Tuesday, August 14, 2012

An Offensive Prayer

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn to humbly obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need for God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among men, most richly blessed.

This prayer was found in the pocket of a wounded confederate soldier. It is an offensive prayer to those who believe that great faith removes all weakness, sickness, and poverty. It is offensive to those whose treasure, and therefore their hearts, are stored up on this earth. It is offensive to the one who believes that God's discipline is out of spite, and not love, who says, "Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it." 

I do not think it offends God. Jesus said He had no place to lay his head, and that those who followed Him would likel experience the same. I do not think it would offend his Apostles. They taught us that to follow Him did not exempt us from suffering, but virtually guaranteed it. None of them died safely at home in bed.

Tha mature believer is not the one who has the most or sings the loudest, but the one who trusts Christ explicitly. He has "no matter what" faith in his Redeemer. He does not just trust God for what He may do, but trusts Him no matter what He does. He is the one who expriences the abundant life Jesus promised, because his hope is build on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. His life is continually filled, not with treasure that moth and rust destroy, but with that which cannot be taken away by anything or anyone on this earth.

Lord, may I  grow up in You so that one day I trust you explicitly.