You will be tested! Two weeks ago I was asked to write an article for the Connection Magazine with the theme of Building Kingdom Communities. I stated that God desires to build His Kingdom Communities through us, but before He can build through us, He first of all desires to build in us. And many times He builds in us through challenging circumstances or situations. I wrote, “Many times when we are in challenging situations we are praying, Lord, get me out of this. When our real prayer should be, Lord, get this out of me! Get out of me whatever it is that is causing me to respond in this manner.” The article was proofed and OK’d on Friday afternoon.
James writes it this way. 1:2-4 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Friday afternoon around 5:30 PM, I found myself in the hospital emergency room standing over my precious wife who was in a very serious physical situation and the words that I had just written for the magazine came flooding back into my mind. At that point in time I only had one thought, Lord, get me out of this! I wasn’t interested in Him getting anything out of me at that moment, I just wanted to get out of this situation. I turned to Larry and LaVerne, who were there with us and said. “ I just wrote an article for the connection magazine….” and reiterated what I just wrote previously. He said, yea, it was really good. I said, “Can we pull the article?” I really only have one thought right now, “Get me out of this!” At that point in time, I wished I had never written the article in the first place.
There are a number of points here worth noting, 1) God was exposing some areas in my life that He wanted to deal with and would, if I would allow Him to do so. 2) I was being tested on the words that I had just written. See James 3:1 for more on that. 3) He wanted to conform me more to His image and pour more of Himself into me, If I yielded to Him. It was not a fun process. It was sometime later that I seriously began to pray, “OK Lord, get out of me whatever it is that needs to come out. Deal with the fear, the lack of peace, the lack of trust, whatever it is that is manifesting itself right now that is not founded in You, get it out of me.
Is it all gone? No, probably not. But there is a much greater revelation of His love and peace than there was previously. And there are some things that were highlighted from that experience that I am still processing my way through. What are you facing this week? May His peace and grace feed His presence in you and may your heart yield to the cry, “Lord get this out of me before you get me out of this.”