By Bethany Lashbrook
This Week's Verse: James 5:7, "Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains." (NIV)
Devotion: This week I was with a group of my dearly loved friends and we were all just “spent”. Have you ever used that word to describe your situation? We were exhausted, tired, frustrated and maybe even a little bit angry. Why had we gotten together for years to pray for situations that were still the same and maybe even worse than when we had started praying? Why hadn’t the Lord heard our cries and listened and answered these specific dilemmas we had prayed about? And then, amidst our tears, right in the middle of our desperate situation, one of my friends read Psalm 13 from The Message.
Long enough, God— you've ignored me long enough.
I've looked at the back of your head
long enough. Long enough
I've carried this ton of trouble,
lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies
have looked down their noses at me.
Take a good look at me, God, my God;
I want to look life in the eye,
So no enemy can get the best of me
or laugh when I fall on my face.
I've thrown myself headlong into your arms—
I'm celebrating your rescue.
I'm singing at the top of my lungs,
I'm so full of answered prayers.
Then, with tears in each of our eyes we thanked the Lord for the answered prayers. No, they aren’t answered today, but they will be answered. For today, we can all rejoice that we let God know how it had been ‘long enough’ for each of us. Yet, we are rejoicing with him because he rescued us from the pain. He held us as we cried.
Lord, thank you for letting us be upset, aggravated, mad, and even frustrated. It is so wonderful that we can be honest with you and let you know how we have had it with our problems. Thank you, in advance, for the answered prayers. Thank you for helping us give our problems to you when we are so desperate to solve them ourselves. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Application: Be honest today in your prayers to the Lord. He knows our thoughts anyway, but to say them out loud is a relief!
Job 36:15, “But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer. For he gets their attention through adversity.” (NLT)
Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…” (NIV)
1 Kings 8:28, “Can it be that God will actually move into our neighborhood? Why, the cosmos itself isn't large enough to give you breathing room, let alone this Temple I've built. Even so, I'm bold to ask: Pay attention to these my prayers, both intercessory and personal, O God, my God." (MSG)