by Marcy Lytle
I have wished many times in my life that God would be like the Fairy Godmother who waves her wand and – poof! – Change takes place. Visible, beautiful change, from drab to fab. I’m not talking about God outfitting me in a ball gown and glass slippers, but rather wiping away all my weaknesses with a pass of his hand and a quick wave over my mind. I know that he did “zap” one guy named Saul and he was changed instantly, but that doesn’t seem to be his method of operation most of the time…
Most of the time, God gently nudges us to remember his goodness and give thanks in everything so that we can rise out of our despair.
Most of the time, God reminds us of his faithfulness in the past and his promises for the future, so that we train our hands to fight the good fight of faith for the next hurdle in our path.
Most of the time, God uses others to prod us and aid us, when we are in need, so that we humbly learn to receive.
Most of the time, God invites us to his feet to pray and worship for long periods of time, until we are soaked and see his face of love and kindness toward us.
Most of the time, our trials linger and reappear causing us to pull up and adjust that full armor suit he gave us – of salvation, faith, and peace – to stave off the darts that fly at us by day…and night.
Most of the time, circumstances and people around us cause us angst and worry and frustration, and we are once again invited to lay our burdens down at his feet, and walk away rested and weary no more.
In other words, most of the time there is no magic wand or genie in a bottle that grants us three wishes daily, so that our lives are perfect and joyful. Our joyful lives come from leaping for joy in the most inopportune times, reaching out in faith when we can’t see a hand to take hold of, and closing our eyes and lying back in green pastures, when the shadow of death is just over the cliff nearby.
There are days when I just hope so badly for a one and done deal – I pray and he answers and removes all that is causing me grief. In fact, I’d love it if he’d do just that so that I can never have another worrisome thought, never wonder about provision, never be daunted by illness and loss, and never stray in my faith – ever.
But here I sit, after having a day full of swirling thoughts that were anything but good ones. Mostly questions of “what if” plagued me yesterday and zapped my joy. And I felt bad about it when I went to bed and even stated so, to my husband. Being the one in our family that never worries about anything, he wisely said there was nothing to feel bad about. He prayed for me, and we shut our eyes and went to sleep. He told me he just lives each day and KNOWS that whatever happens, the Lord will be with him, as hard as that happening might be.
I’m not cut from the same faith cloth as my husband. Oh, I have immense faith when I pray for others, but I tend to struggle daily with my own mind and what could or might take place. It’s a daily climb up the stairs of good thinking for me. I start with the truth, step up to higher thoughts, and keep stepping until I can praise His name and see His face instead of gazing at the field below where the floods and storms still rage.
No, it’s not working hard that brings me peace. It’s obedience to His word to ask for daily bread and not bread that will last on my shelves for months. That kind of bread is not fit to eat.
Most of the time, if not all of the time, it’s that kind of prayer that He honors and grants – the prayer that starts with Father, In heaven, hallowed be Your name – your kingdom come – your will be done…you know the rest.
Fairy godmothers aren’t real. And genies in bottles are only for fun, as well, to imagine. But God the Father, the good good father, is more real than we can even imagine. And he’s at work to will and to do of his good pleasure in our lives. That’s a promise, in the middle of the darkest night, and one we can take to the bank ALL OF THE TIME.
... for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.