God speaks to people in numerous ways, but He has definitely been speaking to me in the past two days through my devotional reading. There’s something going on in my life that I would prefer wasn’t going on. Doesn’t matter the details for the blog post. If you’re reading this, you can probably think of your own trial that you’d like to make go away.
One thing (among many) that I have learned in life is that my first instinct when trials come my way is to pray for deliverance (God, help! Get me out of here! Rescue me! I don’t want to deal with this!). And sometimes He does deliver me out of a trial. But more often than not, the trial has been allowed into my life to teach me something, and so His loving response is, “Be yoked with me, beloved, and we will walk through this trial together.” And so we walk, Jesus and me, and He teaches me afresh.
One lesson I believe God is teaching me is to trust Him more and more. With everything and with everyone. Probably why my word for 2012 is “Fear not!” And so each one of the quotes I’m sharing below spoke straight to my heart when I read them, and I didn’t want to keep them to myself. They need to be shared so that you can be encouraged too.
Streams in the Desert, March 29
Reimann, Jim; Cowman, Mrs. Charles E.
Many years ago there was a monk who needed olive oil, so he planted an olive tree sapling. After he finished planting it, he prayed, “Lord, my tree needs rain so its tender roots may drink and grow. Send gentle showers.” And the Lord sent gentle showers. Then the monk prayed, “Lord, my tree needs sun. Please send it sun.” And the sun shone, gilding the once-dripping clouds. “Now send frost, dear Lord, to strengthen its branches,” cried the monk. And soon the little tree was covered in sparkling frost, but by evening it had died.
Then the monk sought out a brother monk in his cell and told him of his strange experience. After hearing the story, the other monk said, “I also have planted a little tree. See how it is thriving! But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better than a man like me what it needs. I gave God no constraints or conditions, except to pray, ‘Lord, send what it needs—whether that be a storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. You made it, and you know best what it needs.’ ”
Streams in the Desert, March 30
Beloved, never try to get out of a dark place except in God’s timing and in His way. A time of trouble and darkness is meant to teach you lessons you desperately need. Premature deliverance may circumvent God’s work of grace in your life. Commit the entire situation to Him, and be willing to abide in darkness, knowing He is present. Remember, it is better to walk in the dark with God than to walk alone in the light.
Jesus Calling, March 29
TRYING TO WORK THINGS OUT before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today’s agenda. If it isn’t, release it into My care and go on about today’s duties. When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: a time for everything, and everything in its time.
A life lived close to Me is not complicated or cluttered. When your focus is on My Presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. Though the world around you is messy and confusing, remember that I have overcome the world. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have Peace.
Amen. May these words touch your heart as they touched mine.