As a child growing up in the sixties. I kept my mother company as she took care of the laundry. We’d pass the time by watching an old portable black-and-white TV my mother set up on the kitchen counter. These were the days of “I Dream of Jeanie”, “Bewitched” or “The Jetsons”, and I marvelled how easily tasks could be done on these shows. Cross your arms, blink and your kitchen was spotless. A nose wiggle cleaned a whole house. Each family member ate whatever they wanted just by pressing buttons. These were the days before microwaves, but I digress.
These fantasies were a far cry from the reality we lived as a lower middle-class family. My mother used a wringer washer, and she dried our laundry on a clothesline in our backyard. Articles that needed ironing went in one pile and items that did not need ironing in another.
Back then, the ironing pile greatly surpassed the non-ironing. I would further sort through the non-ironing pile; separating socks that needed darning, shirts that needed buttons, and jeans that needed patches.
In the meantime, my mother would set up the ironing board, stir whatever was simmering on the stove, and check on my younger siblings as they played. My mother might have fantasised about having her work done for her by a single bat of an eyelash, but she knew it would never be that simple.
Let me preface what I am about to say by stating that I serve a God who performs miracles today. I prayed for countless people, and I’ve lost track of all the answers to prayer. I have witnessed instantaneous, complete, and miraculous healings, both physical and emotional. However, many prayer requests are not met by an immediate miracle.
I will not discuss the ins and outs of answered prayer or physical healing in this blog. I will, however, pass on an observation. Sometimes a process is needed more than a prompt resolution.
The agony and desperation of people facing such situations are evidenced by their pleas.
Take the emotional pain away, I can’t stand it anymore.
I lost my job again, it’s the third one this year. God, what are we going to do?
I don’t want to drink anymore, God.
Lord, I’m addicted to porn, but if you take my desire away, I promise never to look at it again.
I going to lose my house. I’m in debt up to my ears, and the bank won’t give me another consolidated loan. Please let me win the lottery this week, I promise to tithe.
My daughter’s married an abusive man, he’s just like her father.
Bring my family back, please. I’ll be the spouse I know I should be.
Fix me now, God and get me out of this mess!
Most of us want a quick fix, we want an express lane visitation from God. He freely offers deliverance from deep-rooted sin structures and harmful life patterns. However, sometimes healing involves a process that will time and commitment.
We go up to the altar and ask for prayer. We might have a good cry up there, we feel God’s presence. We welcome God’s comfort with open arms. Who doesn’t like a hug from our Heavenly Father? However, if we walk away at the point our pain abates, we stop short of what God wants to accomplish.
Often we don’t press through for a lasting resolution because we are afraid or we are unwilling to do what God asks from us. We don’t trust his process; we lack patience with ourselves and with God. We aren’t yet willing to make the sacrifices necessary. Sometimes, we don’t want to take responsibility for the damages we caused to ourselves or others.
The Lord invites us to work with him by giving us tools, life skills, and resources. He does so with the hope we don’t land in the same mess again.
Perhaps he’ll prompt us to seek counsel provided by the local church or by trusted professionals in the community at large. He often brings financial healing through sound teaching and mentoring. If we humble ourselves and accept wise advice, there is a good chance we will never face the devastation of self-induced economic ruin.
The Holy Spirit’s gentle conviction might prompt us to come clean to a trusted pastor or family member about hidden addictions. As we admit we are powerless, God swoops in with his power and leads us onto the path to victory. God longs to set us free, but freedom can only come when we walk beside him. As we stay trusting and teachable, resolving to complete the task set before us, we’ll see the victor’s circle.
It’d be a fool’s errand to run a marathon halfway, then ride the subway to the closest station near the finishing line, and then try to blend in with those who endured to the end. True victors have sweat on their brow, worn out shoes, and triumphant grins plastered on their faces.
“Christianity must be practical. Two children were afraid they would be late for school. One said, ‘Let’s kneel down and pray to God that He may help us not to be late.’ The other child offered a more practical solution: ‘No, let’s run and pray at the same time.’” ~ Anonymous
If you read today’s blog with a growing sense that a certain person should be reading this blog, you’ve probably missed the point. Is there something you are avoiding? Are you looking for a loophole? Are you tempted to take a shortcut and find the easy way through? I have a feeling God is putting his finger on a specific area of your heart he’s been asking permission to access. How do I know that? As I have been writing this, I’ve felt the Holy Spirit’s gentle conviction to spend time with him this week and work on a few things!
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
Until Next Week
2019 Katherine Walden
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