Have you ever begged God to change your circumstances?
Begged him to get you out of a situation or free you from a situation or prevent you from having to go through a situation?
Boy have I been there.
Praying that God would reach down and in his great power, just rescue me from the hard.
I think I first really felt it when I had a busy houseful of littles — five kids stairstepped from one to eight years old. It was a more than full house with four adventurous boys and one little lady.
Days were a beautiful messy mix of playroom and pool toys; popguns and driveway chalk; walks up our one-car lane pushing a double stroller and steadying the newest biker.
I loved it but I was stretched to my limit and most days, past it.
God will allow us to be stretched past our limit.
In the midst of busy days filled bottom to top with parenting and cooking, cleaning and shepherding five little hearts, God brought a friend’s little preschooler who was freshly grieving his mom’s way too early death from cancer.
Sure I could do this. I already had five and what was one more while his dad was working?
So began days that summer with a one-, three-, four-, five-, six- and eight-year-old.
And I realized I couldn’t do it. Much as I wanted to, I was way past my limit.
One afternoon, after cleaning up lunch, getting the baby down for a nap and everyone else tucked onto a bed or couch or quiet spot for our rest time/reading time, I collapsed across my bed with hot tears, spilling out my churning heart to God.
I remember begging this: Change me or change my circumstances.
I’m sure you can guess how the Lord answered. He didn’t change my circumstances. Instead, as the days turned into weeks of that first summer, I fell in love with that little boy. God did for me what I could not do in my flesh.
That sweet boy folded right into our family. I remember cuddling with him in the mornings just after he was dropped off and spending hours lounged in the warm baby pool because he was terrified of the big pool. I cannot tell you how many times we went into Publix or Walmart or Target that summer with two toddlers cross-legged in the grocery buggy, the baby sitting up front and three older kids walking right next to the cart after firm instructions to stay close.
For four summers, he was one of us. Backyard Bible clubs, afternoons in the sprinkler, popsicles in the fort, bike riding down the hill, vacation Bible school, trips to Wild Adventures, the zoo, the museum, the library — all shared with this precious little boy.
As a young mom, I got a lesson that summer that I’ve held onto: God is more interested in changing me than changing my circumstance.
My flesh may want to lie down and throw a pity party. I can so easily start listing all the reasons why it’s too hard and why things should change. But if I’m willing, God will use the hard to chisel the ugly right out of my heart.
And shall I pray Thee change Thy will, my Father,
Util it be according unto mine?
But, no, Lord, no, that never shall be, rather
I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.
I pray Thee hush the hurrying, eager longing,
I pray Thee soothe the pangs of keen desire—
See in my quiet places, wishes thronging—
Forbid them, Lord, purge, though it be with fire.
― Amy Carmichael
Today, Lord, align my heart to Yours. Let circumstances accomplish their design and allay my heart until it is one with Your perfect will.
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