Thursday, March 15, 2012

Comfort vs. Struggle

I can't pray for comfort anymore. I didn't do it blatantly but subtly. Lord, this thing in my life is causing pain, can you take it away? Or Lord, will you provide this thing that will make my life easier? I catch myself doing it now and I have to pause. Do I really actually want to be comfortable? Well, yes. The human part of me does. But the struggling Christian wants to go deeper with God and I know that in comfort I can't. I won't. Being comfortable just begets the desire for more comfort and so I set off seeking that and I loose track of why I'm on this earth.  I have a little scrap of paper in my bible with the prayer of an unknown confederate soldier. It goes like this: 
I asked God for strength that I might achieve.I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.I asked for health that I might do greater things.I was given infirmity that I might do better things.I asked for riches that I might be happy.I was given poverty that I might be wise.I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.I was given life that I might enjoy all things.I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
It reminds me that weakness, infirmity, poverty are all things the world despises but God does not function with man's wisdom.
C. S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” 

I’ve heard it said that before God can use a man greatly, He must first wound him deeply. Oswald Chambers taught, “If we are ever going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed — you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.” Charles Spurgeon talked of this too when he wrote, “I am certain that I never did grow in grace one-half so much anywhere as I have upon the bed of pain.”

Are you busy seeking comfort, health, riches, and power? Or trusting God and embracing your struggles?

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