I’ve proven this many times, that when I earnestly pray for something to happen in my life, for instance, for me to be more long-suffering, the Lord will give me a tremendous challenge, like a mountain to climb, as His answer to my prayer. No, He doesn’t just put it into my heart, but brings me to a situation where I’m face-to-face with the “teacher” and I am to learn my lesson the hard way.
And oh, for those devotional bloggers like me, haven’t you experienced that when you wrote something to encourage and edify, you will then find yourself in a situation where you’re challenged doubly hard from what you’ve written? And before we blow it, the warning signs stop us dead in our tracks and yes, we realize with much dismay that we are being tested whether we can practice what we preach or not!
The best and most precious lessons in life may be heard in the pulpit, but they are always learned outside of it, that is, in everyday life. The best teachers may not be those who stand in the pulpit, but those people that God puts into our lives to make us learn, whether we like it or not. They could be our spouses, our kids, a neighbor, our employee or our employer, a colleague, a friend, or even a stranger.
Recently, we have been praying earnestly for God to give us maids according to our requirements. But the agencies we dealt with gave us ones that really stretched our patience. For months, different kinds of maids marched in and out of our home, as mutual dissatisfaction was felt between us and them. It was really frustrating to find out that there are hardly maids nowadays who are well-trained and who work with dedication. There were even some who treated us badly, despite of us treating them well.
I couldn’t help asking what is really wrong. I know we’ve been given the wrong persons, but still I wanted to understand and maybe then, it would work.
I can honestly say that I had reached the end of my rope, that I.am.finally.done.with.maids.from.the.agencies. But just when we think that we can no longer contain, God stretches us some more, making a room, and that thing that we think has no more hope in us, God paves a new way, a better way. And when I stopped to consider, I realized that all these spell G-R-O-W-T-H. The Lord does not only teach us through difficult people and situations, He makes us grow through them! Growth in faith and in love is ALWAYS a good thing!
So, we get another maid, and when I observed that she is not well-trained in homemaking (for she doesn’t even know how to sweep well; this would have easily irritated me – really, there is a need for me to deal with my “type A” personality!), I let love flow instead. I tried to understand that here is a young mother who needs to work for her three-year old baby; here is a young woman who needs to be taught and trained and treated with respect and love and much patience.
So, you see, it’s the Lord paving a better way, the way of the Spirit. The Lord always leads us to the narrow road. It is hard, but if we yield to His leading, He also will provide the strength and inspiration necessary to deal with such a difficult challenge, and the end of it is peace. So, our family opens up streams of kindness and care for her, and her doubting heart opens up to us and she begins to feel — happy with her work.
Then the Lord rewards us by giving us another maid (for our household needs two), that is, according to all our requirements. My beloved mother brings her to us from our province, exactly what I’ve been praying for.
Our family has definitely learned a most valuable lesson: the most excellent way is the way of love. Putting into practice Romans 12 in everyday:
Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:14-21)
My gratitude list ~ thankful to the Lord for:
- this song His Strength is Perfect sung by the beloved pastoral workers in church on Father’s Day. It’s just perfect, it reminded me of God’s enduring mercies.
- Finest Choir singing Agnus Dei which made my spirit soaring again; the powerful presence of the Lord lingering made worshiping beyond words, making spirit and body tremble, hardly containing the glory of it all! We praised up a storm!
- His manifest presence in everyday – my durable riches I wouldn’t trade for the world! People of the world take joy in their material wealth, but I take great joy in the Spirit of the Lord!