Praying through the Potholes
The road of life is rough. There are times when there are so many potholes that we despair of moving forward at all. Banged, broken, and bruised, we just want to shut down and give up.
When I am in that place, I want one thing and one thing only. I want OUT! I want God to swoop in and fix the problems and take away the pain and I want God to do it NOW!
But then I am caught up short by these verses at the beginning of Romans 5:
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5)
I am totally good with exulting in the glory of God. I am all about grace and faith. I rejoice at having peace with God through the blood of Jesus. I sing praises about the love of God.
I am not good with the whole “exulting in tribulation” bit. Sure, I want to be strong and godly and full of hope, but can we leave out the tribulation part?
Evidently, there is a real connection between the problems of life I don’t want to experience and the person of God I want to become. That’s what these verses tell me.
With that in mind, what these verses also tell me is that “God, get me out!” is probably not the best way to pray to transform hardships into holiness. I need to pray something that is much more difficult, though it changes only one word:
“God, get me THROUGH!”