It is almost 3:00 PM and I am not sure what I am doing writing this post. I have never written a post so last minute, but I am doing it anyway.
Many of us, if not all of us, have been hurt by someone or something in our past. That person may have hurt us because of something we have done, something that they are going through personally, jealousy, anger, emptiness within themselves, or because they are hurting. Oftentimes these situations are out of our control and we find ourselves stuck and lost because we know that there is nothing we can do to change that person’s mind. If you are reading this and feel this way: I want you to know you are not alone and there is hope for healing and restoration.
This past year has been R O U G H. Some of the closest people in my life have not only hurt me, but don’t want anything to do with me. I would be lying to say that it doesn’t suck. I don’t want to spend the rest of this post spilling out all of my personal problems and names because now is not the time for that. The point of this post is to not vent or for you to feel sorry for me. My hope is that this post fills you and brings you a peace within yourself regardless of how out of control your circumstances may be.
Today is the day I am throwing out all the garbage that my mind has been playing tricks with me this past year and today is the day I am fully surrendering those thoughts to him. Today I am choosing prayer over worry.
For the past few months I have been doing a bible study course called Bible Study Bootcamp. This course was created by Jordan Dooley, the founder of SoulScripts. Each week she dives into a specific topic and you study various sources of scripture and stories in the Bible about that topic. One of the weeks we specifically read about prayer in John 11: 1-27.
The Story of Lazarus (John 11: 1-44): In this passage a boy named Lazarus was deathly ill. Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha were very good friends of Jesus. When Jesus heard of Lazarus’ illness He didn’t come to the rescue immediately. In fact, he waited two more days before he went to see Lazarus (vs. 6).During that time Lazarus had passed away and was dead for four days (vs 17). Mary and Martha were not thrilled of this and in verse 21 they tell Jesus that if He would have shown up on time he could have healed Lazarus and he would have been alive.
Pause: Has there ever been a time in your life where you asked: “Why did this happen, or how can you allow this to happen Jesus?” Where are you Jesus?
These questions have been running through my head for the past 12 months. There is nothing I can do to change my circumstances. I have poured out my heart enough and have tried everything possible to make things better. I have even pray to God on a regular basis. So what is the problem? What am I doing wrong?
Back to story: The story goes on and Jesus explains to Martha that anyone who believes in Christ shall never die. Martha told Jesus that she believes and trust him. The passage ends with Jesus explaining to Martha that if she believed she would see the glory of God. Jesus performs this amazing miracle by raising Lazarus from the dead.
This is where one of my high school students would say, “Mrs. Bell, MIC DROP!”
God is NEVER late and is NEVER early. Timing and circumstances are irrelevant to God. Martha was frustrated with Jesus’ timing, but everything turned out better than what she had ever imagined. God not only brought Lazarus back to life, but he also taught her the foundational Truth of the Gospel. Martha initially prayed for Lazarus to be healed (vs 1-4). This is a valid request, but God wanted something deeper.
I loved what Jordan said in this study. She said that, “Prayer is a way to humble ourselves before the Lord. It’s not about the posture of our bodies, but the posture of our heart.” We are called to pray into God’s will, not into our own will. Praying does not guarantee that everything will be pain free if that pain we face serves a greater purpose (Matthew 26: 65). God doesn’t give us things so that we loves the gift, but so that we love the giver.
If I can be 100% transparent, I read this passage a few weeks ago and thought it was super helpful, but I forgot about it a few days later. I went on with my life and moved onto the next week in this study.
Then today happened.
Today I was told about something that hurt, was scary, and 100% out of my control. I immediately started feeling my body to shake and all of the “worry thoughts” run through my head. I called a good friend of mine who God has clearly put into my life recently and told her a little update of what was going on with my life. She reminded me that this person in my life may be running away from me, but this person cannot escape my prayers. We then prayed together. For the first time in months, I was able to let go. I was at peace.
Prayer is a beautiful and powerful thing. The great thing about prayer is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Prayer is crying out to the Lord and making our requests known to Him. It is more importantly a time to praise God and to acknowledge that his plan is better than our plan.
I encourage anyone who is going through a hard chapter in life to pray. This can be done alone in a quiet place and it can be even done with a spouse, family member, or friend. Find that spot in your house that is quiet as well as a person to pray with. Pray out loud together! I know that I have never felt more close with my husband than when we ask each other if we can pray for the other.
Pray for others, even for the people who have hurt you. God hears you, loves you, and is fighting alongside you. Trust in His plan and His perfect timing.
“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”
– “It is Well” , Horatio G. Spafford
Great post Ashley! There is so much power in prayer and we just have to quiet ourselves and focus on HIM. Thanks and keep up the good work here. Very positive stuff.