Without question, the cherry on top of my soft serve life would be Whitney Houston sprinkling fairy godmother dust on my every request and singing them all granted. I know, too much Disney. But how often do we wish for instantaneous resolutions to our problems?
Although, I’ve become much better at accepting God’s timing, there are still moments when I plead to Him, Oh great, powerful, mighty God… sweet baby Jesus, please just zap me free of my troubles, so I can go about life frolicking through lovely fields of daisies and tulips. You all pray the same prayer, right? But when I take a sober look at my life, I realize the necessity of my struggles. Without them, my faith would be feeble and I’d be rendered defeated by the tiniest hiccup in my life. The storms I’ve overcome have fostered an unbreakable faith in God and allowed me to find the silver lining during the cloudy seasons. They’ve strengthened me, and I know there’s no way I’d be where I am had I not endured the hardships and fought past the trials.
We each have a choice of how to react to opposition in our lives. In our confusion and pain, we can choose to retreat into anger and blame God for the way our stories unfold, filling our hearts with contempt toward Him. Or, in the misery of our storms, broken and disconcerted, we can choose to carry ourselves to the foot of His cross.
We all bear the burden of deciding how to react to pain. It’s not easy giving the reins to God when we don’t understand His plan. But that’s the definition of faith: trusting Him and believing despite what circumstances appear to be.
So, the answer is no. God (nor Whitney Houston) is not going to just poof us into that position at work or bippity boppity boop our bank accounts to six figures. It doesn’t work that way for a reason. I mean, how many movies have we seen where supposed instant gratification of magical wishes go insanely wrong?! (Cough, cough, Aladdin). And in the end, the protagonist always winds up doing the leg work to get what he/she wants.
God want’s us to want Him, to depend on Him. He longs to give us our heart’s desires and see us happy, but God also knows His children. If he just gave us everything we wanted without us working for it, we’d never appreciate the beautiful parts of life. Case in point, Adam and Eve. They were gifted with the Garden of Eden…yadda yadda yadda, you know the rest of the story. Basically, they blew it!
Just like candy, too much sugar induces rotting. Honey wouldn’t be sweet had we never known the taste of bitterness. The good news though, is that God, in all his magnificence can create the most exquisite paintings with the ugliest colors. Our problems set limitations on us, not Him. Struggles are suppose to draw us closer to God, make us cling to Him as if our lives depended on it. Because, whether we know it or not, they do. Once we grasp the importance of trials in our lives, going through the fire will become a testimony, not a complaint.
Think about all the biblical stories of triumph, they all involve two things that produced their miraculous victories:
- A challenge not humanely possible to overcome.
- Blind faith in the Lord.
Daniel, chapter 6. There was no way Daniel could compete with the jaws of a lion. He could’ve resented God for not intervening sooner, but he didn’t. He could’ve been upset because he was imprisoned and innocent, but instead, he praised God as he stared death down the throat. And because of His faithfulness, he was spared. Often times, the resolution to the troubles we try to wish away is simply putting our trust in God. Ever heard that Donnie Mcclurkin song, “Stand”? That’s all God asks of us, that we trust Him to take care of us.
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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 9-11
God could’ve prevented Daniel from being thrown in the lion’s den in the first place. But how much more astounding and miraculous is the story, knowing that God allowed him to spend the night with Lions and not be killed or even harmed?! That should speak volumes to us! As long as we let Him, God has us. And even when we’re stubborn, He still has us, it just may take a little longer when we insist on trying to fix things ourselves.
When we do learn to let go and give Him control over every aspect of our lives, our wishes will begin to be granted. We won’t have to endure every fire and storm either. Sometimes, God will snatch us out of difficult situations simply because of our faithfulness.
We don’t have genies and fairy godmothers, but we do serve the God of the entire universe and with Him nothing is impossible.