Having to be in 2-4 places at once all the time is a little tiring. To borrow a phrase from Gini over at The McGlothin Family Nest, we’ve been going “90 to nothing” for a couple weeks now and it gets a little old. If you’re not careful, the devil can creep up on you and you end up like Moses in the desert–you give up the good fight with the Promise Land right over the next hill.
Today I am thankful for unanswered prayers. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss…” (James 4:3)
I’ve learned a hard lesson lately. One that that Lord’s been trying to teach me for a while and it’s just sinking in. You can not hide your sin from God. “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:16)
And just because He’s the only one that sees it, doesn’t mean He’s going to be your buddy and cover it up for you either. “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part though shalt make me to know wisdom.” (Psalms 51:6)
You can ask. Believe me, I’ve wasted a lot of my prayer time asking God to protect my sins. I say “I’m tired, frustrated, agitated, can you just please let the kids be quiet tonight?” Sounds good, right? But that’s just a cover up. That’s asking Him to manipulate others in order to help overlook my anger, my impatience, my agitated spirit. My sin.
I’m thankful that He doesn’t strike bargains like that. I’m thankful that He doesn’t change, that His Word and His Truth are fixed, and that He doesn’t honor the corrupted desires of man’s heart. I’m thankful that He doesn’t tolerate any sin–otherwise what motivation would we have to overcome it? “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
He knows it’s a hard school. But we can’t avoid the trials and tribulations and testing that helps us root out our sin, confront our fears, and overcome the devil. Every time I get to thinking I can hide it, fake it, or avoid it, the devil gladly shows me differently. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
I guess sometimes I’m even thankful for the pain that comes along with the lesson. Not always, believe me! But I’m learning that, similar to the old adage that there’s a certain peace only found on the other side of war, sometimes there is a sweeter joy in victories only found on the other side of tribulation and loss. “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 work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing…Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.” (James 1:2-4, 12)
And today I am thankful for another day to keep trying.
To keep confessing.
To keep weeping.
To keep praying.
And to keep starting anew.