**Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. ** Psalm 4:1
Two things stood out for me this morning while reading this verse.
Enlarged in distress.
The first is a necessary tool to sustain us in any difficulty. Prayer connects us in a microsecond with our Omnipotent God. It is only He that can deliver us in any trouble or sustain us in any heartache. In asking for his help, we call to attention the forces of Heaven to fight for us. Crying out to Him in our anguish fills us with his sustaining grace and gives us courage to face the next hour.
The second, Enlargement in distress. Our life in Christ is about growth. It is about processing each trial with faith and with our eyes open to what He is teaching us and desiring from us. It is about holding on to our faith on a bad day or week or year. It is about putting hurt behind us and offering grace and mercy to those that harm us.
Growth occurs when we look at our problems through His eyes and not ours. We are made stronger spiritually and emotionally when we accept the challenges we face with a Cross perspective–How does this hardship align us with the sufferings of Christ?
When we initially arrived in Spain as missionaries, we ate confusion for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We didn’t understand anything about what was happening or how to resolve it. The stress brought me to my knees and telling the Lord that I was starting over. That I was going back to the Cross and rebuilding my faith on what He taught me from day to day there in Spain. That I was feeling like everything else I knew was from man and not from him.
Of course, over time He retaught me many of the same principles I had already learned but this time it was personal and not religious.
His initial response to my prayer though was….”Sue, you are going to walk where Jesus walked, you are going to walk the way of suffering. ”
I can tell you that that has been true. Life anywhere we live is full of suffering. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual suffering.
I began to let go of the happy- ending-American-fairy-tale idea of life and learned to face each hardship with a more God-centered perspective. What was I supposed to be learning? What did the Lord want from me today?
This new outlook has changed just about everything about me. It has brought me peace and a sense of direction.
Enlargement. Problems that make us bigger, stronger, standing on more solid ground, Perfecting us, Establishing us, Strengthening us, and Settling us. The Key to Growth. For his glory.