“…If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought…” James 1:5-8 (The Message)
I have a saying I love to repeat often in our family, “Everyone has problems.” I say this for multiple reasons: one to remind us all that nobody’s perfect and therefore none of us are expected to be perfect, but also to remind us to give grace for each other’s problems because before too long, it will probably be the family member issuing the judgment who will need grace next.
Recently one of our recurrent family issues reared its ugly head again. When someone in a family is suffering for whatever reason, there is usually a ripple effect and it filters down to everyone else. One particular night as we were heading to bed, after having had what felt like a very unfruitful discussion with our kids, Bill and I prayed, asking God for wisdom for this particular “Achilles heel.” I fell asleep confident that God had this but in all honesty, not knowing what He would show us differently since we’d been dealing for years now with variations of this particular topic.
The very next day while my husband was at work, I continued the conversation that was started the night before, hoping to go at it from an angle that would make more sense. That’s when God answered the prayer from the night before so clearly. It was as though God lifted the veil and I was able to see the problem from His perspective. Instead of seeing the symptoms of the issue we’ve been wrestling with, I saw the issue for what it truly was. God didn’t stop there – He also offered hope. In that moment I spoke to the direct issue and shared with my kids what God had revealed to me, hopefully in a way that made sense. Then I left it alone until Bill and I could get together and see what God wanted us to do next.
We didn’t have to wait long. As I shared with Bill what God had showed me, he then shared with me what God was showing him. He had been drawn to an audio book from the library and it was not a coincidence that God had valuable information on the CD that spoke directly about what we were dealing with in our family and needed divine intervention for. At the same time, God reminded me of another resource that we had in our home that would also be helpful and we started to implement that as well. All the resources kept bringing the issue back to the Bible and what God has to say about the issue – and how He wants to help us gain victory in this area – once and for all.
There have been multiple times in my life when I know that I know that I know God is speaking and I have obeyed, but usually that was for a career change or something that affects me directly and my family indirectly. This time, though, God spoke so clearly to both Bill and I about an issue our family has been dealing with for years and offered us both hope together…in ways that complement each other and I believe will help bring healing faster. There is hard work that needs to be done diligently for the healing to take place, but God got us started in the right direction and I have confidence we are walking in the right direction. Sometimes, for me, that’s the hardest part of the battle – knowing I’m walking in the direction God wants me to travel.
I want to encourage you today. If you are going through an issue or difficulty in your life, offer it to God and ask for His wisdom. I believe you too will be amazed at how quickly and how specifically He will answer when you truly seek His will.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015