2 Corinthians 1:9 (ESV)
Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.
But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
It sits on my sink counter, gathering dust. I notice it every day but rarely open it. Perhaps it will serve another purpose in my life. But for now, it reminds me of my past.
The leader of my support group had given the small wooden box to me one evening after class. Gold Sharpie was used to write “God” across the top. She told me I was to write out the “issue” I was struggling with, fold up the paper, and put it in the box. And leave it.
I had been fighting with God every day, and cried tears of frustration to Him. How could You allow these events in my life? I had done ‘all the right things’! That was how most of my days began and ended. I felt ripped off, short changed, and dumped on. Even entitled.
So I wrote the issue on a slip of paper and put it in. Then I took it out. I stood there holding the tiny paper in my clenched fingers. Why was this so difficult? Just put it in and leave it, I told myself.
How could I trust God completely for THIS? As I prayed through my struggle for many months, parts of my life continued to deteriorate. This is supposed to be fixing my problems, not adding to them! God, what is the point of following You when You allow this? My marriage was struggling, our finances were more than struggling, and my husband was without work, unhealthy, and we were both spiritually bankrupt.
I was putting the problem in God’s hands and I couldn’t take it back. I must accept however God chose to work on the problem, in His own time. Trusting God with this issue was not without its daily challenges. Days and weeks and months went by. I refused to remove the slip of paper from the box. And I tried, with every fiber of my being, to trust God for the results.
Finally, one month we had a major breakthrough. For three months, my husband began to heal emotionally and spiritually. We sat together at the Christmas Eve service, his arm around me, fully participating in the worship service with our children.
But just days later, we sat together again, surrounding his hospital bed, saying, “So long for now.” Wait, hadn’t I trusted God with my husband’s spiritual and physical and emotional needs? How in the world could this be the best way to solve the problems?
I must accept however God chooses to work on the problem, in His own time.
Sometimes, Friend, we write our problems down and slip it in a box to symbolize our giving it to God. And sometimes, often, God’s answer is completely not what we expect – sometimes better, sometimes “worse”. But through all of this, I have to believe that God is good, all the time. God’s timing is best for bringing glory to Him. It isn’t about my happiness or my comfort. We have been sold a bill of goods, if that is the Christian faith we follow. He is God, and I am not.
What are you struggling with? Finances? Marriage? Singleness? Rebellious child? Infertility? Infidelity? Addictive behavior in a loved one? Write your struggle down and place it in a symbolic box, showing yourself you are giving it to God. Completely to God. Can you trust God enough for this problem? Let’s give these issues to God and fully rely on Him enough to “allow” Him to answer His way, in His timing. And now that I think about it, I have something I need to put in the box.
Father God, You are my God, my Healer, my Protector. Give me strength to fully rely on You for all the issues I am dealing with today. My problems are big, but not too big for You! You are enough and today I am giving these problems to You, and trusting You to answer them in Your timing, not mine. Amen
Elizabeth Dyer is a writer/speaker with A New Season Ministries, Inc.. She resides in Oklahoma, amid earthquakes and tornadoes, giving her ample opportunities to trust God! Her six children, large dog, noisy cat, and guinea pigs keep her busy enough, but she still finds time to have coffee now and then with a friend. Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and loves to share how God is leading her on this new journey. If you are interested in having Elizabeth or any of our speakers come to your church, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org