Wednesdays with Jillene: brave prayers

I’m going to be a bit repetitious here, not really sure if there is any way around that at this moment… because, see… the last few weeks have been a blur? a whirlwind? trying times? full of frustration? yes. all of those. and more.

Let’s see… with 8 kids and 2 adults X 3 illnesses + a broken/totaled car =  …  well, we have to be glad that this isn’t a true math equation because I wouldn’t want to see the answer.

It hasn’t been only bad things. We’ve celebrated 3 family birthdays and had times with friends and family. But the bad things do seem to be overwhelming. Maybe it is the lack of sleep, the additional laundry, the extra trips to school and the doctors and then all the driving. I feel like I’ve been on the go like it’s my full time job. Josh joked it was my taxi service.

It all hasn’t left me much time to be me. It hasn’t left me much time to think. And that is something which really feeds my heart, mind and spirit. Those are the things that lead to these blog posts. I woke up this morning ready to write a Wednesday post but my thoughts were too scattered and I ran out of time.

Wednesday kept going on and working in my mind. It came up when I was having lunch celebrating Josh’s birthday. It was in an email from a friend looking for the usual Wednesday post. So… even though I don’t have my thoughts together, even though I’m not sure if it is worth typing I decided I’d write tonight.

There has been one thing that has been on my mind for a while. Something that has been found in many conversations as I (and others) am struggling through things. And then I saw this on Facebook.

img_5728

That one hits deep. Because, let me tell you, there are many things I’ve been asking God to change. many.many.many.things… ‘Cause life is full of brokenness, pain, heartache, struggles, hardship, wrongdoing, and just plain hurtful things.

And I know that God knows our pain. (knows) makes is sounds like a mental process but it is more than that. Jesus lived, breathed, grew, walked through life on earth. Life full of the human experience of pain, sorrow and struggle. And God, knowing, living, feeling, also grieving right there with us… God offers a place for us to leave our burdens, God assures with hope of purpose in the midst of the darkest moments, God sustains us with his strength and protection, God promises to never leave nor forsake us, God hears our cries amidst the sorrow…

And in the midst of those times of life, from the depths of the struggle my heart cries out to God asking for God to change (so many things).

While not the exact wording, the sentiment has been there in so many conversations, found over and over again in scripture…

What if the circumstances you’re asking God to change are the very circumstances God is using to change you?

Jesus, facing the cross, cried out three times asking God to take that cup from him… but that wasn’t the end of his prayer, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

nevertheless

In my Bible that word is circled, underlined, maybe even bracketed.

“nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Paul, afflicted with what he described as a thorn in his flesh, begged God three times to take it away from him. God said, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And Paul’s response?

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

What if the circumstances you’re asking God to change are the very circumstances God is using to change you?

I can look at Joseph’s life and see how the very struggles he faced put him in the perfect place for God to fulfill the dream He’d given… but what about in my life? Can I dig deep in faith, trusting God in the midst of the storms, be brave enough that rather than praying God would change the circumstance… instead pray that God would change me?

Am I brave enough to pray that prayer?

Maybe, like me, these are questions you are facing. I offer these 2 songs that have ministered to my heart.

Lauren Daigle – Trust In You

Hillary Scott & The Scott Family – Thy Will

~Jillene

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