Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Being "Pruned" hurts

I purchased a little book called "100 Verses Every Mom Needs To Know." Everyday, I'm supposed to memorize a scripture, for my benefit and for the benefit of the kiddos. Today's verse, is something I struggle with. The key word being "I".

2 Peter 3:18 (ESV)
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Even though the root of the verse deals with spiritual growth, it's the process of growing spiritually that's uncomfortable. Life's lessons are sometimes painful. My friend Lindsay says, "Anna, God is pruning you and pruning is uncomfortable." And she is correct.

I've never had the patience of Job. And God prunes me in this area of my life daily. God puts people in my life that I'm FORCED to be patient with. Lately, I'm failing miserably. Now, after a day of dealing with situations where I need to be patient, I'm reflecting on my behavior. Did I just talk the talk? Or did I actually walk the walk? Answer... I need to do better. Friends, I ask you to please pray for me in this area. I don't want to ruin my witness because I have zero patience.

James 1:19 (ESV)
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

I struggle with completely trusting God with my issues. Why is it so hard to say, "Lord, I'm at a loss. My way doesn't work. Your will is what I desire. Please Jesus, take it. Take it from me. I don't want the burden of it any longer."??? I know that He says He knows the desires of my heart. It's hard to "let go" because we are used to the immediate answer. I'm having to remind myself that the immediate answer is not always God's answer. Over the years I've learned that Anna's answers aren't worth spitting on! God's TRUTH is ALWAYS reliable and ALWAYS right!
Psalm 37:4 (ESV)
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

John 14:6 (ESV)
And Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life...

I'm also learning that spiritual growth doesn't always come through adversity. And the more I grow spiritually the more I learn to remember Him and praise Him in the happiness and beautiful aspects of my life. For instance today, I was dreading the heat in a cemetery with nearly no shade. The heat and humidity of being outside in my funeral suit for no telling how long was so despairing. As we pulled into the cemetery in our air conditioned vehicles, I looked for our tent over the grave. It was then that I noticed that our tent was up in the one spot in the whole cemetery with shade! God knew that the desire of my heart today was to not be in the open sun! And you know what??? He answered that prayer! I immediately looked up and said, thank you Lord! It makes me smile that even simple prayers like that, He answers. He loves me. I don't deserve any of it. None of us do. But He loves me in spite of my selfish, impatient, bad tempered, moody ways. And I'm so thankful He does.

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