One of my favorite story illustrations I have used over the years is of a missionary family that I knew from the church of my youth. The husband was one of these techy, mechanically-savvy types of fellows who could fix just about anything. And on the mission field in Central America, he would go often from station to station, church to church, helping people with practical complications in a third-world context.
But there were times when even he would be a bit stumped, expressing some exasperation when a project was not going well. At those times it was reported that his wife would say, “Honey, do you want me to pray about this?”
And he was known to comically reply, “No, not yet. Give me five more minutes!”
We laugh at that, but we essentially do that all the time! We either forget to pray and trust God in a difficult situation, or we passively think He is either disinterested or unable to actually help us.
The disciples displayed this sort of attitude upon the occasion of a storm descending upon them when crossing Galilee. These storms could come up quickly. And recall that a number of these disciples were more than just a bit experienced with boating.
Luke 8:22 – One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
Sometimes God allows perilous events in our lives to cause us to turn to him in trust and in throes of our desperation. It is then that He may prove Himself to be strong on our behalf – either solving the situation for us or giving us the fortitude to endure through it … perhaps even taking us by His grace to the final shore and harbor.
This calls to our minds one of the greatest of passages … Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6,7)
So, from that passage, what difficulty of life is there that is excluded from being appropriate to bring before God? Nothing! We should think of life and our relationship with God as a continual conversation in prayerful dependence.
Holding out on bringing anything before the Lord?