“What’s your New Year’s Resolution?” It’s that time again. Everyone is asking. Some of us ignore them. Some of us have different ones every year. And some of us, who shall remain nameless, have the same one
lose weight year after year.
In the last couple of years we really struggled with some behavior issues with our son, Evan. We had no choice but to become quite open about them. People were starting to notice we weren’t coming to the parties, church, Target, or even leaving the house much at all. Our behavior as a family had to change dramatically. In that openness, we asked for prayer. We began praying. It was really a constant prayer every day and night pleading for God to change Evan’s demeanor. We prayed, searched, asked, and let others know of our situation.
It has been a slow change, but Evan has come to a place of living without so much disagreement, to put it mildly. What was the cure, you ask? The magic pill? I have to wonder if opening our need up to others was part of the answer. By asking others to go before God in prayer on our behalf we give God the opportunity to show his glory. John Piper said it well here. He reminds us our whole purpose is to draw attention to God. 1 Peter 2:9-10 says it so well: “… that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light … once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” What better way to tell people about this than how God has worked in our trials. And we can’t do that if we keep quiet about our trials.
God has shown us many different ways to handle Evan’s situation. He has not only taught me about handling Evan but other things along the way, as well. Things about waiting, perseverance, patience and God’s timing not mine. It wasn’t as if he magically granted a wish of immediate healing. But Evan is a different guy than he was a year and a half ago. And for that, I am praising God.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
Trials like these are so difficult to accept; to know that God is doing something in them. And if we keep these trials to ourselves, which I so badly want to do, how can we give God the glory in them? Trials aren’t fun, no sir-ree. But seeing God work his miracles and coming through on the other side, that’s what we all want to be a part of, right?
So this year, what’s your New Year’s Resolution? Maybe we should be sharing it, telling it, asking others to please pray about it. They are usually our biggest personal, private trials. Don’t we really want to tell others about how God worked in that situation? So here is one of my many hangups: sugar. I loooove sugar. Sugar cookies, candies, bite-size cupcakes, macaroons, ICED Sugar Cookies! Need I go on? But sugar does not love me. Or my hips, tummy, wiggly-wavy underarms. You get the picture. I am opening up my secret of love for sugar and the need to get rid of it this year. Will you join me in praying for this? It sounds a little silly or trivial in the face of some of our lives, but boy am I tired of it and the hold it has on me.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Is it like mine, a typical one? Or is your’s different, something deeper? Let God show his glory in it by letting someone in to pray for you. It may not happen over night. It may take years of ebb and flow. Remember, God is working for us in our trials. It’s not always fun in the valley, but wait for it. Wait for it …
“Blessed is the one who preservers under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12