Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
It's very early in the A.M. and I find myself reading scripture and asking God for something I never thought I'd pray for:
"Lord, give me more tests and trials. Challenge me in every way possible so I can grow in your grace, and freedom, and holiness... so I can know you MORE!"
What kind of insane person asks God for this? Who wants more tests and trials?
I DO! (Raising my hands in the air!)
For I have learned that God uses every uncomfortable experience in this life to lead us nearer to Him... to teach us to rely solely on Him... to seek shelter snugly under Him. (And I so want to be closer to Jesus, don't you? Isn't that the whole point? Isn't that ALL that matters forever!!??)
I am thinking about how quickly our human lives pass by. How many of my own classmates from middle school, high school, and college are already grandparents. How now, in my forties, my physical body is starting to show signs of old age: A few gray hairs debuting on my head. More wrinkles than I can remember now visibly evident under my eyes. (Who is this woman looking back at me in the mirror?)
Yes, so many years have come and gone... time vanishes away... moments survive only within our memory banks. In my twenties, thirties, and now forties... do I remember living fully for Jesus in every one of those days? Probably not. No, if I were to be honest and give an accurate account, I wholeheartedly sought after the Lord only in my own desperation... only when I knew I really needed Him. When I was uncomfortable and afraid of living without Him. When life seemed out of control and even dangerous. Yes, those were the times I cried out and closely followed Jesus. And, those were the moments He always proved worthy of all praise and ultimately taught me MORE about His grace, His freedom from sin, His holiness, His faithfulness.
As a result of this recent spiritual accounting, I already know that deep down I am historically too selfish to seek after Christ without His ongoing intervention. I need Him to remind me daily that He is able to complete His good work in me... right until the very end! Right until I draw my last breath!
So yes, Master! Today I ask that you continue to test my faith and give me all I need to succeed in your Name... so that I might obey and please you! So that I can know you MORE! Shepherd me through the sin and death that you have already overcome in order to save me! Teach me to focus only on your sacrifice, your grace, your freedom, your holiness, your magnificent Glory!!! I want to become an honored extension of your eternal victory each moment I live on this earth. Do whatever you must to keep me close, dear Lord! No doubt, I need your discipline. And teach me to consider every second near you "pure joy" as you test and improve my faith!
MORE of you in my life, Jesus!
Give me MORE!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:2-5)
© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson