May 24, 2011
I Wanted to See God's Faithfulness
"You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry." Psalm 10:17 (NIV)
My heart pounded. My teeth clenched. My hands gripped the arms of my chair. I was in the midst of watching a stressful soccer game my 15 year old son was playing in on a beautiful weekend afternoon recently.
His team had a history of unpleasant experiences with this aggressive team. Every season, each game with this team inevitably spiraled into intense rough and rude behavior, language that would make your hair stand on end and a sideline of coaches and parents that made the actions on the field seem minimal.
As we drove the hour long commute to the game, I encouraged my son to play clean and to represent God well. He asked me to "keep praying" as he got out of the car and walked toward the field.
I realize it was only a soccer game, but I started to pray and I didn't stop. I prayed for safety. I prayed for good attitudes. I also selfishly prayed that we would finally win a game against this team.
I watched with a grateful heart as my son huddled his teammates together to pray before they embarked on the field.
I begged God, again, to let them win this game. I wanted to see His faithfulness. I wanted my son and his teammates to learn that when you pray and seek God, you will win.
But winning isn't always the way God chooses to show His faithfulness. What a lesson for my son — what a lesson for me.
The game began, and as expected, the players got increasingly aggressive and the intimidating tactics started to build.
"Please show your faithfulness God," I prayed.
The shoving ensued, the language flew and the opposing coaches screamed beyond reason. I wanted to leave, yet I knew I needed to stay to support my son.
Our team lost a very difficult game that day. They were frustrated and extremely disappointed.
As we drove home, I tried my best to encourage my son, but deep in my heart and mind I found myself wishing God would have stepped in. I wanted God to show His faithfulness on the field that day. I wanted them to win the game. I wanted my son to see that God heard and answered his prayers.
We trust in a God who protects, guides, listens, and always understands the hows and whys behind every intricate detail. I reluctantly admit that after this particular game, it took me quite awhile to recall these truths and in turn relay them to my son.
God shows His faithfulness in ways we do not see. I am often reminded of this when I read Isaiah 55:9, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." I had to remind myself that His answers are not always immediately evident.
His love, strength and power unfold in ways we may never fully comprehend. I desperately wanted God to show Himself faithful on the field that day. But winning isn't the only way He shows His faithfulness.
He heard and answered our prayers, just not necessarily in every way we wanted. No one was injured. Everyone returned home safely.
God was faithful. He surely was.
How might God be showing His faithfulness in your life today?
Dear Lord, thank you for your faithfulness, even during the times I cannot see it. I know you are always there — loving me and protecting me. Please help me to trust in you and your perfect path for me today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
To read more from Holly click here to see several blog posts she has written over the years on Lysa's blog.
If this devotion resonated with you, don't miss Lysa's book: Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl
When we look back at circumstances in our lives we often find that the outcomes were not always what we wanted or prayed. But they are a part of us and a part of our story. Always on time and in just the right way. List or ponder those situations today and marvel at the higher purpose God had for you.
Do I believe that God is always on time?
What are my responses to teachable moments with my kids about God?
Psalm 139:6, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain."
Isaiah 42:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (NIV)
Isaiah 45:2a, "I will go before you and will level the mountains..." (NIV)
© 2011 by Holly Good. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 24 May 2011.