Learning to trust that God’s grace will arrive on time is a tough lesson to learn.
When I go through hard times, I pray for something supernatural to carry me through. I’m stretched beyond my limits and worn out from trying to figure things out. So, it’s a no-brainer to depend on God, right?
Well, sort of. I find relying on God much harder in practice. Because when I call on God for help, I’m usually at the end of my rope. More like, um, dangling by a thread.
By the time I’ve finally turned to God, I’ve already exhausted all my resources. I am desperate for some answers.
Hello there, God. Can you, like, hurry up, and rescue me, Lord? Like RIGHT NOW?!
Silence. Crickets chirping.
I recently had to learn the hard lesson of trusting God one day at a time (again).
I went through three months of torture with some serious sleep deprivation. Anyone who’s had insomnia knows life as a walking zombie is not fun. At all.
All I wanted was sleep. Is that so hard for you, God? Why aren’t you giving it to me? Isn’t this a basic human right?
I never did get this prayer answered to my satisfaction. God allowed this problem to hang around until many moons later.
I had to learn that grace is given *at the time* that it’s needed.. not before.
I think of the widow at Zarephath that Elijah went to, as she was getting ready to make her last meal with a handful of flour. God extended the flour a jar at a time. Meaning the widow would continually meet one last meal at a time.
It got me thinking, why didn’t God just give her a big sack of flour? Long enough to last beyond a jar at a time?
Then, I thought about me the widow. Did the widow think she would die after her “last meal”, each time she scooped the last handfull’s worth in the jar? How did she feel looking down into the empty canister of flour after she scooped it out?
Then, God flashed some New Testament verses into my mind.
They tell me that God’s grace is sufficient, and it arrives at the moment of weakness.
9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness ” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Not only that, grace is not given in advance. Just when we need it.
16Therefore let us draw near withconfidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Grace in time of need. It doesn’t arrive ahead of schedule nor is it paid ahead on credit. This is tough to swallow.
I know tough times make us dependent on God (It always comes back to this, doesn’t it?). Still, it doesn’t take out the human suffering of the experience.
As my head hits the pillow and I’m not sure what will happen to me that night, I close my eyes and imagine the widow going to sleep at night, wondering if that day was the last of the flour.
Was she able to fall asleep better each night she gained confidence flour would appear the next day? Or did she have trouble each night, unsure whether the miracle would end the next day?
One day at a time, Bonnie, God tells me. One day at a time.
Awesome word, Bonnie! I have spent much of my life in just this position. And God’s so gracious that He keeps teaching me the lesson over and over again until one day, I’ll really learn it.
@Sarah: Yeah, me too. So true, God is gracious with us. I have a feeling this lesson of trusting God is a lifetime exercising of faith.
Wow. How many times have all of us been on that same last thread. Whether in a bad emotional situation or financial situation. I have to say that I’ve also wondered about how much MORE faith one gets when they are in this constant state of living ON faith. Just having to completely depend on God to provide.
I believe it’s a time of real growth when in these deserts, but I wouldn’t want to live in one for long!
@Ginny: Me neither, Ginny! 🙂
“More faith when (we) are.. living on faith..” Now, that is quotable and good for chewing on. Faith begets faith. Interesting concept.