“Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” Luke 20:18
It was one of those days that brought exhaustion and frustration. One of the girls was having a really rough day getting control over herself. The temper tantrums kept coming and there was no end in sight. As my daughter started in on another huge fit, I decided it was time to take serious measures. I brought her into a quiet area of the house, sat on the floor with her on my lap, and wrapped my arms around her lovingly, but firm. Arms flailing, head wrenching around, legs kicking, it took all my energy to hold her into place. “Mommy, no! Stop!” I knew I wasn’t hurting her. I was speaking calmly, explaining that she would not be able to get up until she calmed down and stopped her tantrum. “I know you are having a hard time getting some control and I love you. So I am going to help you get some control. We will do this together.”
Ten minutes went by. Still kicking and screaming. Fifteen minutes, still fighting me, but her body was getting tired. Twenty minutes later, she let out one last scream and her body went limp with exhaustion. She was done. I quickly let her go and turned her around. Reassuring her of my love and giving her many kisses, I went on to tell her that this behavior is not acceptable and that she CAN get control over herself. She has all the ability inside of her.
This temper tantrum is a perfect picture of a very similar fight I had with the Lord about 6 months ago. I was starting to feel this prick in my heart. Being under conviction, I felt that God was wanting some changes in me. And not just little ones. Big ones. You know, those huge leaps of faith that are terrifying. Like that. I had this strong urge to ask God to really increase my faith. To do a mighty work in me so that I could go from doing the “good Christian girl thing” of going through the motions to really being changed from within.
Now, I have known from personal experience and from seeing other’s lives that God doesn’t just increase your faith with a snap of a finger. There is work involved. Hard work. Sweat, blood and tears. And this was the part I was not ready for. I didn’t like work. I didn’t like pain. But the still small voice kept talking to me every day asking me what I was waiting for. Is not God in control? Don’t you want your faith to increase? I fought it for a good month. Every day, I held off asking God to increase my faith because I knew once my heart bled those words out, something big was coming.
I finally confided in a dear friend. I explained to her what my struggle was and all about my temper tantrum I was having. How I was fighting God to get things my way, and yet was so miserable. She committed to pray for me. How thankful I am for friends like this. Those faithful few who really do love me enough to help me through these times. It was probably obvious to her what I needed to do, but my faith is not as strong as her. She is a seasoned woman in the Lord and I am not there yet. So she lovingly prayed and waited.
Then, one day I couldn’t take it any longer. I was so tired of kicking and screaming and fighting. I thought, ” Anything that is coming has got to be better than this miserable state.” I got on my knees, told the Lord I was sorry that I fought Him so long. I know He is the Creator and in full control of every area in my life, heart, and soul. He can help my faith in Him increase, no matter what may come.
When I rose from my knees, my life was never the same. This flood of peace came over me and even though there was so much unknown, I felt that I could handle it and more exciting was that my faith would change! Who I was in the Lord was going to be different. Then, I waited….
About a month later…. Molly’s diagnosis. There it is. There is the water, food, and shelter that will help my faith grow. An ugly, scary, full blown tumor that unless God intercedes will take my Daughter’s life.
Whoa. Wasn’t ready for that one, Lord. Couldn’t you have picked something easier? I really think you should have considered taking my own health. Or how about financial problems? A hurricane? Anything but this!
I’m still in this faith growing process. I have not arrived. I will never arrive until I am dead. But I have seen my faith change. My faith begin to grow. To deepen. I understand things much better in view of His Word than I ever have before. Everything just looks different.
So the question is, am I glad that I asked God to increase my faith? Absolutely. Why? Because I really think that God was preparing me for what was to come. He already knew Molly would have this cancer. He was preparing my heart for the change that was on its way. I kind of got a head’s up. And I know he is with me every step of the way. I feel Him. I see Him. And if my faith is to grow, I have to go through some ugly to get there. Our whole family does. But we are doing it together, through Him, not alone.
Written November 1, 2014