Life seems so complicated at times. We present our requests to God, and the next thing we encounter is a complicity of negative experiences! Sometimes it may only be one, but nevertheless, it is there staring me straight in the face; an accident, a death, a financial downfall, sickness, a family break-up—the list is impossible to complete… at that moment!
We forget how the Lord has been answering unabated blessings in these multiplied areas day by day, moment by moment, perhaps so routinely that we have not even felt the need for prayer concerning that item. We just assume that our needs will be met as in the past. I know of an incident when a brother in Christ was asked to thank God for the food at a formal dinner. He began, “Lord, thank you for the glass of water before us!” I doubt that anyone in the dinner remembered anything else that he said.
Perhaps in reading 2 Corinthians 12, we are so enamored with the things that the Apostle Paul experienced in his vision in the third heaven, that we forget that he experienced a “thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself.” (7) Not only was this experience momentous for him, God allowed this “thorn in the flesh”, this “messenger of Satan”, no less, to “torment me”. Some experiences are “sent” by the Lord to get our attention, while others may be “allowed” of the Lord to enable us to grow through it; to humble us into dependence on Him more fully. The interesting thing is that we do not always know the origin, yet we do know that God expects us to mature as a result of that experience.
I read somewhere that “In the Divine partnership we contribute weakness!” Each experience should be turned it victory, knowing that God is still running His program and has allowed us to be a part of it. I have to admit that sometimes I express the attitude that perhaps I could help Him do a better job. Naturally, He “slaps me into shape” and I have to say: “Not my will, but Your will; Your will only is my desire!”
We are all aware of the fact God has to sometimes “prick the bladder of pride” and “cut us down to size” so that He might use us in a way that we would not choose. He, through the Holy Spirit melts us and molds, so that we might more effectively serve Him.
The Apostle certainly realized that the details of his experience were not something to brag about, to boast in. He was merely a choice of our Lord’s enabling him for service. Whatever it might have been we are not made aware; we might get caught up like some of the believers back then…”I am of Paul! “
When we say, YES to our Lord, watch out, He may take us at our word! Yet, you can rest that He will provide and enable.