Out of the blue—just 2 months prior to my greatly anticipated hiking trip to Utah—my excruciating sciatica pain came back! “It can’t be,” I agonized! “I don’t understand!”
That was about 5 years ago. Not being able to stand or walk for more than a few minutes without overwhelming pain is hard for anyone, but especially one with a type A personality!
I was not a happy camper and I didn’t respond well to this recurring issue. I wasn’t able to shake my negative attitude and found myself often in a state of discontentment and complaint. I couldn’t (rather wouldn’t) accept my circumstances.
Finally, unable to stand my misery any longer, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to stop fighting God and surrender. My prayer changed from…
“Please heal me!”
“Please help me to endure this pain. Use it somehow for Your glory. Don’t let me waste the pain.”
Immediately my joy and peace were restored, even though my back wasn’t!
You see, the Lord reminded me of a lesson I had learned 9 years prior when my husband’s cancer had metastasized. While grappling with that bad news and trying to accept it, God led me to ask this question,
“What would give God the greatest glory?”
Healing Ed or sustaining us with unexplainable joy and peace?”
The answer became immediately obvious—in my case, it was the latter.
So with God’s help, I surrendered and I have seen God use it for His glory in many ways. The peace and joy God gave us those last 2 years before Ed went home to heaven was a huge testimony to those around us. It even led his sister to get saved!
Now the Lord was asking me to do the same thing with my recurring back issue.
We would prefer to see God display His glory by answering our prayer our way. But suppose God wants to display His glory in a different way—one that doesn’t make sense to us?
The Bible tells us we were created for His glory and pleasure.
“All who claim me as their God will come, for I have made them for my glory; I created them.” (Is 43:7)
Our main purpose in life is to demonstrate God’s glory; to make Him known to a hurting, dark world.
Therefore, when you are dealing with baffling circumstances, ask yourself the same question the Lord posed to me:
In my situation, what would bring God the most glory?
God answering our prayer for healing, removing our pain or problem–all miracles, or in doing whatever He knows is best? Which miracle would:
- Lead more people to Christ?
- Make us or others more like Christ?
- Grow our faith more?
- Show God’s love, care, or power more?
With this in mind, it’ll be easier to accept whatever God may allow. Whether it’s cancer, a recurring health issue, a wayward child, or an extreme emotional hurt, God will use it for His glory and greater purposes.
Don’t miss the blessing and stay miserable with a hard, unaccepting heart!
God could be setting Himself up to show off—to display His great power and glory to the world through you. Cooperate with Him. It’ll be worth it!
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Rev 4:11 KJV)
So my friends, the next time you are dealing with some difficult circumstance, ask this question:
“What would give God the greatest glory here?”
and then respond accordingly!
Living Bible (TLB) The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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Thank you, Sharon!