NOVEMBER 19, 2015
Showing Our Troubles to God
"They told him, ‘This is what King Hezekiah says: Today is a day of trouble, insults, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver the baby.’" 2 Kings 19:3 (NLT)
During the fall semester of her senior year in college, my friend Sandy’s life sort of fell apart within a matter of two days. Her steady boyfriend called it quits. She got strep throat. She slept through her mid-term exams. Her beloved grandmother passed away. Then she received a letter from her college. While dealing with her Grandma’s death, her parents forgot to pay the spring semester tuition bill. All her classes had been dropped.
She told me this story 20 years after it happened. However, all the heartbreak and mishaps didn’t strike me as much as Sandy’s reaction did. When she walked out of the post office, she headed straight to a park on campus. There, she sat by a stream. As her tears hit the cancelled-classes letter, she prayed and told God the same story she’d told me.
Rather than running home to call her parents or talk to her roommates, Sandy headed straight to the Lord. Her response to difficulties reminded me of King Hezekiah in the Old Testament.
This king had been repeatedly tested. His enemy, the King of Assyria, not only insulted King Hezekiah personally, but on more than one occasion tried to mess with his army’s psyche. His enemy kept sending threatening letters to Hezekiah and his strength ran out.
Whooped and beaten, King Hezekiah didn’t have it in him to make it one more day. "They told him, ‘This is what King Hezekiah says: Today is a day of trouble, insults, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver the baby’" (2 Kings 19:3).
When he could take it no longer, King Hezekiah used his last bit of vigor to pick himself up and go to the Temple of the Lord. There, as we read in 2 Kings 19:14, he spread out the distressing letter before God. I love the visual of Hezekiah, the powerful king of Israel, humbly and feebly showing his troubles to God.
I often seek counsel from trusted friends before taking my concerns to the Lord. Perhaps deep down I feel I need someone with skin who can help me audibly process my problems. Godly friends are wonderful sources of wisdom and care. But rather than spread my troubles out among several friends, I want to spread them out before the One and only God first.
At Proverbs 31 Ministries, we want to help others do the same. Our deepest desire is to help women around the globe weave God’s Word into the rhythm of their lives, through the collection of ministries we offer each day.
Just imagine the peace you’d experience by showing your troubles to God, and placing His truth front and center in your day — instead of focusing on challenges that come your way.
I’m not sure what Sandy prayed that difficult day two decades ago, but Hezekiah’s prayer is recorded for us in the Bible. Next time we’re faced with hardships, we could repeat his words to God: "O LORD, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O LORD, and listen! Open your eyes, O LORD, and see!" (2 Kings 19:15b-16a, NLT)
Lord, thank You for my godly friends and their wisdom. Quicken my spirit to turn to You when I need strength and my troubles seem overwhelming. You are my very present help in times of trouble. Help me to seek You first each and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Chronicles 16:11, "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always." (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you believe God hears your prayers? If not, why not?
When is a time you prayed to God and felt His peace?
© 2015 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 19 November 2015.