Romans 8:26-28, 31-32 (the message)
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?
I thought I was going to write about something else this morning. I flipped over to Romans to find a verse that caught my heart yesterday and I crashed into this scripture. A thankful crash. A smile because God likes to confirm Himself to our hearts kind of crash.
On Sunday Pastor Robert Barriger preached a message that was a beautiful bow tied onto a gift God has been giving me over the last couple of months. (Pause: may I encourage you to grow deep roots in a life-giving church?) Sunday after Sunday I’ve listened to messages on destiny and God’s plans and purposes as tears slipped down my face. I could not understand them at first and never did it matter because I could not have stopped them if I tried. His kindness, His love, His grace is more than I can ever really comprehend much less describe. Still, it is the God-bend of my life to try.
The bow tie was this: When we are wounded, hurt or struggling we have two choices. We can quit and go home or we can stay in the fight. Now, if we stay in the fight we must learn to fight differently. If (as Pastor Barriger put it) we’ve been wounded and lost a figurative right hand, then we must learn to fight left-handed. Going through stuff and not giving up can teach us to fight better. It can give us a discernment and heart for others we would not otherwise have.
Every detail of our lives is worked for something good when we love God. It doesn’t mean everything is good, but it means that it can be worked out for our good. I’m writing to say that no matter what wrong choices we make, no matter what the devil throws our way, no matter what just living on planet Earth brings, if we choose to stay in the fight God can use it to make us a better fighter.
Every experience. Every hurt. Every detail.
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose?
I can’t lose! Because God of Creation is on my side! And He is so much bigger than anything that comes my way. He is so much deeper and stronger than any pit I dig for myself. God is great. And good. Really, really good even in my bad stuff.
If you are “in the waiting” for a change of seasons in life, if you are tired of waiting, tired of recovering from hurts and disappointments…If you don’t even know what or how to pray anymore…may I just encourage you that God Himself says it’s okay. He knows your heart, your circumstance and your need. His Spirit within keeps you “present before God,” keeps you in the fight.
I love that. See, many days over the past year I felt like I was slipping from His presence. I didn’t understand and it grieved me, but God knew my heart. He understood what I couldn’t. And Holy Spirit within kept me present before God. There is nothing that will separate us from His love. There is no confusion, no unmet need, no anger, hurt or loss that can end us as long as we don’t quit the fight.
I’ve made more than one wrong choice in my life. I’ve suffered because of the wrong choices of others. I’ve certainly wanted to quit and sad to say in some instances, I have. But let me share, with a smile on my face, that in the battle for my marriage God has made me a better fighter. (In a good way! Laugh!) In the cage match for my children and the wholeness God wants for them I’m fierce in my refusal to give up. In the throw-down for my dreams and personal destiny I walk with a limp but also a deep understanding that purpose is not about personal fulfillment. It’s about His kingdom. And because of the times I’ve sat my battle-worn backside down for a spell, I’ve come to know first-hand that even then, even in my giving up, God makes me a better fighter because although I give up on myself, I don’t give up on Him. Oh I might have lost some of the ease and glide but that’s okay. Battle scars make me better equipped to relate to the renegade, the lost and lonely hunter seeking something real. Needing to see this real Jesus in a real person.
There is nothing lost that can’t be found. Nothing torn apart that can’t be rebuilt. Nothing tossed aside that can’t be picked back up. Nothing over that can’t begin again. Nothing dirty and shameful that can’t be washed in His blood and made clean. Nothing hopeless that can’t be redeemed. In the hands of our mighty God there is no defeat that cannot be overwhelmed in victory.
We can’t lose.