So which one are you?
But Thou art making me, I thank Thee, sire. What Thou hast done and doest Thou knows't well. And I will help Thee; gently in Thy fire I will lie burning; on Thy potter's wheel I will whirl patient, though my brain should reel. Thy grace shall be enough the grief to quell, And growing strength perfect through weakness dire.-George MacDonald,Diary Of an Old Soul, October 2..
While talking to my Mom the other day I explained to her, as you blog and get to know a wide variety of women your heart becomes more and more tender. Life just is not fair, and you find people who are going through situations that are just plain hard! Part of me wants me to crawl back into my hole and put my rose color glasses back on.
But that is not where the Lord wants me; the blessing lies in opening up your heart and loving. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by pain that other people have to bear. And being a sister who stands before the throne for women who are going through a difficult time can be overwhelming for the person praying also. There is a part of me that says, “why Lord, why are you allowing this to happen to the person I care for? My heart breaks for them.”
Why does God allow these difficult trials? While pleading to God this week, He has shown me that He is not only teaching the one going through the difficult time, but also the one who stands before the throne praying for them.
Christ said each one of us will go through a season of pruning. God is the Gardner, we are the vine and if we are to bear fruit then we will need to go through some pruning. When a tree is pruned, not only is the bad cut away, but also what appears to be the good. (ie. bad things happening to good people). “This is my Father's glory, that you may bear fruit in plenty and so be my disciples" (John 15:8, NEB). What we need to realize is that we don’t need to understand why; we just need to realize this is part of the process of growing.
Secondly, Christ might be refining us through our difficult time. When a potter creates a clay pot, the pot is first shaped, molded, and then made beautiful. Then the last step is a firing process.
According to Wikipedia, it states the “firing produces irreversible changes in the body. It is only after firing that the article can be called pottery.” If God stopped at just shaping us (no matter how good we looked), we would bend and break when the slightest trial came our way. It is the firing that makes us strong, it is the firing that makes us useable to God. And while going through the firing, God promises in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is all you need; power comes to its full strength in weakness" (NEB). And I don’t know about you, but I like the fact God will develop “irreversible changes” in me.
Then after the firing process, you have something beautiful, molded by the masters hands, but very sturdy against storms that may come your way.
But I suggest not only is the one going through the fire or difficult time is the only one being taught by God.
The person who stands before the throne for another:
This person is taught the power of prayer. James 5:16b – 17 " The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years." There is power in prayer.
Secondly, we are taught to be faithful. Romans 12:12 “When you hope be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful.” In Strong’s concordance the word faithful is defined as “to persevere.” We are to persevere for a friend or loved one. We stand strong when they are weak.
Then in I Peter 3:12 we have the promise, “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
So when one person’s prayers are answered and another person emerges from the firing process, both individuals have been taught an important lesson before God. There is nothing more exciting then to see a prayer for a friend or family member answered that you have been praying for. The same goes for when you emerge from the firing process; you are strong and ready to take on whatever winds may blow.
How awesome is our God, that no matter what position we are in, the difficult time, or the one praying…..each person emerges blessed and renewed.
So if you are going through a time of fire, gather some prayer buddies around you to stand before the throne. If you are in a season of peace, take on another and persevere in prayer. I promise in the end both will be blessed.