrified, because of what I think God wants to do after the MRI.
This week, I was revealing some of my hopes and fears. I was told, “You are strong.”
I responded, “Yes, I am strong, but I am not abnormal. I am strong, because of my trust in God. And you can be strong too.”
Often, Christians try to produce our own fruit (strength, peace, love, etc.) and fail, when we should obey God as best as we can and trust Jesus for the fruit. Many decisions become easier when you just focus on being what the Bible tells us to be. We should confess our sins, be honest with our desires, and invite Him to change you and your situation. Remember: because God is more interested in changing you, rather than changing your situation; His answered prayer will probably look different than you expected. But trust me, He wants to make you His masterpiece (Eph 2:10).
Often when we pray, we tell God what to do and are disappointed by His answer. But that isn’t trust. Trust isn’t when someone assigned a task to other people and micro-manages how the others worked. If someone wants to demonstrate trust, he or she would train, support, and teach, and let others do the work. If we want to demonstrate trust in God, we need to allow God to work without defining what “good” looks like and admit that God has a better perspective.
Sometimes, my three-year-old and I have very different views of “good.” If she had everything she wanted, it wouldn’t be good. My prayer is to teach and lead her so that she would make better choices. The same is true for God. He is teaching and leading me to make me more like Christ. And sometimes, that doesn’t look good to me, just like punishment doesn’t look good for my daughter.
So my prayer for 2017 is to trust God to make me more like Christ without my expectations.
But that is more difficult than I want to admit. It is easier to tell God what to do. It is easy to pray, that when I have a MRI this week, that I would be completely and miraculously healed. A harder prayer is, “I want to experience You, even more than I want to be healed. I want Your gifts of grace, mercy, and love. Do what You need to do. I trust You.”
And some people think the previous statement takes great courage, but the following paragraphs are even more terrifying.
I want to be obedient. I am thinking that means (for me) to begin publicly sharing my story. I didn’t consider myself to be a writer or a public speaker. But God has been leading me to those, because it is a great way to declare: I am strong, but Christians should become strong. Trust God, and He will make you into His Masterpiece. Then you will experience His gifts: strength, rest, joy, love, courage, and so much more. He has done this for me, and He wants to do it for you too.
If you are encouraged by this message, please help me to spread it. I would love for you to share this blog or contact me for opportunities to speak. Amy or myself would enjoy an opportunity to encourage a group or an individual, in person or via the internet.