Lately the Lord has been fueling the desire in my heart to spend more time in His word, seeking Him out and knowing Him more, and hopefully becoming more like Him. As a result, I’ve been more sensitive to the ways that He’s working and has been working in my life. I’ve had a lot of seemingly unanswered prayers over the past few years. He has been good and has provided lovingly for us, but He has not seen fit to answer our prayers for, first a full-time ministry position, and lately for a better job for Clay. This process of asking, begging, for what seems like only a good thing, and not receiving, has at times been dangerous to my fragile faith and strength. I have felt despair and frustration, and at times even anger with God that He would not lift these burdens from our family, that He would not bring us to a place where we are living out the vocational calling that He Himself has placed upon us. Why would He not answer these prayers? It made no sense. But lately, my spirit has been calming down some. In the midst of the unanswered prayers, I had been neglecting to praise Him for the answered ones and the good things that He has been showering on us, some that I never even asked for. In my pity party, I was robbing myself of the fruit that could have been growing in me, for much fruit can grow under adverse circumstances. So now I’m trying to keep a quiet heart and let Him do what He wills in my heart through a situation that I would not have chosen. All that to say, yesterday morning we popped an Indelible Grace cd in on the way to church, and the following song really seemed to hit the spot of what my heart has been crying recently. I’m sure that most of you have experienced the same trial in your faith, of persistent unanswered prayers (or “no”-answered prayers), and you may have felt the despair that I have felt. May these lyrics minister to you, as well. The words were written by John Newton, and Indelible Grace has redone it on their Beams of Heaven album.
I Asked the Lord
I asked the Lord that I might grow in faith and love and every grace,
Might more of His salvation know and seek more earnestly His face.
‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray and He I trust has answered prayer,
But it has been in such a way as almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour at once He’d answer my request
And by His love’s constraining power subdue my sins and give me rest.
Instead of this He made me feel the hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry powers of Hell assault my soul in every part.
Yea more with His own hand He seemed intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, cast out my feelings, laid me low.
“Lord, why is this,” I trembling cried. “Wilt Thou pursue thy worm to death?”
“Tis in this way,” The Lord replied, “I answer prayer for grace and faith.”
“These inward trials I employ, from self and pride to set thee free,
And break thy schemes of earthly joy, that thou mayest seek thy all in me.”
**May I not be guilty of refusing the very method God has chosen to make me more like Him.