My run was hard tonight. Usually the few miles or so that I occasionally do is fairly easy. However, the wind was strong off the lake this evening and it pushed against me the whole time. It amazes me always how strong I think I can be, until a little opposition presents itself. My side began to ache enormously and the pushing of the wind against me forced me to stop running and walk. I was disappointed with myself a bit, with my inability to push through the winds of nature and the pain in my side. Hmmm sounds familiar...
It reminds me of Paul and the thorn that was allowed to remain in his side. I'm reminded of how he asked the Lord to remove it and how the Lord told him that His grace was sufficient to sustain him (Paul).
Do you have a thorn in your side tonight? Something that you wish so desperately would be removed? A heartache, a sickness, or some other issue that continues to present itself?
I wonder why sometimes the Lord removes the thorns in our sides and other times He does not. Maybe it's because he knows each of us so well, and knows what we need and can handle. I went through a good long season of rest for awhile. Everything was steady, quiet...and dare say it, boring. Boring because there was no challenge of any sort it seemed. Then I pray prayers like "Lord, draw me closer to You" and all of a sudden I find the rug swiped out from underneath me and I'm struggling to find my footing again.
This might sound crazy, but feeling desperate for God makes me feel alive. Maybe that's why I pray those crazy prayers, because I need to feel Him. I want to feel like I need to cling to Him. I am a sheep and I know it. If I'm not desperate for Him, I'll eventually get desperate for something else and I don't want that.
I somehow found my way into the book of Lamentations this past week and I found a sweet nugget that I keep coming back to like a kid with his hand in a candy jar.
24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
Ah! So no matter what we go through, we can choose make Him our portion in life.
When we make Him our portion, put our hope in Him and wait on Him, He is good to us.
It doesn't say He will wave a magic wand and remove our problems or even give us what we want. It simply says He is good to us, and since His ways are higher than my ways, I want my desires to line up with His, not the other way around.
Then oddly enough, when my desires line up with His, I find I get what I want. I get Him, the God of the universe, who created the heavens and the stars. That’s a gigantic portion if you ask me and I get it all. All of Him.