The snow swirls around as a storm engulfs our area. Visibility wanes and mobility suffers. Paths that were easy to walk yesterday are now impassable. Going outdoors involves multiple layers of clothing and lots of shovelling.
The weather outside goes along with my mood. The challenging circumstances of life right now engage me in a constant battle of trying to move forward in this blizzard that is my life. How do I take steps ahead on what seems to be an impenetrable road?
My prayers focus on the topic of imploring the Lord to change my circumstances. Over and over I beg God to fix what is wrong or remove the difficulties. In my mind, if my situation improves, then all will be well.
But that’s really not the truth. God could change my circumstances but is that really the best thing for me? Honestly, if everything improved today – no financial concerns or pandemic worries – would I be in better shape? Not really. I would still be the same person who doubts, complains, and frets over things that I shouldn’t.
Thankfully God put in front of me today, the story of a woman who goes through some tough times in life. She comes to the realization that she needs God to change her, not her situation. As I read this woman’s story it was a true aha moment.
I know, without a doubt, that my prayer tactics are problematic. I keep asking God to bail me out rather than asking Him to work in me to change me to handle whatever comes my way.
As a teacher, I often tell my students that I am teaching them to think for themselves. If I just give them the answers every time they are frustrated or remove them from having to do challenging tasks, they will never grow in knowledge, skills, and abilities. It would be a great disservice to only give my students that which is easy for them to do. Having to struggle to solve problems provides my students with strategies they can use to work through other learning situations.
I have been like my students, complaining that things are too hard or not right for me. I keep asking that the difficulties be taken away from me and replaced with something that is more to my liking. God could do that, but how will I grow in the knowledge and wisdom of the Lord that way?
I need to pray that the Lord changes my heart and spirit to be more like Him. My prayers should preferably focus on asking for the ability to deal with whatever life challenges I encounter. I need to build a skill and ability base to handle challenging circumstances. I cannot do that from the sidelines. As I wade through the trenches, I learn so much – about myself, about God, and about dealing with others. I gain strength and courage as I work through my challenges with the Lord’s ever-present help.
Think about your own journey today. Are you constantly requesting that God change your situation? Maybe it’s time to rethink that battle strategy.
Dear readers, I have a challenge for you this week. Change up your prayers, asking God to work in you to transition you to a new heart and mind. Put aside praying about your situation and instead focus on asking the Lord to change you within your situation.
Please share your insights as to whether this change in attitude focus makes a difference in your life. I will be working on the same thing as it is a lesson I dearly need to learn at this time of life. I look forward to hearing you share about your own journeys. We can all learn from each other.
While we will still face this world’s challenges, our attitudes will be changed when we ask God to work in us. Our outlook will be different, and those difficult situations might not seem so bad when we approach them with the strength that only comes from God.