I would love to start this off by complaining about how busy I am.
It would be such a great excuse to explain how I just started my new job as a nurse and how I have no time for anything. I would go on and on about the 12 hour night shifts that throw my week off or the endless anxiety that comes with being a new nurse. I could also explain how being this busy means that I stopped reading my bible. I almost completely stopped praying. I didn’t talk to God, because I convinced myself that I would get to it later (never got back around to it). I felt myself walking in the opposite direction of my loving Heavenly Father. ON PURPOSE.
A few months ago, one of my best friends and I stopped talking. A combination of miscommunication and pride turned an argument into several months of silence between us. Not a single word. Since I’ve been so incredibly busy with my new job, I really didn’t let it sink it. I went out of my way to keep it out of my heart and mind (along with almost every other emotion that tried to creep in).
Between my silence with God and the situation with my friend, on August 10th I got on my knees and had my first real conversation with God in months. I made the decision that I would spend 30 days praying over my relationship with my friend.
Every day I would pray (sometimes a few times a day) asking God to make it all go away. I wanted this weird stand-off to come to an end, and that’s what I kept asking for (over…and over…and over again…). For the first 8 days, I prayed the exact same prayer. It was selfish and probably didn’t make the list of important things that God had to attend to, but I still tried.
On the 9th day, my heart changed. I could feel it! I didn’t know what to say to God, but I knew that the prayers I had been praying were in MY best interest. I wanted to pray away the tough situation I had been going through.
Fast forward to this past Sunday. I go to North Point Church in Alpharetta, and Andy Stanley hit the nail on the head this weekend when he read this verse:
To keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was GIVEN me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [2 Corinthians 12]
Andy emphasized in his message on Sunday that if you believe God can change your circumstance (the thorn that was GIVEN to you), but that God has chosen not to remove the thorn, you have the option to receive that circumstance as a gift with a purpose. All along I had seen this situation as the terrible loss of a friend, but looking back, I can see that this may have been God using my situation to open a dialogue back up with Him. If I was too busy to talk, He would give me a situation where I felt compelled to. A beautiful gift from Him.
This is day 16 of my quest to pray 30 days over my relationship with my friend. I’m still praying, but I can now see the situation in a new light. I’m content with the hard times I’m faced with now, because I know that there’s a purpose. I’m in the process of embracing my inability to fix the situation so that I can experience Christ’s ability.
I would never choose it again, but I wouldn’t trade what I’m learning for the world.
Life nor death will keep you
You don’t have to fear
Nothing comes between us
In the end you’re Mine
You’ll be just fine
[Bellarive - I Know You]