October 21, 2009
Whatever It Takes
"For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance."
Psalm 66:10-12 (NIV)
This school year, my husband and I made some big changes in our house. We took the kids' computer out of the bonus room and gave them use of our two laptop computers in our presence only. We took the extra TV out of the bonus room. We got rid of all the extra channels on our satellite service, leaving the basic few. And we began requiring that our two children who have cell phones turn them in for the night at 8pm.
Why did we implement these seemingly harsh decisions? Because last school year our children made some bad choices… and their grades reflected it. They chose to watch TV in the bonus room instead of going to bed at a decent hour. They chose to play on the computer when they were supposed to be working on assignments. They chose to text their friends instead of focus on their schoolwork.
After repeated lectures and warnings, they still made the same mistakes. This pattern of behavior left us no choice but to come in and remove the things that were a stumbling block. The kids didn't like our decision and to them it seemed unfair. But we stood firm. We knew that we were doing the right thing for our children. We could see a future they could not, and we had to protect that future for them—even if they didn't understand our method for doing so. As their parents, we have to do whatever it takes.
Sometimes God has to do the same for us. At the time His plan may seem harsh and unnecessary. We may not realize that He can see a future we cannot. We are His children, and He will remove all stumbling blocks that keep us from being all that we can be. Even if it hurts. Even when we cry and beg Him not to. Even when we pout and tell Him it's not fair.
It's because I love you, He tells us, that I do this. I am creating something beautiful in you if you will just stop fighting me. I have a place I am trying to get you to. You can't see it, my precious child, but I can.
Is there something God is doing in your life that feels unjust? That has you pouting or crying or wondering why? Maybe you identify with the verses from today. You feel imprisoned, burdened, trampled, burned. Do you trust Him to bring you out of the place where you are to a place of abundance? The most beautiful prayer we can pray is: I trust You, I trust You, I trust You. He is a loving Father who only wants the best for us and He will do whatever it takes to get us there. Instead of fighting Him, let's rest in that Truth.
Dear Lord, I trust You. I trust You. I trust You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Everyday Life encouragement is just a click away!
Becoming A Woman of Influence, CD message by Marybeth Whalen
For the Write Reason General Editor Marybeth Whalen
When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference by Carolyn Custis James
Is there a time that God did whatever it took and you later realized it was good for you? Spend time journaling about that today.
How is God doing whatever it takes in your life right now? Are you recognizing it or rebelling against it?
Psalm 143:7-8, "Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." (NIV)
Psalm 18:19, "He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." (NIV)
© 2009 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 21 October 2009.