“When we plead with God and have not realized success, we become more earnest and more intent and our hunger increases. If we obtained the blessing when we first asked, we would not have a sense of mercy’s value.” -Charles Spurgeon, Beside Still Waters p.31
What comfort I have found in God’s word and books that help me meditate on His word.My dear friend Gretchen Allen had been telling me that she often fell asleep with this book in her arms but I wasn’t motivated to read it until I myself became desperate for comfort. Life can be confusing, but God’s word is wonderfully simple and oh so sweet.
“If the ships of prayer do not speedily return, it is because they are heavily loaded with blessings. When prayer is not immediately answered, it will be all the sweeter when the answer arrives. Prayer, like fruit, is ripened by hanging longer on the tree.” (Spurgeon)
The above was written by Mary Murphy. Her son Ian just turned 22 yesterday...and has been in a coma since September. The Murphy's are related to a family from my church, which is how I came to know about their situation and their blog, which was set up to keep people informed and praying. Mary, her husband Steve, Ian's girlfriend Larissa and other friends and family post nearly every day, giving updates on Ian's progress, specific prayer needs, answers to prayer and such; but they also share what the Lord is doing in them through this time of watching and waiting and standing on the promises of God. Time and time again this site has slapped me back into reality, as it did the other day when I read this post again for the first time. In fact, the Lord has used this site and sharing times with other friends and family members over these last couple of weeks to give me a heaping helping of much needed perspective.
I've spent a great deal of time mulling through my thoughts and emotions about my current circumstances, which I regard as problems...my continued struggle with weight-loss, my current living arrangements, my recent rejection and continued singleness. In the midst of that, I've read blogs by the Murphys and my friend Sarah in Canada and single moms and parents with wayward children, friends who are facing cancer, childlessness, divorce, even death and have seen that I do not have problems. I have preferences which are not being satisfied. My circumstances are not the problem, my heart is...sin is. And that problem was effectively dealt with at the cross.
Last night, as I was mulling over these thoughts and (honestly) avoiding prayer, the Lord broke through my resistance and just really convicted me of how much I've been living for myself, pursuing my purposes, submitting to my preferences and feelings. It was quite a humbling moment.
I am so grateful that I know such a faithful and kind and persistant God, who is not content to leave me where I am, but kindly, gently brings me out of the cave I carved with my bear hands and into His glorious light.
I am waiting for mercy...and that mercy is guaranteed. No matter what else I am waiting on, mercy is given new and fresh each morning. It might not come the way I wanted or expected, but the Lord is faithful to give it nonetheless...even when my sinful heart begrudges it. And I am very thankful for that. I pray I can keep that perspective and trust that as I wait, He will meet me with mercy and grace and make me strong, as He has done for the Murphy's and Sarah and so many others.
And, if you think about it, please pray for them!