If you can get a Christian to be very honest with you, you will likely hear that they do most of their praying when they are under some type of pressure or in the midst of a crisis – when they are in a storm. Storms can be dark times, times when we can’t see how anything good can possibly come from the situation and when it’s even difficult to know what to do to make things better.
God promises us that his Word is a light unto our feet (Psalm 119:105). This is a hopeful scripture, but also a frustrating one when I’m in the middle of struggle or challenge. I want God to light the whole path, not just the space at my feet. I want to know where He’s taking me. I want to know what I can expect, how I need to act, and how the situation is going to turn out. I’m impatient and risk-averse.
Why does God do this to me? The answer is that He wants me to trust Him. He wants me to surrender all the things that make me feel secure in my own right, so that He can do His work and so that He can get the glory when things work out in ways only He could have engineered.
On our recent Seeking Stillness retreat, people shared stories of how God had worked in them and around them in miraculous ways when they faced some of their darkest moments. We concluded that we can never really see what God intends or is doing when we are in the middle of something. It’s only when we allow Him to work things out – obviously not just sitting back and watching, but only taking action when nudged by God – that the purpose of our struggles becomes clearer and more hopeful.
At the retreat, we watched this short video –
It makes these points so well. It’s titled “Its About to Become Clear.”
Now, it really hard for me to trust people I don’t know or people I’ve known, but not talked with recently, especially when I’m in trouble. When I haven’t been in relationship with God – through prayer, worship, reading of the Word, etc. – it’s hard for me to really trust Him when I’m struggling. I might cry out to him in prayer, but then I jump in and try to fix things myself. Often I make an even bigger mess of the situation.
Keep praying!!! Keep worshipping!! Keep reading the Word so that your trust in God is strong when the storms come – and they will.