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praying for rain

a sweet friend taught me a huge lesson tonight. she's in the choir at church, and she's almost like a big sister type to me {i'd say "mom-type" but she's not old enough :) }. she looks out for me and gives me good advice, and she's just there if i need some encouragement, a compliment, or just a laugh. she's a wonderful person...

carolyn has lost 3 siblings and her mother in a short period of time. another sister is on the last leg of a battle with cancer right now. she has just received some news about her own health, and her husband suffered a seizure just a few weeks ago and they still haven't figured out the cause.

she stood up tonight and *testified* to the power and strength and love and sovereignty of God Almighty. i mean PREACHED with confidence and conviction and clarity. the words of the Holy Spirit were no doubt pouring out of her mouth. and oh. how she moved me.

i have had a remarkably easy life thus far. when i say "remarkably", i mean ridiculously not hard. at all. (that alone ought to make me think, huh?). God clearly tells us that we WILL know suffering, persecution, trials and heartache because we follow Him. James says that it's supposed to build perseverance and then character. it's for our own good, Paul told the Romans.

Carolyn KNOWS suffering. intimately.

but she stood up there tonight {without ONE falter in her voice or one shed tear} and said that she is THANKFUL for the trials that God has allowed in her life. she just wants to be an empty vessel for His direction. she wants it to "rain. so that she can blossom". ugh. incredible. she is literally a tangible picture of God's beauty and grace. our *wonderful* choir director said {after her sermon} that "God trusts you, Carolyn". goosebumps. how honored. how blessed would you feel. doesn't your heart just yearn for that to be true of you? mine does. so bad i can't stand it.

so i thought to myself, a) why do i have it so easy? and b) why am i not praying for trials to come my way?

well, as far as "a" goes, i can't know. it could be that God has decided to bless me so that i can bless others out of an abundance of contentment and joy... but, then again, those who are suffering can do the exact same thing {and how much more beautiful it is when they do}... well, who knows about "a". you hate to say it's because you aren't really living the way that God has intended.

on to "b". i'll tell you why i haven't been praying for this. because when i just tried {literally 5 minutes ago} i got myself to the point where i was telling God that i was too scared to pray for suffering. too scared... of what He would do to me.... seriously that was my exact thought. like God is sitting up there, waiting for my permission to give me a hardship. and He's got a big one brewing... just waiting for my signal.

could that be any further from the truth? but that's what my sick mind thought up. that's where my deceitful heart led me.

God wants to bless me. He wants to GROW me. He sees the sweet and intimate moments we will have. He sees the complete and utter trust that i will learn to have in Him. He sees how i will rely on him for my literal breath.... He sees the gold that has been refined in the fire of suffering and trial. He sees the new person that's ready to testify to His power in my life, for His glory.

i don't want to pray for suffering. because i know it will bring just that. suffering. and my flesh is SO weak, that it keeps imagining all the horrible things that God could do to me, or take away from me, and on and on...

i want to pray for a new heart. a new trust. a new devotion. a new reliance. all those beautiful things that will come during and after the storm. that's what i want to pray for. i want to pray for the end result, so i won't have to imagine the actual trial. is that OK? i think so.

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