Friday, October 30, 2015

When prayer's answered hard

What joy we have had in the past few months.  First Oscar Ray joined our family as a tiny little thing that already smiles and giggles.

Then it was our youngest daughter delivering Jesse Iven, a not so tiny line-backer kind of boy at over 8 lbs. I think our grand-parent quiver is about full.

Below is one day old Jesse being welcomed to the family for the first time by Big Sis and Big Bro and the other Grandma Irene.

(Those last two are some of 60 pics I found on my phone that my Big Sis took on her own one day. 60!  I deleted a number of blurry and crazy ones. Where was Gma anyway?)

Those praises said, I'm going to ponder a little about the thing on my heart.  You may get to read this, or it may just stay on my draft file.  We'll see.

I have been burdened of late to pray for the salvation of all these grandkids, for my family.  I have prayed often for my daughters as they grew and matured and went out on their own or with a hubby.  But as they became adults themselves, it seemed that whenever I prayed for them hard things would drop on to the path they walk.

Have you had that happen?

I would pray for wisdom and they would have BIG decisions to make.  Pray for their marriages and I would soon be hearing how hurt they felt.  Pray for the gkids and I'd hear that they were flunking out or partying too much.  (This comes when you have gkids in college and in the nursery.)

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you felt burdened to pray AND guilty for doing it all in the same breath?

I know that a person must be brought low, really low, with all things gone and nothing left to cling to, before they can see that its only up that they can look.

But, God . . . .

This past year or so I realized that every time I prayed for my family I would get a phone call of lament from the one I prayed for.

Then, I would quit.  Quit praying.

And things would quiet down.

Then I would feel the burden growing and I would have to give it to God.  And it would all start again.

Nothing seemed to "stick."  No permanent answers.  No confirmations of "success".  Nada.  Zilch.

So this summer I determined that I would NOT stop praying.  I decided that maybe the answers weren't coming through because I would STOP praying when it got too much.

You see it is very hard for the FM Gma to listen to the difficulties in her family.  It is really, really stressful.  And stress breeds nerves and nerves turn into The Pain.

But if I just dropped the request they seemed to fall back into worldly ways once the present trial was over.

So I decided I would pray THROUGH the trials.  I would continue daily.

And things got HARDER.  The trials, mostly physical, hit and hit hard.  Physical, emotional, spiritual.

Was it my fault?  Should I let it go?

Then I felt like Job, though I wasn't covered with sores, and my family is alive, and we still have a home to live in.

But Job's words were pointed out just then in my devotional reading:

"'Oh that my request might come to pass,
And that God would grant my longing!
Would that God were willing to crush me;
That He would loose His hand and cut me off!
But it is still my consolation,
And I rejoice in unsparing pain,
That I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is my end, that I should endure?
Is my strength the strength of stones,
Or is my flesh bronze?
Is it that my help is not within me,
And that deliverance is driven from me?'"
--Job 6:8-13

I have no answers for you.  I can warn you that if you ask me to pray for the salvation of your family member, I'm libel to only do it once.  Because first I want to be selfish.  First I want to pray for MY family, to see answers for MINE.

Forgive me for my selfishness.  I admit, when it comes to my kids, I am the Mama Bear protecting them and wanting them safe and redeemed.

If you too have felt this burden when you pray for yours, let me know.  Or am I alone in this?

On bended knees,

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