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Seeking Things Above


If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1)

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2008-07-17

Scripture Thursday - God hears me even when he lets me struggle

Psalms 4:3 (ESV)
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.
In my devotional, this Psalm about confidence in God hearing my prayers, made me think of when it appears God is not listening.

God loves me, he has set me apart, he hears me when I call to him.  However, sometimes he doesn't intervene when I'm struggling.  Sometimes, I think He anxiously watches me struggle, as He purposely holds himself back.  He knows that, sometimes, I need to endure the disappointment and feel the pain in order to grow.

This year my oldest son participated in baseball tryouts for the first time.  His only previous experience with baseball had been playing with me in the yard and tee ball about five years ago.  He did great under the circumstances.  But for a little boy that is a perfectionist, he struggled.

As I watched, I knew it was painful for him.  I knew every missed catch and every missed swing discouraged him.  However, I also knew he had to learn from the experience.  He had to learn more than baseball that night.  He had to learn how to struggle and get back up and try again.

I wanted nothing more than to be out on that field with him.  I wanted to hug him after every misstep and tell him it would be ok.  I had to hold myself back for his sake.  At the end of the tryouts, while I know he was discouraged, I was proud.  My little boy had struggled through disappointment, picked himself up, and kept going.

So, when I'm struggling and I'm wondering why God is not making all of my issues vanish before my eyes, it may be because He is holding himself back for my sake.  I only hope I can make Him proud when I struggle and I am able to keep going by leaning on His promise.  His promise that I am set apart and He does hear me when I call to Him.


6 comments:

Tony Cathey said...

This was very good! I have been in the same place many times before. Wondering why doesn't God just take away all of my struggles and problems. If but to grow us.

Tony said...

I think what else happens sometimes is that He does intervene in our struggles, we just don't realize how bad it would have been without Him. I'm reminded of a story where a man is looking as his footsteps in time. He sees two sets of footprints and Jesus says that is Him walking next to the man. However, there is a point in time when there is only one set of footprints. These are the times when the man was struggling most. He asks Jesus, where were you when I really needed you, there is only one set of footprints during my hardest times. Jesus answers, those are My footprints as I was carrying you. The story chills me whenever I hear it.

kpasa said...

That was a great post! I thought of my friend and her kids (the woman who just lost her husband)when I was reading. I'm sure she feels at a loss for why God let her husband die. The kids don't understand why God would let a Daddy be taken away from their kids, especially since he was a believer in God, and a do-er for God. One of my coworker friends and I said that there was nothing good in this situation. And there isn't, but I have faith that God will provide comfort and strength to them. In this case, I think it's the people around them that provide support and love (God works through us) that will help sustain them. Keep writing those great posts, Tony!

Tony said...

kpasa -

Thank you for the kind comments. It is difficult when bad things happen to good people and we know that our sovereign God could have prevented it. We can't really offer up good reasons. We can just love and support those that are going through the pain. Our hope is in the promise that one day every tear will be wiped away. God bless you and may He comfort your friend and her children who are suffering right now.

Larry Darnell said...

Tony,

Looked back at some earlier stuff before I picked up on your blog...this is so true. I am living right there.

I have to relate a little baseball story of my own. When I was 12 I was pitching on an all-star team and a guy "Charlie Browned" me with the ball...hit right back at the pitcher's mound...hit me on the arm and glove, hat, shoes go flying. Next thing I know, my mom scales a 6 foot fence to rush out to the mound and had to be held back from taking out the kid who hurt her boy.

That image is how I perceive God. In that moment when we think all is lost, he rushes to our side to pick us back up, dust us off, and set us back on our feet again...the problem...we never know how long that will be.

Tony said...

Larry - great illustration. Thanks. Tony

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