I was at a prayer meeting yesterday, and there was conversation about a friend's 10-month-old grandson trying to reach an object in front of him. This babe was crawling toward the object, and his dad kept moving it further away as he moved toward it. It got to a point the child was getting irritated and frustrated, but he kept going with dogged determination. He finally possessed his prize. The father was not trying to frustrate the child, but he was challenging his ingenuity and testing his tenacity and perseverance. He knew what was best for his son in the long run.
I believe this is a healthy perspective for us to have in difficult times.
Life's little exercises are so important; the earlier the training, the better habits we develop. Yes, our Father in heaven loves to give us good gifts, but He knows our frame. It's unlikely He wants spoiled or entitled sons and daughters.
Does it seem in our day it has become an instant-microwave society? It's now or never. Then we throw a tantrum at God or others if we do not get what we want when we want it.
As my friend was describing this scenario, I considered how many times in my own life it looked like something I wanted was "in sight," but the closer I got, the further away the goal seemed to be.
I had a choice to give up or press on. It seemed even when I had to labor for what I wanted, when I finally got it, it seemed all the the more precious. I possibly had an even more grateful heart! Now where in my Bible do I see that life will be an easy journey?
There is a lesson in this for all of us. Our heavenly Father is actively working in our lives to produce character, tenacity, perseverance and more. Delay is not denial, but there are lessons He wants us to learn.
He gives us the grace and tools to press on. Worship and praise during the dark times fuel us and propel us forward in the darkest of times. Remember the story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20? Praise singers preceded from the front lines, singing, "Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever" (2 Chron. 2:21b). The next verse explains, "When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against" their enemies, causing confusion. "Each man attacked his companion to destroy each other" (2 Chron. 2:23b).
Perhaps you are in a similar circumstance? The Lord is saying, "Stay in position; keep moving forward, one foot or arm in front of the other. Keep going, even if you have to crawl. 'Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season [you] shall reap, if [you] do not give up' (Gal. 6:9). Even if it looks like nothing is happening now, I am working behind the scenes for a greater work in you. Remember, My Word says I will work all things for good (see Rom. 8:28)."
Even if our target looks further away when we think we are getting closer to it, He is stretching us. We often disagree with God when it comes to what we think we are capable of enduring. However, at that moment when we think we are going to break, His grace and strength kick in. He is the Creator, and I am the created; I need to trust He knows what He is doing.
He operates out of His love for us. He is revealing what makes us. "PUSH": pray until something happens. His grace will be sufficient for us.
In these frustrating times, I like to ask the Lord, "What are You trying to show me?" That is often now the first place I go in my head, yet sometimes I say to Him, "Isn't my gold shiny enough yet?" We have all been there.
I also feel that we have choices, and that none of us will escape the consequences of our choices. So it would be in our best interest to make good ones.
His ever-vigilant eye is watching to see how we are handling the obstacles and delays in our way. It is preparation for what's ahead. God is transforming us into overcomers.
Keep going; you will indeed have victory. God has not forgotten your address. The Lord says, "Out of sight is not out of mind."
Josephine Marie Ayers is the president and founder of Flames of Fire Ministries Inc. Visit flamesoffire.us to learn more. She also hosts Game Changers for God on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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