Girlfriends in God - Sept. 23, 2009

September 23, 2009 
The Contact Lens and the Ant 
Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
2 Chronicles 16:9 "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him."

Friend To Friend 
Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the enormous granite cliff when she stopped for a well-deserved breather. Standing on a narrow ledge, she measured how far she had come and reveled in the excitement of her first rock climb.  As she rested there, the safety rope suddenly snapped against her eye, knocking out her contact lens. "Great!" she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry." She looked and looked, hoping that somehow the contact lens had landed on the ledge, but it simply was not there.  As panic began to set in, Brenda immediately prayed for peace and help in finding her contact lens. Taking a deep breath, she resumed her climb.

When she got to the top, a friend closely examined Brenda's eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Brenda was now calm because she had reached the top, but was also sad because she could not clearly see the beauty of the mountain range around her. A bible verse suddenly popped into her mind, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth."  Brenda smiled as she thought, "Lord, You can see all of these mountains. You know every stone and leaf and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me find it." 

Later, when Brenda and her group of friends had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff, they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"  Well, that would be startling enough, but do you know why the climber happened to see the lens?  He had noticed an ant that was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying the contact lens.

The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy, but if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

Just this week, I have repeatedly asked God why I have to carry one of the current burdens in my life. As far as I can tell, there is absolutely nothing good in it and the weight of that burden seems to get heavier with each passing day. Then yesterday, I received an email from a friend who thought I might need to hear this story of the ant and the contact lens. God has such a great sense of humor, doesn't He?  I got the message and am now praying, "Lord, if you want me to carry this load, I will."

I may never understand the purpose of this particular burden but remember ... human understanding is not necessary for spiritual obedience. That's where faith comes in.

Are you carrying a burden that seems to grow heavier with each step you take?  Does the load you carry seem pointless and hard to understand?  Trust God.  He will supply all the strength and power you need for every burden that comes your way.

Let's Pray 
Father, please forgive me when I complain about the burdens and problems that come my way.  I want to face each one with joy and peace.  Give me the faith to trust You and to daily surrender to Your plan - even when I don't understand it.  Help me to stand firm when I want to give up and remind me that You are working all things together in my life for my good and Your glory.  Today, I choose faith over fear.  I choose Jesus.

In Jesus' name, 

Now It's Your Turn 

  • Grab your bible, a piece of paper, a pen or pencil and find a quiet place to get alone with God.  
  • Make a list of the burdens you are carrying today. Be specific. 
  • Read the verses listed below and commit them to memory. Pray them and claim them for each burden in your life.  
  • Beside each burden you listed, write one of the following verses. Surrender that burden to Him and leave it at His feet.

      Psalm 68:19 "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."

      Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."

      Galatians 5:1"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

More From The Girlfriends 
It seems like everywhere I turn, I find people who are burdened, facing each day with a sense of hopelessness. God does not want us to be victims of the burdens in our life.  He came so we could live in freedom, relying totally on Him for strength and power to live each day.  If you are like me, it is easy to get caught up in the trap of trying to "fix" our problems or eliminate our burdens instead of appropriating God's power and promises to sustain us.  Pride keeps me from admitting my helplessness and arrogance convinces me that I can handle it on my own.  Wrong!  I encourage you to celebrate your weaknesses, knowing God delights in transforming each weakness into a vessel through which His power and glory can shine! 

Need help?  Join Mary's online bible study, Light for the Journey, for practical ways to plug God's truth into your daily life.  The current topic is "The Seven Habits of a Powerful Life."  Need more resources?  Check out Mary's books, CDs, MP3s and E-Book Bible Studies.   

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Originally published Wednesday, 23 September 2009.