Thursday, October 21, 2010

Seeing God In Action

Over the weekend, I got to see God in action, working in an ugly situation that was completely unexpected. It has been such a comfort this week to know that God is on top of our problem (literally!) and working on our behalf.

Matthew 6:8b says ...."for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." I have always loved that verse, and believed it to be true, however, this week, God has given me whole new appreciation for this powerful truth.

It all started when I was doing my daily Bible reading last Thursday, and came across Matthew 5:11, which says "God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers."

I have read this verse above plenty of times in the past, but I still made a note of it in my Bible journal. It seemed to hop off the page for some reason, so I jotted it down as something important to remember.

The very next day, I found out that a girl at my daughters school, who is known for her bullying tactics, had made my daughter her latest victim. For no apparent reason, she spread some malicious rumors about her, which were all complete and unfounded lies, but very hurtful nonetheless.

As we were dealing with the shock, hurt and anger that followed, God brought Matthew 6:8b back to my mind. A verse that He had led me to on Thursday, for a situation that He knew was going to occur on Friday.

God knew what I needed, before I even knew I needed it.

I shared the verse with my daughter, encouraging her that God will prevail and that we needed to pray through this. We talked about the fact that sometimes people are targeted because of their faith, and for other reasons, but in all circumstances, if we pray, God would prevail.

Then God decided to show off a little more. Smiles.

The following Sunday morning, we went to church, only to discover that the title of the sermon was: "Where is God when I face betrayal?"

Coincidence? Absolutely not. God-incidence? Absolutely!

As we listened intently to the sermon, it was if my wonderful pastor was echoing the emotions that had been bubbling up all weekend in my daughters heart, and in mine.

Through the verses in Psalm 109, our hearts were moved as we listened to Davids journey of feeling betrayed, lied about, and falsely accused.

Through that message we were reminded that this type of problem is not new to God, it was not a surprise to Him, and we were reminded that we are not alone.

We listened to a recap of Davids feelings of frustration, and even anger. We saw the exasperation and hurt in the words that David spoke, as he poured his heart out to God.

We read about Davids desire to see God inflict justice to those who had hurt him, and how he pleaded for God to remedy the situation and enforce His holy righteousness.

You see, David wanted God to fix the situation. Make it all better. See vengeance happen. And quickly. And I could relate.

As the sermon came to a close, we were reminded that vengeance is the Lords job, not ours. And most importantly, in the face of problems, we are to praise Him - not necessarily for the problem, but for who He is, and for what He will do.

We are called to put aside our feelings, and focus on our faith. We are called to praise Him for the privilege of watching Him work miracles in our difficult situations, while trusting in His timing and His ways.

The main question left on our hearts and minds after this situation happened at school, and after having God speak to us through His Word and through our pastor, was what the next step should be .... what to do... how to act.... who to tell... if we should tell at all... if we should ignore it... if reporting it would even matter.... and if there would be negative consequences for reporting it.

As a mom, Ill be honest and tell you that my heart wanted to retaliate with the natural nature of a mama bear trying to protect her cubs from a violent predator.

However, as my pastor gently put it, God desires that we retaliate with our supernatural nature instead - which means living a life in Christ, and therefore being empowered to do the right thing.

The supernatural, and unnatural, nature to do the right thing that is driven by what Gods Word tells us to do, not what our emotions are driving us to do. The supernatural nature that allows us to diffuse anger, and seek refuge in Him instead.

Matthew 5:44 says "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,".

Honestly? Ugggggggg. I am just sure that is not my favorite verse. Heavy sigh. But last time I checked, God did not say we had to like His instructions for life, just that we were to follow them.

So I am praying. Praying for these so-called enemies. Praying for the heart of the bully who is obviously a broken soul. Praying for the people that this bully is hurting out of her brokenness.

Praying that God will allow me to operate out of my supernatural nature instead of my natural emotions. Praying for the power to forgive.

What a blessing to see God in action this week. I admit I would have preferred that God just prevented this situation altogether, but since He allowed it, I am praising Him for:

* tucking verses into my heart so I would be spiritually prepared
* whispering to my daughters heart
* whispering to my heart
* orchestrating the timing of a perfectly appropriate and much needed sermon
* reminding me of Davids feelings and Gods instructions for our actions
* helping me take measured, supernaturally-controlled steps to deal with this
* allowing our family to see Him working in the midst of the problems
* creating an opportunity for my family to discuss how God speaks to us
* blessing us with the awareness that He is with us and intervening in our lives

Dont you just love it when you see God in action? :)

Got any "God in action" stories to share from your life?

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Wander said...

This is such a great post. This has been something we've dealt with in our home too.
It's so common among teens/kids. As a mom....I cherish your advice.
I'm trying to guide my girls to trust everyway & situation!

Tasha said...

I love to see God in action and I love to hear stories where other people see God in action. Thank you so much for sharing this! (I actually just figured out how to sign in under my blogger account and not under anonymous. :) Hopefully!