My granddaughter, Mikaylah Grace, means the world to me. She has big beautiful eyes, a contagious smile, and she gives the best hugs and kisses ever.
It’s amazing to watch her as she discovers her new world which, unfortunately, includes getting into Nana’s things and much more around the house.
I have a beautiful Calico cat named Kati. Mikaylah loves to watch me pour the cat’s food and water into the bowls during feeding time.
She watches everything I do.
Recently, Mikaylah began dumping the cat’s food on the floor so she could pour some more into the bowl.
Oh my. After doing this a couple times a day whenever she visited, I decided that I had to put her in her play pen without any toys and let her remain there for a little while as a form of discipline.
Oh, you should have seen the tears and how she held her arms up for me to take her out of the play pen.
It hurt me to my core to see her in such desperation.
After my heart couldn’t take it any longer, I reached into the play pen to pick her up and the biggest smile came across her face.
Then she grabbed my neck and hugged me so tight until I felt like the best Nana in the world.
Now, whenever she goes over to the cat’s bowl, she looks at the bowl, then she looks at me, and the cat is looking at me also as if to say “are you gonna let her destroy my meal again?”.
I can see the wheels turning in my granddaughter’s mind .
She’s remembering her discipline and how it made her feel to be so isolated from Nana for the longest 10 minutes (or maybe 5 for my lack of discipline) of her entire almost 2-year-old life.
In the same manner that I had to discipline my granddaughter, the Father has disciplined me so that I may recognize sin, repent of the sin, and discontinue it’s effect in my life.
When the Father wants to bring to light a behavior or sin that we’ve committed, he may allow trials to invade our selfish lives to get our attention.
The bible says that the Father discipline those He loves.
At other times, trials may be used to test our faith and trust in our Sovereign God.
We can proclaim our faith and trust in God as loud as clamoring cymbals, but when trials comes, do we withdraw our proclamations? Or do we hold fast to what we believe?
Take a look with me at the book of James. In James 1: 2-4 the bible states “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”.
As I read this scripture, I’m reminded of the lessons I learned during a particular trial.
During the trial, I realized how impatient I had become. The questions of “why, how, and when” crept into my mind many times throughout those days.
Patience requires waiting on the Lord. However, waiting does not mean we are not to exercise our faith.
Faith is like a muscle. The more we exercise it, the stronger it becomes. While working our faith, patience is perfecting the Word and character of Christ in us.
Therefore, when our faith is under pressure and squeezed under the heavy weight of testing, what is inside of us will eventually come out of us.
So, during the early part of the trial, I prayed and confessed and did all I knew to do to hear from God.
But during that time, like a teacher who doesn’t talk during the test, God was quiet for a time with me.
After some time, the Lord began revealing some things about my character that was not in alignment with His.
One particular sin was so hidden in me that at its revealing, I simply brushed it off and ran straight into the comforting arms of denial where I’d hide out for awhile until this ugly truth passed.
Or so I thought. But even there, God found me and took me to the scriptures and reminded me of incidents in my past where I had boldly displayed this sin.
Consequently, I began to understand why I was in this particular trial. Like my granddaughter, I was standing in the play pen, void of my toys or pleasures of life, with my arms held high in the air waiting on my Daddy to deliver me from His discipline.
You see, I thought that somehow I was “showing off God” in my life. I thought that I was showing others that if you serve my God, He will do for you what He has done for me.
In reality, the Lord showed me that I was not bragging on Him, but on myself.
Yes, God had done some awesome things in my life. However, my arrogance had made others feel as if God favored me only.
The bible says that pride (arrogance) goes before the fall or destruction of man.
The apostle Paul sent out a warning against pride in the 2Corinthians 12: 6 – 10. As Paul stated in verse 7, “And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted.” [Also found in Job. 2:6.].
Paul had many things to brag about. But he abstained from boasting to keep him from becoming too puffed up. Additionally, he was given a constant reminder (thorn in flesh, messenger of Satan) to keep him humble.
Oh saints, let me tell you, I have been humbled. Consequently, the trial was not just about my arrogance, but about my faith and trust in God as well.
Luke 8:13 says “And those upon the rock [are the people] who, when they hear [the Word], receive and welcome it with joy; but these have no root. They believe for a while, and in time of trial and temptation fall away (withdraw and stand aloof).
He’s saying to me, do you really trust me (the Rock), even when the heat is turned up? Will you continue to have faith in me? Does your faith roots go deep, or is it surface faith?
There are things that God revealed to me that He is saying cannot go in the next level of faith He’s taking me to.
My faith is being tested, refined, strengthened. In all of that, the junk is being burned up too.
Not everything is meant to be shared, and I struggled with sharing this so publicly. But any of you who follow my blog know that I’ve written many posts about the ups and downs of my life to somehow encourage others.
Therefore, when faced with trials:
- Praise God for them because He’s doing a work in you.
- Exercise your faith by speaking the Word of God only over your life. If it’s in the bible, speak it.
- Seek God with all of your heart and He will be found of you.
- Ask the Lord to give you a Word and/or provide you with dreams and visions. He will make a way of escape for you by providing peace, strength, and even direction while you’re in the trial.
- Finally, remember that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father cheering us on, the Holy Spirit provides encouragement, comfort, and peace, and the Father knows what He’s doing because He will never put more on us than we can bare.
May God’s love overwhelm you,