Maybe that is not what the Lord wants from us at all? What if God is not asking us to ‘get through’ whatever we are dealing with but to 'live through' it joyfully? Thrive in it.
Don’t we just love to pick and choose the subjects we want to learn from the Lord? I enjoyed learning about how deep God’s love was for me when I first got saved. I was thrilled by the revelation that our Christian walk is impossible without Christ. That it is only by grace that we obtain righteousness and not by our own perfection-isms. Wouldn't we gladly learn more of God’s mercy and welcome a teaching in joy?
On the other hand, I don’t see anyone jumping up and down for the opportunity to learn how to be more longsuffering, patient, or forgiving. The one that has been giving me shin splints recently is contentment. Uggghhh….just saying the word elicits unpalatable emotions in me.
I have to admit that I have been trying to coast through this class. I don’t really want to dig deep and learn this lesson well. I play this game hoping that the Lord will change His mind and give me a new one. How about a little peace and prosperity, Lord? Oh, but He is patient!
I find that God will not give us a new lesson until we have victoriously embraced the one we are in. We may be able to fool our church, our friends or maybe even our family, Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be fooled, God cannot be mocked.”
The Lord knows whether we have been truly changed.
When I took my requirements for medical school, I was so anxious to be finished that I enrolled in a class before I should have. I have never been a math person anyways, so I wanted to get Calculus out of the way in order to focus on my more enjoyable classes. To my utter disappointment and embarrassment, I failed. Miserably. Failed.
This was a horrible blow to my confidence and GPA. The problem was…I knew I wasn’t prepared for it. I skimmed through the prerequisite Trigonometry class wanting to learn just enough to get through it. This gave me a false sense of competency that ultimately set me up for a devastating letdown.
What did I do after failing? I had to go back and relearn the subject I skimmed over. This time, I learned it well. I even learned to love it! After the remedial study, I enrolled in Calculus again and aced it as the top student in my class.
There are certain lessons that are imperative to our future successes. The Lord has a plan for each one of us that is so much better than we could ever imagine for ourselves. It often unfolds much different than we could predict as well.
Our spiritual trigonometry may be uncomfortable, insecure, or just down right painful. However, we never know what ministry God has in store for us that would require the characteristics that these lessons develop in us.
We need to embrace the challenges that we are facing so that His perfect will can be accomplished in our lives, and we can ultimately use what we are facing to minister to others around us.