I think a part of me would very much like to sleep until noon every day. That part of me would love to gorge myself with chocolate as much as possible and only eat foods that while being extremely tasty, are extremely bad for me.
I remember what a pastor said once. He said that no one ever wakes up in them morning and thinks, “Hey, today I’m gonna screw my life up beyond all recognition.” It all starts with choices.
I’ve never woken up thinking, “Today I’d like a heaping helping of humility and trials and crappiness in my day. I want everything to go wrong and to feel like the day is never going to end.
Just like the Israelites probably never thought, “Gee, I’d like to wander around in a desert for 40 years, eating some strange pastry that falls from the sky and drinking water out of rocks. That sounds like my cup of tea.” But that’s what they got.
God doesn’t often give us what we want as much as he gives us what we need. I may want non-stop chocolate, but I need to be healthy and not weigh 800 pounds. I may want to sleep late every day of my life, but I need to spend time with God in the morning to get my bearings put right.
I heard that discipline is getting us to a place we would have never thought to go on our own. On my own, I’d never think to develop a constant prayer life and a complete dependence on God. But when I find myself in places where my way just doesn’t work and I have no more answers, I find myself praying to and depending on God a lot more.
I’m grateful now looking back that I didn’t get a lot of what I asked God for in prayer. I thought I knew what I needed, but it was only what I thought I wanted at the time.
A perfect illustration is looking at a 1-year old. He may think he knows what he needs and what is best for him, but he doesn’t. He has to be told what is and what is not good for him. The father may have to discipline him to get him to see what he wants and what is best for him aren’t always the same thing. I’m a lot like that little boy.
May you and I come to embrace the hard days as well as the good ones, because they remind us of how much we really do need God every day. May Jesus use the trials and troubles we face to develop in us a constant faith and a undying hope and a love that won’t quit.