Jun 302012

The prayer that wrestles with the living God has the faith to believe in the end that even the apparent silence of God is the silence of his higher thoughts and that his ‘no’ is spoken that he might give us a more resounding ‘yes’.

There is a lovely poem which speaks to this wonderfully. It was reputedly written by a young soldier who received massive and permanently debilitating injuries in the Civil War. He lived as a cripple the rest of his days, wrestling and waiting for God to show his face, his purpose in it all. At the end of his strugglings, he wrote this:

I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might 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 of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

I have received nothing I asked for, all that I hoped for.
My prayer is answered.

Such sentiments can be expressed, not at the beginning of our struggle with God, but only at the end. It is a precious intimacy with the heart of God that can see through all of our disappointments the tender and loving hand of God at work for our good. That intimacy comes only after years spent in dialog with him, a dialog that is sometimes quiet and peaceful and sometimes wrenching and devastating. But through it all there is the same loving God, no matter how we feel him to be at the moment — adversary or advocate, mother or father, friend or enemy. Through it all he is at work for our good, and his victory over us will be also his victory in us when the wrestling is over.

— Ben Patterson

 Posted by on 06/30/2012 Ministry ,  Add comments