He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” — Matthew 26:39
We all struggle. But did you ever think that perhaps God may be using your struggles to change you? To shape you? Even to heal you? For two years I have been asking God to remove the pain in my writing hand. Even as I write these words, I feel stiffness in my thumb, fingers, forearm, and shoulder. The doctors chalk it up to thirty-plus books written in longhand. Over the decades the repeated motion has restricted my movement, rendering the simplest of tasks — writing a sentence on a sheet of paper — difficult.
So I do my part. I stretch my fingers. A therapist massages the muscles. I avoid the golf course. I even go to yoga! But most of all I pray. Better said, I argue.
Shouldn’t God heal my hand? My pen is my tool. Writing is my assignment. So far He hasn’t healed me.
Or has He? These days I pray more as I write. Not eloquent prayers but honest ones. Lord, I need help… Father, my hand is stiff. The discomfort humbles me. I’m not Max, the author. I am Max, the guy whose hand is wearing out. I want God to heal my hand. Thus far He has used my hand to heal my heart.
So that thing you’re struggling with, that you’ve prayed about over and over and over again… could it be that God is using it to heal your heart?
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. — 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
Imagine this scene. It is breakfast time, and the family is in chaos. The daughters are complaining about their brother who took too much time in the bathroom. As a result their hair isn’t brushed and makeup isn’t applied. Mom is doing her best to manage the conflict, but she woke up with a headache and a long list of things to do. The clock is ticking like a time bomb, ever closer to that moment when, boom! It’s time to go. Dad stops at the kitchen entryway and surveys the pandemonium. He weighs his options:
- Command everyone to shape up and behave.
- Berate his son for dominating the bathroom, his daughters for poor planning, and his wife for not taking control.
- Sneak out before anyone notices.
Or he could turn to God with a simple prayer: Father, You are good. I need help. Reduce the frenzy in my house, please. Will the prayer change everything? It may. Or it may take another prayer, or two, or ten. But at least the problem will be in the hands of the One who can solve it.
~ Before Amen
Excerpted with permission from God Is With You Every Day by Max Lucado, copyright Max Lucado.
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Struggles and chaos. Sounds like a normal Monday, right? The profound truth is that God is with us in our struggles. He’s with us in the chaos. In fact, He may be using struggles and chaos to be even more palpably present to us! Come share your thoughts with us on the One who is with us. We want to hear from you. ~ Devotionals Daily