Perhaps what we don’t realize is that it’s not so much the situations that we are praying for that He is concerned about, but instead our hearts and our willingness to accept what He is doing in our lives.
I read this over at (In)Courage in a recent post. Not exactly the thing we always want to hear, especially when we’re in the midst of a “situation.” Especially when we’re in a “situation” that we want changed NOW! Have mercy, Lord! Give me a chance! Give me a break! You know you’ve been there. Or maybe you’re there right now. “Situations” make up a good part of our lives and personally, a big part of the frustrations I feel.
Sometimes I think it’s easy to cling to some Christian clichés when we’re in a tight spot….the ones that tell us that God will provide for our every “need” (I use the quotations as a reminder that some “needs” are not needs–you know what I’m talking about!), or that God doesn’t want us to suffer, or that God has plans for us–big plans, of course! None of those clichés are wrong or unscriptural. I think we just use them sometimes and we miss the point. Maybe God isn’t providing what we want, perhaps He is allowing us to go through a tough time, and the plans He has for us, well….we may want nothing to do with them! Sometimes I get so busy trying to pray my way out of a certain situation (or simply into a favorable one) that I miss what God is really trying to get at through it.
A situation is just that to God–a circumstance, an earthly condition. In light of situations I have gone through, I can look back and see how God was working out the condition of my soul and heart. Often the situation didn’t change, in spite of earnest prayers. Some situations just faded away over a long span of time. Some did change in a way that I didn’t expect. Some remain, but no longer have a grip on me. I still pray my heart out to God in the midst of situations that I want changed. I know that He can turn situations on their heads, but I’m also learning that I need to be ready to get turned upside down myself. We’re not fooling anyone, especially God–we’ve all got a lot of junk to work out and get rid of. I don’t think God will stop at anything to get us in a place where we can be all that He wants us to be.