This past Friday I was reading a book in preparation for a meeting I was going to. The very first thing I read was this, "...spending time in places of weakness is key to maturity in Christ...."
The context of the writing was talking about our gifts in Christ. The author was talking about our strengths and weaknesses in the body of Christ. Some of us are strong in one area and we tend to spend all our time focusing on our strength. However, the author was suggesting that to be mature and complete, we also need to spend times in our areas of weakness.
Now, I have been quite open, or I hope I have, that I really struggle with trusting God to provide. Of all people who should have by now developed an understanding of His mighty arm of provision, I stand at the front of the line. However, it truly is my most difficult thing to wrestle with. I am more comfortable relying on my own ability to make things happen, much like the many of our forefathers in the Scripture. However, what I can see by reading the Bible stories is that every time someone tried to accomplish things on their own without trusting God, it did not end well.
As part of my Scripture reading this week, I was in Deuteronomy 1. In chapter 1 verse 19-28, Moses is recounting the story of when they came to the edge of the promise land and sent in spies. Then in verse 29-31 Moses reminded them of the times God had gone before them and rescued them from Egypt and at the Red Sea. But the damning words came in verse 32....
"In Spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God."
The result of this lack of trust was that the Israelites spent 40 years wandering in the desert until every man of fighting age passed away except two, Caleb and Joshua. Even Moses was not allowed in the land due to his lack of obedience when he struck the rock for water instead of speaking to it. Lack of Trust in God can have devastating consequences.
All this to say, it is becoming extremely clear that God is placing us in trying circumstances to allow us the opportunity to grow in our trust. His desire is to strengthen His children by allowing us to either trust, or to tuck tail and run to our own ways and understanding. I admit, I wrestle with the desire to run because it is more natural to my instincts. Sitting at His feet and simply trusting runs against everything in my system. Even giving God a week to prove His might and willingness to meet our needs is a stretch in a society that desires everything right now!
However, I am grateful for the test, for the trials, for what my heart truly wants is to be made perfect and reflect the face of the One who loves me. So as long as I live, I know I will desire to run to my own abilities, my own knowledge, however, I pray He will continue to perfect me into the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29, James 1:1-13, 2 Thessalonians 1:3)