Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Where Cross The Crowded Ways Of Life"1 (Lyrics)
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (NIV 2011)
Have you ever had a stretch of time when opportunities arose to test what you're made of spiritually? For me, this particular stretch has lasted over three years. Besides daily annoyances, the death of a parent, and career challenges, three life-altering things have driven me to my knees. Three years ago, my adult son was diagnosed with a serious chronic illness, and two very close friends started the fight of their lives with insidious, painful cancers. Despite all the prayer and crying out to God by many, many people on behalf of these precious ones, I've seen their situations become substantially worse. One of my beautiful Christian friends passed away two weeks ago, and the other is in palliative care, looking heaven in the face. My son has endured five surgeries and the loss of a career and his marriage.
What can I say? Through my tears and calling out to the Lord, I say, "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." (Psalm 56:3 NIV 2011) I don't understand. Sometimes, I'm frustrated; many times, I'm just very sad. But who are we to understand the ways of God? I am a simple woman, but joy of joys, I belong to Him! I rest in knowing that whatever comes, He is with my beloved friends and family and with me. Even though I wonder why prayers are not answered the way I see fit, I fight to make a decision not to become angry, but to trust in Him. The psalmist sums it up for us: "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalm 73:26 NIV) I'm learning the hard way not to live out my own agenda or lean on my own understanding, but to realize that although life is short, eternity is forever. I look daily for how He makes His presence known, and I rely on the fact that one day, I will see Him face to face, and these cares will soon be over. This same comfort can belong to all of us.
Prayer: Father in heaven, today, we lay every concern at the foot of the cross and say, "Your ways are higher than mine. Not my will, but Yours be done." Thank You for the way that You hear our cries and perfect that which concerns us. May we honour You today by giving You our trust. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.